Tuesday, July 22, 2008

49 Lessons Learned in 1 Weekend!

What an eventful weekend! I went to visit my friend Shannon in Virginia Beach. We had a MARVELOUS time (as we always do) but the ride home was complete INSANITY. For you, dear reader, I organized all that I learned into the following neat little tidy categories:

  1. You don't take a trip... Trips take you!
  2. Shannon can't always promise the most fun weekend of my life (as she has achieved in the past), but she can guarantee it to be at least one of the best of the year. :-)
  1. My parents are always prompt and sometimes early. Be ready for anything!
  2. My mother has an uncanny ability to smell a whole forest of picnic tables from 5 miles away.
  3. The Pet Emporium's doves are not nearly has healthy and cute as mine.
  4. Lisa Lane is located just before Mile Marker 13 on Rt. 13 South in Maryland.
  5. Room #208 truly is the biggest and best suite at the Fairfield (which is right on the beach). The manager whispered it to us when he handed us our room access cards!
  6. When you encounter a man on stilts at a street fair, do not try to touch his legs. Onlookers like me will not think you're funny.
  7. Parking garages are more fun to drive through when they're covered with stenciled quotes to live (and park) by.
  8. When out on the town, if you notice that your friend's handbag matches your outfit better than hers (and vice-versa), suggest a swap. Shannon and I had read each other's minds!
  9. Pretend to be offended and surprised when the girl at Premier tries to charge you a cover. Remind her that you know Bobby (the owner), and you're in.
  10. When you go out dancing, the presence of just one boy in your party severely inhibits the confidence levels of approaching males.
  11. Always carry cash with you because muggers don't take American Express.
  12. If you're trying to coordinate your schedule with someone above the age of 30, don't rely on text messaging. People above the age of 30 either don't have it on their phone or try very hard to resist paying 20 cents per message. Since your phone won't notify you that the intended recipient didn't get it, this attempt at communication will only lead you toward confusion, frustration, and plans that never materialize. Therefore, CALL those above 30 and use your unlimited texting for everyone that's younger.
  13. The booths at IHOP are inadequate for 6. If you find yourself sandwiched between two people, keep your elbows low and place your butt down at a 30-degree angle to conserve on space.
  1. All of Shannon's 3 male flatmates are HOT. But, if offered the opportunity to sleep in one's bed, DECLINE. I was happy I chose the couch 'cuz Chris bumbled in unplanned at 5 AM and would have had to retract his offer if I had accepted.
  2. If it's not your cookie, don't eat it.
  3. When your hand brushes against something unexpected in the ocean, take every precaution and run out in haste, screaming just in case.
  4. If you get stung by a jellyfish (which I did), true friends will offer to pee on your hand (which I declined) to counteract the sting with a little neutralizing ammonia.
  5. When caught in a downpour on the beach, a standard-sized beach umbrella will NOT fully protect 5 people from the elements, even when they are huddled together shivering underneath it.
  6. A good backup plan for a washed out beach trip is to know somebody who has an apartment with an outdoor pool (preferably right there on the beach). Try to make the most of the experience by throwing in all the inflatable pool toys. But do NOT inform your host that the margarita she is holding is probably becoming diluted with rainwater.
  7. The antique shops in Norfolk close at 5 PM, but if you need anything shipped to Pennsylvania, get to PakMail before 4 PM. That's when they close, and the dude in the shop just won't give you any pity if you're begging him to let you in at 4:02.
  8. Be polite and take the backseat if someone else calls shotgun. Your consolation prize might be finding a DSW coupon (for $10 off your next pair of heels!) wedged between the seats. And if the driver is a guy, he will most likely insist that you take it. :-)
  9. Do NOT bother to see the new Batman movie. According to our limited experimental study, one out of every 8 friends will walk out after 2 hours of violence. (That one person was ME!)
  10. We get wiser on the second night out dancing in one weekend. Instead of two handbags, condense into one. The girl holding the bag is--for those moments--the wing-girl. When not dancing with a boy, offer to hold the bag again. Continue this pattern of sharing until the sun comes up. (Yes, the clubs in Norfolk are open until 6 AM.)
  11. New discovery: Shannon CAN INDEED dance to hip-hop. She just didn't realize what she was capable of!
  12. New social phenomenon: If a guy buys a drink for you, it could just be a parting gift. Pout softly and enjoy your consolation prize. (This happened twice...once to Shannon and once to me!)
  13. Yellow gold still attracts black men.
  14. If you run into the same guy 3 times at 3 different clubs, surrender to karma, hit the dance floor, and figure it out there.
  15. Black girls will unabashedly yell and scream wildly at a brotha if his arms are interlocked with a white girl while walking down the street to the next club. Sadly, racism has not been completely eradicated, and it felt weird to be on the receiving end.
  16. If a guy with a $40,000 car offers you a ride home from the club and you say NO, he will most definitely be offended -- but he'll still follow your cab to the diner for breakfast.
  17. If you order something cute for breakfast like fresh fruit, your waiter will give it to you for FREE! Or, if you act so sleepy that you cannot swallow your Eggs Benedict (as Shannon did), your breakfast will be free also. These lessons, unfortunately, do not apply to guys (at least if the waitron is male).
  1. The Gospel reading describes the parable Jesus told about weeds growing among the wheat in a farmer's field. Lest in gathering up the weeds the farmer uproots the wheat, Jesus says the farmer should let them both grow together until the harvest time where the two shall be separated. Indeed, it is a metaphoric application for the things we encounter sometimes in life. *sigh*
  2. Road trips are always best when Mom makes us tunafish sandwiches on soft little rolls.
  3. When the "Check Engine" light flashes on your dashboard, pull over immediately.
  4. Always have a AAA membership card handy for unexpected towing.
  5. Trust that God will provide a Holiday Inn and a Wal-Mart within walking distance.
  6. Make the most of your time when God unexpectedly extends your vacation and asks you to live without your car for a week.
  7. Always pack your laptop so you can take advantage of the hotel's Wi-Fi because who can go 3 whole days without checking her Facebook?
  8. Facebook is an excellent way to quickly tell EVERYONE what's going on.
  9. Always dry out your bathing suit before packing it in a plastic bag. Squeezing into a cold wet one is a unique kind of torture that can only be remedied by a heated indoor pool.
  1. Most rental car companies ironically do NOT permit one-way travel. Everything has to be round-trip. This is pointless when you are trying to get home, which made renting a U-Haul truck something that we actually pursued.
  2. It took 4 hours of phone calls and strategic planning (considering everything from Amtrak to airplanes and Grayhounds to taxis) before we nixed the idea to rent a limo.
  3. In the end, I learned that it takes not one, not two, but THREE rental cars to get from Pocomoke, MD to Ephrata, PA.
  4. Today's experience FINALLY made that math problem from 16 years ago quite relevant. Remember the logic one about the farmer who needed to transport a chicken, a bag of feed, and a fox from one island to another using a boat that could only carry him and 2 items at a time? He had to go back and forth several times (making sure not to leave alone the chicken with the feed or to leave unattended the chicken with the fox) and somehow he managed to do it in a roundabout way. That's what today felt like!
  5. Always keep several thousand dollars in the bank for emergencies.
  6. God bless those angels of mine who sent me texts throughout the day to check on my status or to offer a pickup. Your true colors shined forth today, and they were BEAUTIFUL.
  7. Aunt Tess & Grandmom are excellent care-givers for Cotton. We are so thankful!
  8. Andy truly is a great bird-sitter. Pure & Innocent love and miss him already.