Ok, to be honest, California was not a contender in the first place. With all the "stuff" in my personal life going on, a thoughtful friend sent me gas money for my birthday with orders to go visit my other friend, LeAnn, in SC. Talk about an offer you can't refuse!
My actual birthday was not nearly as bad as I anticipated - so many folks made me feel special and loved!
The day after (the 27th), around noon, I started my trek to SC. The drive was not bad at all until I hit Atlanta at rush hour. Not that there is ever a good time to drive in Atlanta. Mercy.
Finally, I arrived safe and sound at LeAnn's apartment! I was so happy to just walk in there and plop all my stuff down. I was exhausted, not just from the drive, but from not getting enough sleep the night before. We just chilled on the couch and chit chatted for hours. It was so nice to catch up. Aside from a brief interval when she had a layover in Nashville on her way to Wisconsin, I had not seen her face to face in almost two years! But it's so wonderful to have those friendships where you can just pick up where you left off, you know?
She had made me a birthday cake, and that might have made me a little bit teary. As cheesy as it is, Josh always made sure I had my favorite birthday cake for my birthday... I really thought this year would pass without any cake at all, and what is a birthday without cake?!
It was lemon, and it was goooood.
Saturday morning, we were up bright and early to head to a nearby Farmer's Market so I could meet her friend Kim. Kim and I have been FB friends for quite some time, and I had been dying to try some of the delicious food she is always making. Imagine my surprise when we got there and she had a little birthday gift bag of goodies for me! I almost cried. It was such a sweet (and very delicious) gesture.
Look at all this good stuff!
Of course I had to buy more, for backup. ;)
After that LeAnn and I went to Sonic so I could induldge in my obsession of the moment (Wholly Guacamole Hot Dogs). I have since quit cold turkey, with only one slip. I was up to three a day at one point. It's a shameful place to be.
LeAnn had gotten me an Ulta gift card for my birthday, and we headed there next... I had never been to an Ulta, and I was SO EXCITED!!!
I ran into the Beibs there...
And here is my first Ulta Purchase!!!
After that we made a few more stops, including Michaels and the Mall.
We went back to LeAnn's and I said I was going to "rest my eyes" for a second. Next thing I knew, she was waking me up and it was time to go out and meet up with more of her friends (including Amanda and Travis, who I had met earlier at the Farmer's Market) for dinner at a local mexican spot.
Heading out (wearing my new makeup, of course!):
All of her friends were so great, and I felt like I had known them forever. There was no awkwardness at all! And best of all, I got to wear a large somebrero and have whipped cream smashed in my face!
After dinner, we headed to Dazzler's, a nearby bar. Or, as LeAnn calls it, "The Dazzle." I have to admit, I go to bed pretty early, but they convinced me we'd only be there an hour. Yeah, right. Once I got started, I didn't want to leave. I was singing and dancing and making a fool out of myself... and I loved every second of it. I have not cut loose in... way too long. I should try to do it at least once a year.
The next morning we were going to Jennifer's for brunch. Jennifer is another one who has been my fb friend for a very long time, but I had never met in person.
Here's a picture of me being emo on the couch while waiting for LeAnn to get ready.
Brunch at Jennifer's was GLORIOUS. GLORIOUS. Crab quiche. Need I say more? And cucumber sandwiches, and ham and potato soup and mimosas and salad with fruit and gouda and more fruit, and blueberry cake... oh my. I still think about it daily.
Here is Jennifer, me, and LeAnn before we left.
Jennifer has since moved to TX (boo), but we will be seeing her in November and I can't wait. I'll also be making another trip to SC in late October... can't wait for that, either!
After that long and relaxing brunch, we then met LeAnn's momma for dinner. It was so good to see her, she is EVERYONE'S momma, and she truly loves all of her "children". I am so glad to have Momma B in my life!!
We then headed back to LeAnn's and watched the Olympics, "Bridesmaids", did our nails and were just lazy. It was wonderful.
I was to leave the next morning, but first we decided to end our visit with a spray tan (courtesy of LeAnn's groupons). I am a pale, freckled chick who burns... I thought it would be great to try something new. I went for medium, with a boost.
Right away, we had a lovely glow.
Six hours later, when I got home, I looked like this:
HOLY COW, right? Haha.
After documenting it with photo evidence, I took a bath and washed off all the excess. I came out looking far more normal and just had a regular tan. I loved it. I would definitely do it again!But of course I had to joke about it first, and let everyone know this was the working title and cover of my new book...
But, like I said, it faded to a "normal" tan in no time.
I miss you, LeAnn. Every day!!! Thanks to you and Julz for giving me a wonderful birthday weekend!