Friday, November 14, 2008

I Went on a Trip

...not just any, ordinary girls' weekend! Oh no! Instead it was a week-long, 40th birthday blowout cruise for a near and dear friend, whom I've happened to know since, oh... 1985.
Here she is, and the shirt fits, if you know what I mean! Doesn't she look amazing? We found that hilarious shirt in a vintage store in Tampa the night before we left on the cruise. It's going to become the traveling shirt, as we each hit the fabulous age over the next couple of years! The three of us were LAK growing up... Linda, Anne, Kim... we were inseparable, forging our way through high school and college ... the time we spent together molded me in ways that I am still discovering. God gave me a gift of lifelong friendship when he gave me these girls! We haven't seen nearly as much of each other since starting our families a decade ago, so there was years of catching up to do. We added a new friend in college, named Chrissy (in purple.) She is darling and fun and a blast to go cruisin' with! I have not seen or even talked to her in over TEN(!) years, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her and learning about her life as a mom of three and ER nurse! We definitely rekindled an old friendship! Then there is Rhonda (in pink), the spunky little sister (also mom of three) of the birthday girl... she kept us going... laughing... and smiling. Sweet, funny and thoughtful, so thoughtful that she brought us all matching, pink, embroidered robes! Grand Cayman was our first stop after a couple days at sea. Amazingly, hurricane Paloma had passed over the area just two calendar days earlier. But the day was sunny and pleasant! We went snorkeling and got to gaze through our masks at the swimming jewels of the sea, flitting around the ocean floor. Then... we had the unusual opportunity to hang out with the Stingrays. So the story goes that years ago, on this particular sandbar, a fisherman began feeding the stingrays his leftover fish pieces. They became rather tame stingrays, unafraid of human contact. Yes, I know that Steve Irvin was killed by a stingray, and believe me, that did race through my mind at the time, especially given the huge size of these things. But we decided they were quite like puppies as they rubbed up against our legs and let us hold them. I know it sounds crazy, but the stingrays were lovable creatures. Never thought I'd use that word in the same sentence as stingray.Next stop was Cozumel, Mexico, where we basically rented a little slice of our own beach for the day. We just did nothing but listen to the beat of the waves on the sand, beachcomb for shells, read our novels, talk and laugh ourselves silly and tell Carlos what next fabulous food or drink we would like to have delivered, beachside!Wow! What a trip! We talked a wild streak, laughed till our ribs felt sore, danced like no one was watching, and sang as loud as we possibly could. We shed some tears while talking, stirred up old memories from the dead, and made plans for the future! We sang and danced some more, freaking out every time we heard one of our favorite songs, such as "Push It" or "Jessie' s Girl." We went to a comedy show and dressed up like the 80's. Big hair and bright colors. Did I mention we ate and ate? We had to take advantage of the free buffets! Right, Chrissy? We celebrated a very special person in our friend Linda. And we took zillions of pictures of it all. Truly, through it all, we felt the very strong hand of God on all we did. It is no coincidence that everything went so smoothly. Yes, we believe that He cares even about 40th birthday parties, and especially His birthday girl... Linda Ruth! We give Him praise for the ways He watched over us, big and little. Everything good and perfect is from above.
In the end, leaving was mostly sweet. The vacation was more than I could have expected and the time with friends was irreplaceable. However, I missed my family so much that I could barely sleep our last night on the boat. I was so thrilled to finally be back at home with my loved ones, but......

I am
very glad I went on that trip.

20 Wonderful Responses:

Katy said...

Annie ~ Wow! Looks like such a fabulous trip! And so nice for the weather to cooperate! Great pictures, too, to capture wonderful memories. Glad you had the chance to get away with your girls!

insertgracehere said...

Annie,

It looks and sound like you had the time of your life...cue Patrick Swaze. ;0

Oh, the '80s! The wondeful, glorious, interesting '80s...

Y'all look terrific! The one cruise I've been on was to Cozumel and Cancun. It was such a blast...time and money are the only things (ONLY) keeping me from scheduling my next one...one day!

The pics are beautiful! I absolutely love the ocean....your pics looked like I could just jump in! (I don't dive well! ;))

Rena

4 Lettre Words said...

What fun, Annie! (You ALL look great, by the way.) Glad you had a good time!

Amber said...

Wow! I am so jealous! But I am glad that you got to get away like that and get back in touch with old friends! It looks like you all had a blast and made new memories that will last a life time!

ASHLEY said...

WOO WOO BUCKAROO!...go girl. i must admit, i am jealous...and i love your satin purple bow shoes. i love that you laughed and cried and danced. i love that you will have those memories forever with your girlfriends. i love that it appears that you may have had some wine or other adult beverage of your choice. good for you. thank God for friends, cruises and monogrammed pink robes! i love it! blessings!

ASHLEY said...

oh, and...SALT AND PEPPA'S HERE!!...

Baloney said...

I am jealous!

Dawn said...

OMG! What a fun way to celebrate turning 40!

It's going to make my 40th party in a couple of weeks pale in comparison!

I would have loved a girl's cruise with my friends.

You all just look fabulous! It's not fair that you all look that good at 40!!

Marina said...

Its so nice too meet you ") I don't mind you reading I just say that b/c my sister is an english major and was always telling me how bad I write. Although she doesn't know about my blog yet.

Looks like you have wonderful firends and a great time with them firends something great to always have around with laugh, cry , and ,more laughing ") have a bless day and thanks for coming by ") marina

Michelle said...

Wow! How fun was that?!! I would love to go on a cruise with my friends. I have never been on a cruise before. It looks like you all had such a great time. It also looks like you had beautiful weather. Glad too see you back. :)

Annie said...

YOu are all hot! What a fun trip!

Annie said...

You are in my blog for tomorrow! COme see it! :)

Audra Krell said...

How did some of the hottest women on the planet find each other and stay looking so great all these years? It has to be what you said...because God cares about 40th birthday parties and all the stuff in between. Even the sweaty small stuff!!! You all look truly beautiful and fantastic. I loved this post and am so glad you shared your blessed adventures with us.

Roxanne Kristina said...

THIS IS SO AWESOME!!! I am so happy for you. I hope it stays under your skin for days and days!!!

Thanks for the link love. Have you on my link list as well.

xoxo,
Roxx

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Annie, this is my first visit here. I came by after reading your kind comment to Marina. I am a former English major who thought she was going to teach high school English but got married and started having children and stayed home for many years instead. I now work in youth ministry, sort of. What a great first post for me to read here, and I've enjoyed some of your others, as well. I'm so glad you had fun with your friends; my girlfriends want to go to Greece!

DeeBee said...

Wow, looks like you were "Having a ball". Too cheezy? yea, well sorry. Glad you had a great time.

heresmycuplord said...

Ya'll look so great on your girly trip! How awesome is that?

Ginger

Annie said...

wow thanks for all your sweet and darling and complimentary comments! I treaure each and every one of them! Especially the ones that say we ALL look good! ;)

Kent said...

Word up, Queta here! Yo, class of '87 rules! How about those spirit filled 40 year old women? Ann, your blogg is a ball to read!

Kent said...

All my HS teacher buddies have gotten snotty with me because of my tan and all. They are calling me, Cruiser