At church on Sunday, someone asked me, “So how was North Carolina?”
“Amazing!” was my immediate reply. (I think that’s a little bit of an understatement.)
There’s just something amazingly fun about being away from someone or a group of people (or even a state!) for over a year and then coming back to visit. That’s the way it was like for me to go back to North Carolina after being gone for what seemed like forever and a day and I left almost in tears – both of joy that I was able to actually see all of my old friends again and that we were leaving yet again – and looking forward to the next time we’d be able to go!
Before that, however, let me share with you something extremely fun about the Saturday before – the thing I alluded to as “a very exciting event.”
Guess where we went?! Well, you never will, so I’ll tell you!
We got to go to another ball! Yes, another one! (Two in two weeks is insane but a whole lot of fun, by the way!) This one was put together by some friends of ours and it was so sudden that I didn’t know about it until about a week before it actually took place! It was Regency-themed, so I got to don my Regency dress for the second time and the first for a ball! (And I actually made this dress all by me onesies, with no help from a certain older sister!!)
I’ve posted a few pictures below. I/my younger brother took less than at The Historical Ball because there were a lot less people there and we were too busy learning different Regency dances! (Patting myself on the back, though, because this is the soonest I’ve posted pictures from a ball! It’ll probably be an unbroken record, heehee….)
(And that’s all I’ll post. I shall restrain myself. : D)
The next day was Sunday, so Arwen and I had to leave right after church to go to my grandparents’ house. It was about an hour and a half of a ride – and on the highway for most of it!!! – and we spent it listening to a Jimmy Needham album that I recently discovered called ‘Speak.’ (Really good, by the way! Check it out on YouTube – it might be on there somewhere….)
We had a really fun time with our grandma – watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics (which was weird but entertaining…), sleeping in until ten (on a school day, too!), getting manicures and pedicures (I smile every time I see my lime green toes… love them to death!), eating at Panara Bread (I got a salad – the only gluten-free thing on the menu, sadly…), and browsing Barnes and Noble for nearly two hours (one of my favorite pastimes…). Thank you, Grandma!!!
We spent Tuesday doing random things at the house. The usual violin and piano lessons, last-minute packing, and I spent the entire morning doing a half a module of Chemistry. How much fun is that?! : P
Is it just us, or does every family have trouble getting out the door for a vacation?! It seems like every single time, we leave an hour later than when we’d wanted to! Well, for this one, I had a doctor’s appointment (those vampires needed more blood… again…), so we actually got out of the door at a reasonable time!!
After the short detour, we headed on down the road. About an hour after we left the doctor’s office, Mom asked if I’d brought my camera. Argh. Hate it when I forget my camera!!! (Thus the reason why the following pictures are blurry – I took them on my phone.) The ride was pretty uneventful and we got to our friends’ house in record time. We all jumped into their pool and had a blast with some other friends that just happened to be there!
That night, before we went to the friends’ house where we were staying, I talked with a friend about Anne of Green Gables, showing her the pictures I’d put on my phone and laughing about our favorite scenes. “Wouldn’t it be great,” she said, “if we could get together and watch it tomorrow?!” “Yeah!” I replied. And we were already going to be staying at another one of my girlfriend’s house, so why not watch it there? We sort of joked about it, but the next day, after a rousing game of Pit with Arwen, my friend and some of her brothers, we ended up driving to the first friend’s house in a 15-passenger van with all of my siblings except my little brother and most of my girlfriend’s siblings!! We stopped for some provisions (aka candy, heehee…) and started the sequel to AoGG about fifteen minutes after we got there. (We had quite a few options, actually – the first AoGG, the sequel, Emma ’09, P&P05, and a few others that we tossed around.) We ended up deciding on the sequel to AoGG and had a blast! Our brothers played Wii together away from the girly-movie room, which was a change from what normally happens at my house (although my brothers don’t mind watching period dramas).
I haven’t watched a period drama with friends in a long time and it was so much fun! Especially with such an emotional movie as the sequel to AoGG!! None of us cried (although I teared up when Gilbert said, “Please say yes…” like I always do…), but we laughed a lot and made comments about Anne’s hair and Gilbert’s hair and the sad scenes and Anne’s imaginary ideal. (It was a very deep conversation.)
We ended up staying at that friends’ house for dinner – which was an absolute blast! – and then playing a game of Terrorists and Normal People (I guess we should have said Civilians…) at the house where we were staying. (Terrorists and Normal people isn’t a shooting or kamikaze pilot game, by the way – it’s more like Follow the Judge to Court, Tag, and Hide-and-Seek, all rolled into one.)
The next day, Friday, we went to our old art teacher’s house. This was the actual reason for the visit – to get a loom from her so that my younger sister could pick up weaving again. We did a weird sort of trade-off where my sisters were at her house re-learning a few things and I rode with Mom to drop off my brothers at my younger brother’s friend’s house and to get a birthday gift for a friend. Sound complicated? It was. Not only was I so rushed that I accidentally got a very short skirt for the birthday girl, but I also saw an old friend that I literally haven’t seen in about five or six years. Good with the bad. : )
Getting the loom into the car, by the way, was a nightmare! We didn’t really think about asking how big the loom was and measuring our trunk, so we ended up – after about an hour of re-organizing our suitcases and random stuff we’d brought and accumulated over the past few days, then re-re-organizing it – taking the back row out of our car and putting the seats and our luggage on top of the loom. The ride back was another nightmare, but I’ll get to that later.
Then, to top it all off, it started raining right as were were heading to the birthday girl’s house, also the home where we were going to spend the night. We were about an hour late to the party, so my mom just dropped me and my sisters and drove away without talking to anyone to get my brothers. It was a pool party – ‘was’ is a key word there! – and the party-goers ended up spending most of it in the garage playing Apples to Apples and eating hamburgers. I spent it inside helping put out food and talking with Arwen and my friends while we ate, then looking at my brother’s wound he’d gotten at his friend’s house. (It’s rare that he comes back without some sort of injury….)
Anyway, when the party started wrapping up, a bunch of my friends started showing up! We had a blast just talking and watching a Panthers game. (I also had a good conversation with two friends about The Hunger Games. Very enlightening!)
That night, Arwen and two friends and me stayed up until midnight reading comic strips on laptops and enjoying it immensely.
We hung around and talked for a while and left after one of my friends got back from work. (This was when my mom cried and I felt like it – these friends are like family to us! It was really sad to leave them….)
We dropped by a few other friends houses and I got to visit my friend Elinor, which was a lot packed into a very short visit.
Elinor, Arwen, and my toenails – all painted. : ) I saw that all of our toes were painted and was like, “Kodak Moment!” (I rarely get my toenails painted, so this was a rare occasion.)
On the ride home, three of us were squished in the middle row beside my little brother’s carseat. It was really cramped, so we switched off a few times when we stopped to get gas, then at Starbucks, then to get drinks.
We watched Emma ‘o9 in the car ride while my sisters and I had our turn being squished in the middle row – most of it, at least – and had such a good time squealing over all of the good parts. (My love for Mr. Knightley has only grown fonder. Favorite Jane Austen hero and not ashamed to say it!!!)
We got back home at about 9:30, but stayed up until midnight unpacking. We went to church the next morning bright and early to practice music for worship and that’s when a friend asked how North Carolina was. I hope you can tell why it was so amazing!
Love you, dear, dear North Carolina friends!!!
PS: Oh, yeah! I nearly forgot. The Historical Ball post was my hundreth post. : )