Next time, seriously, I am taking the train. It would cost just as much, but the trek wouldn’t be nearly as long! I had an awesome time, just being in the moment and enjoying the company of new and old friends. I took not one photo. Not a one. Not til about an hour before I left. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Kimmy. In her class, gearing up for a fabulous scrap lesson. I miss her so much already! I had so much fun pal-ing around with these guys, though!

On Friday, I arrived late into town and the girlies were all in the city eating dinner, so I went around the corner from our hotel to grab a bite to eat and wait for them. The waiter was bringing me complimentary drinks which I will gladly blame for the moment when I burst out of the restaurant and into the street upon seeing my peeps walk by the window! I exploded through the door and yelled something to the effect of “HEY YOU HOT AMERICAN CHICKS!!” They all then turned around and then Kim came barreling at me at breakneck pace and then I got to hug on Cori and I also got to meet Tena Sprenger and Laurie Stamas. The other gals were pooped, so Kim came back with me into the ‘straunt while I paid my bill and gathered my slushy self. We got back into the hotel and in our search for Cori, I got to meet Amy Hanna and Pam Garrison. My jaw literally dropped when I realized I was meeting Pam. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a total nerd and we all know how giddily and overwhelmingly impressed I get when meeting celebs. I’m a class act, alright. The gals had to get up at dawn to be at the convention center, so we all headed to bed. It took me forever to fall asleep. By this time it was 12:30 am and my blood was thick with adrenaline.

Saturday morning, Laurie, Amy, Cori and I met in the breakfast room and noshed and chatted before we headed out to the flea markets. We took the metro to the outskirts of town and settled in for a packed morning of treasure-seeking. I kinda wasn’t feeling it, though. The things we found were beautiful and adorable and downright amazing, but the prices were just too rich for my blood. I was really hoping to come home with a painting, but the still life I found (which was gorgeous with its cool blues and blood red fruit) was 800 euros. There was no way I could justify getting it. I did pick up a necklace from a lady who had a bunch of vintage jewelry displayed. The one I got isn’t old, but I really like it.

We saw amazing garden ornaments, huge onion dome bird cages, atrociously priced paintings and every kind of knick knack and collectible you could imagine. But seriously, the prices are just whackadoo right now. I did, however, pick up some letterpress stamps.

While Cori and Amy ventured off to another market, Laurie and I headed inside to a pizzeria for warmth and liquid sustenance. We had some seriously yummy pizza and quattro formaggi. Laurie and I hit it off amazingly and I am so glad I got to meet her. Talk about an amazing group of women! After a couple of hours, Cori and Amy moseyed on back to us and we all shared a bottle of vino before heading back to the metro. Not before we stopped and perused a handbag shop, though. Priorities, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

We finally got back to our hotel and Laurie and I headed to the market to grab some snackies (i.e. 5 bottles of vin, baguettes, soft cheeses, salami, grissini and water) because it had been unanimously decided that we would dine-in tonight. Amy wasn’t feeling well, so she went to her room and literally crashed. Laurie went to freshen up and I changed and then headed to Cori’s room. I’m sure Cori just wanted to take a nap, but I, being the oblivious hanger-on that I am, parked my tush on her bed and chatted to no end. We had fun chatting about Franch stuff and we cracked open the wine and grissini. Laurie was taking entirely too long (what were you doing, Laurie!!?!?!) so Cori texted her and then she came down with Tena. The big girls showed up around then from their long day of teaching and Cori and I greeted Kimmy with a picnic spread out on her lovey blankie on the bed. She was happy about the wine…prolly not so happy about the crumbs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ After everyone got settled in, we ate and chatted until late at night. Much laughter was heard, stories shared, advice given. It was heavenly. Laurie has a stack of quotes, though, that would make yer mama slap ya! Apparently we are quite a naughty bunch of girls! If those quotes pop up somewhere, I’ll be sure to share them. Kim also played around with her Flip and there are some seriously good laughs on that thing. And all I can say is…”no comment.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ After the people in the next room pounded on the wall, we tried to keep it down, but it just wasn’t going to happen. So, we whispered and giggled and said our goodnights and headed off to bed.

Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early to head over to Parc Floral with Kim, Tena and Pam to help hang out and spend some time with them. All three of them loaded me down with goodies and I am sooo grateful. I have so much yummy stuff to play with! Kim played around with my camera and tried to get some decent headshots of me, but I am seriously the most obnoxious person to take pictures of. Just ask Kim. I end up doing things like this:

Kim actually had to revert to her time-tested kid mode in order to get me to cooperate. This consisted of talking about poop and farts. Seriously, I’m taht bad. i have no idea what to do on the other side of the lens. I just freeze and then I start to make faces. I am 3.

So after some coffee and chatting, I had to head out in order to catch my flight. I had to leave early, because there was a marathon going on at the time and I had no idea how I was going to cross it. So, I hugged on Tena and Pam and told them how happy I was to met them and then I gave Kim one last hug and had to skedaddle before the tears really started to fall. I missed Cori, Amy, and Laurie by about an hour, but Pam let me text them to say goodbye. I hope they had a lovely day. ๐Ÿ™‚ I headed over to the marathon I had to cross and waited almost 10 minutes before a sufficient lull came along for me to cross through. I don’t run. I sorta prance and hop. So, I underestimated the time it would take me to cross the street and almost got run over by some very determined joggers. The police, however, were laughing at me. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I got to the hotel, threw all my crap in my bag and high-tailed it outta there. The trek home was awful and really really long. My flight was delayed 2 hours and then when we finally got to Heathrow, we sat on the runway for almost an hour before they finally let us get into the terminal. And apparently I was lucky just to get a British Airways flight yesterday. Colin said that over 140 flights were canceled yesterday. Whew!

Just getting out of Heathrow is a huge mess. I swear I walked a mile from the gate to the baggage claim area. And when I got there, the floor was literally covered with baggage. As far as the eye could see, there were suitcases all around. I’m sooo glad my bag was still on the belt and I found it pretty quickly. So, from Heathrow, i have to take a 45 minute train into King’s Cross and from there I have to take an hour train to gt home. I arrived right on time and Colin and the girls wee there to pick me up. They were all soooo sweet and happy and the girls couldn’t stop kissing and hugging me. Noodle literally had her lips pressed to mine and would not back off. ๐Ÿ™‚

When we got home, I gave them their gifts from Kim and they squealed and went nuts over their new outfits. Noodle insisted that I tie her ribbon on her head and she went to sleep with it on. I took it off of her when she fell asleep, so this morning, she had it in her hands and was asking me to tie it back on for her. And then we had breakfast.

So that’s about it. We have to leave in an hour for a playdate and then I’ve got some unpacking and laundry to do. I cam home to a spotless house which was such a treat! Colin really spoils me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve gotta dash! Ciao, all!