Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life is an adventure!!

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit Monica and her wonderful family in Richmond, VA.

Unbeknownst to poor Monica, I arrived in Virginia by late afternoon. Once we met, I was greeted by the warmest and blondest Hunter family. This was the very first time, Monica and I met in person, but I honestly felt like I already knew her quite well, after years of emails between us.

We all piled into the Hunter’s car and I was given a tour of beautiful Richmond and its historical neighbourhoods. After a delicious dinner, Tim took the kids home and Monica joined me at the hotel for more catching up, also known as incessant chatter on my part.

On Sunday morning, the Hunter family took me to the Carytown Watermelon Festival, a wonderful Mexican Lunch and a tour of historic Richmond, the sites along St. James River and Hollywood Cemetery. That night, we also celebrated Monica’s 40th Birthday at a gorgeous Brazilian Steak House. What an experience!! The restaurant, the food and the company were outstanding!

Monica’s actual birthday was on Monday and my day started at 2 a.m. when I was rudely awakened by the overwhelming and uninterrupted sounds of a fire alarm. I’d already packed my suitcase for check-out in the morning, but fumbled to look for better shoes than my flip-flops to run down the seven flights of stairs at the hotel. (I also fumbled with the 7 million hooks on my bra!) The mood outside was pretty good and people tried to keep the mood light as there were many families with little children, as well as many old ladies in their night gowns and little knitted bed jackets standing around when the fire brigade arrived.
45 minutes later, we were all allowed back in and I almost coughed my lungs out, climbing back up to the 7th floor.
Unable to sleep, I was watching television when the second alarm rang by 4 a.m. Everybody evacuated again and again we stood outside for 45 minutes while the firemen did their thing. When we were allowed back in and I climbed those bloody stairs for the second time, I wondered if someone was on a quest to get me to exercise…..
It was, in fact, a woman who had pulled the alarm both times that night and she was apprehended by a fireman as she was trying to sneak away.

By the time Monica and the kids met me at the hotel on Monday morning, she had quite a few chores ahead of her. Yet she allowed me to tag along and even took some time out of her busy schedule to show me Richmond’s stunning Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, where we also ate a lovely lunch.

In the afternoon, I had a chance to play with Monica’s delightful and sweet kids while she was furiously filling orders from her special. Too soon it was time for me to head back to the airport, to say good bye to Richmond and the Hunters.

While my flight to Atlanta was first pronounced delayed, it soon was canceled altogether due to mechanical problems. I had noticed emergency personnel taking care of several passengers that had arrived on that very airplane. Apparently, the air-condition was not working and temperatures in the cabin had reached up to 90 degrees, making several passengers quite ill. The captain was not willing to take that plane back in the air. We were told to line up to be re-assigned new flight for that evening or possibly the next day.
People were pushing and shoving their way to the front and one young woman and her toddler and I were suddenly at the very end of the queue. I felt very badly for the woman, who was busily trying to keep her tired and agitated little girl entertained while we waited in line for nearly two hours. In the end she got on another flight to Atlanta, her final destination, but there were no connections available for me to go home.
The airline provided me with accommodations at a nearby hotel and after having gotten my luggage back (which the Airline was unable to find at first), I found the shuttle bus to take me there. I checked into the hotel by 9 p.m. and took the shuttle back to the airport at 5 a.m. for a flight to Cincinnati and on to Denver from there.

For me, it was a glorious weekend and with all the excitement I shall never forget Monica’s 40th birthday, LOL. Monica is gorgeous inside and out! Generous, hard-working, conscientious, kind, funny, witty and creative come to mind. She and her entire family were such gracious hosts and I want to thank them for spending their precious time with me, for showing me around Richmond and for keeping a smile on my face. Monica, Tim, Micah and Sam all have the most beautiful blue eyes you’ve ever seen and Monica indeed has very cute toes!!!

The following Hambo Stamps were used for the card above:
Dirt Pile - 630
The Whole Dirt - 817


Nise on GW said...

Thanks for sharing your celebration of Monica's birthday, Isabelle. Hope things are a bit calmer in Colorado. Really like this card - too cute!!

Colleen said...

what a great go with your great story!

I was so entirely jealous when I heard you were visiting Monica...what a neat surprise!

Sounds like you had a wonderful time (despite the fire alarms and the travel delays.)

Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Kirsten said...

What fun hearing about your trip! Wish I was there, too! ;)

Joyfulheartart said...

what a treat and adventure!