|Ruth and I having a fabulous seafood|
|I think we were both surprised|
when she ate every last bit of her
big 'ole meal!!! Go, Ruth!
|Aaaahhh, this is the best part...|
the shampoo and conditioning
|OK, now the decision about|
Who ever said that a birthday could only be celebrated for the one day of your actual birth anyway!!! This year, in addition to hearing birthday songs and loving wishes from my sister and my kids and grandson over the magical ethers via cell phones and warm wonderful wishes on Facebook from friends...I had the pleasure of spending 5 days with a special guest and friend from North Carolina, Bud!
|Sadhya's awesome Smart car that I|
got to drive...soooo fun!
|Open air market where|
we got some goodies
for a small dinner party
|I was in charge of slicing|
|And I found a butterfly|
I met Bud over Halloween weekend when I was visiting a very dear friend, Sadhya, whom I hadn't seen in at least a decade.
|The night view of the pumpkin|
I was commissioned by Bud
|Cool umbrella, huh?!|
|Pumpkin head in the daylight|
|Bud's woodworking gallery|
|A wooden band|
|I love these...dinosaurs made|
|Just hangin out in the front|
My initial interest in Bud was his amazing hand- crafted metal sculptures all throughout his yard and his gift of woodworking that he has displayed in a gallery on his property. After much conversation and several delightful visits later, we are getting to know each other and have become quite great friends and are looking forward to being possible 'travel companions.'
But first, before I tell you about MY birthday fun, I would like to share a special event that could not have been possible without Bud's respect for family and over all kindness and flexibility. I had flown from FL up to NC to visit him for 4 days the week before Christmas. After planning the trip, I was talking to my daughter Rachel who told me about plans to celebrate my other daughter, Nicole's birthday on Dec. 19th. I was scheduled to be in NC on that day as part of my visit with Bud. The wheels started turning and I came up with a possible plan. I thought it would be awesome to drive up to Potomac, MD and surprise Nicole at the Christmas on the Potomac event...light shows and especially the 2 million lbs. of ice sculptures!!!! Then I realized that this wonderful crazy idea would depend solely on the availability and willingness of Bud!!! I was prepared for whichever way it turned out, but it was worth a shot to propose the idea to him. I did and he said "Let's do it!" YES!!!!! I was so excited and sooo grateful! I immediately began to scheme with Rachel for the big surprise!
Bud and I left Chapel Hill around 8:30, took our time, stopping for breakfast and potty breaks and arrived at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center around 2:00. We got settled into our room, made contact with Rachel and having some time before we hooked up, Bud and I walked down the street and grabbed some lunch. Then the fun began... Rachel and I kept in touch on our cell phones so that we could go to where they were without Nicole seeing us. Finally, we spotted her.
|Cameron kissing his mommy on her|
|Lazer light show at the|
|Afternoon view from our room|
The ferris wheel was on a barge and it lit
up after dark!
|Sunset view from our room|
|Megan and me being silly|
|This was the theme of "ICE"|
Everything in these pics are
made with huge ice blocks
|My offspring and their partners|
|Megan and Nicole|
|Jesse and Rachel|
|Jay and Cameron at the bottom|
of the ice slide
|Adam and Matthew|
|Rachel and Adam|
|Alysia and me...this was so much fun|
|Bud ordered a sweet surprise for Nicole!|
|Happy birthday, Nicole!|
It was a huge bowl of ice cream
surrounded by blue cotton candy
|Cameron photo bombing at the|
|Bud and me|
|Cameron was exhausted from|
walking around Washington, DC
Another very cool surprise for all my kids was that my dear friend, Alysia, who I had been in touch with, had just flown into Pennsylvania from China the night before. We had not seen each other for years since she has been teaching at the Shanghai Academy. She rented a car and met all of us at the event! It was a beautiful reunion and a grand time was had by all!!!