I booked a crazy spontaneous trip to see my best friend and his amazing family the day before I got called back to work. Can you believe the timing? As soon as I returned to work I had to ask for two days off and of course I was willing to cancel this trip but I'm so grateful that I didn't have to because being with Bob, Shannon and their amazing kids was what I needed and I don't think I realized how much until I was with them!
First I'm going to give it to you straight - treat yourself! I purchased a super cheap flight on Priceline but when I checked in I upgraded to a seat with more space at the front of the plane. Would 100% do this again. It might seem frivolous, it isn't that long of a flight but man it was nice, so nice I did it on the way home to!
Another important note about this trip, yes I went to see my best friend but I also went for the bagels and diner food and New Jersey certainly delivered on both! Food is super important to me and I ate a lot of it. My favorite thing might have been the incredible BLT Shannon whipped up with a secret ingredient - Tzatziki Sauce!
Now that we got airplane accommodations and amazing food out of the way let's get to the meat of the trip. It is not lost on me that my best friend married a woman who has no problem with our friendship and not only that, she is an amazing friend in her own right and I would be lost without her. Bob and Shannon are family and they treat me like family and they let me be fun and wacky Aunt Danielle and what a blessing that is. When I booked my trip to see them I was in a pretty dark place and though things have turned around drastically since being back at work life is not without it's stresses right? But how can you be stressed when you get to see faces you love?
I was excited to be there to celebrate Sawyer's first communion but I was equally excited to watch him play baseball! What a good little player this kid is, also did I mention he's a genius?
My God Son Raiden is just the sweetest, we watched YouTube videos every morning, I watched him play video games which he is a total whiz at like holy cow! He was the best Clue partner I could ask for and we had long chats about Universal Studios. He gives the best hugs and has the best laugh!
Oh these girls Piper and Hannah! I met Hannah when she was younger than Piper is now and I've watched her grow into this beautiful young woman, I can't wait to see what she does next and watching her watch Jaws for the first time was a definite highlight! Piper is an extremely talented artist, she has nailed mascara in a way I just haven't and she is her own person and completely owns that. Gosh I wish I had that confidence now let alone when I was her age!!
Oh my little Willow, you were three years old when I met you for the first time, now you are a grown up! You are just as sweet and kind as you were at three years old and I certainly didn't spend enough time with you on this trip, which is why I keep bugging her to visit me. I also told her to prepare for a Vegas trip since she's almost 21!! As a bonus this photo includes my friend Diana, I haven't seen her in two years and we don't talk as much as we should but it is always good to see her and boy did we have lots to catch up on and thankfully we are working on our communication!
With these amazing humans in my corner I know whatever life throws my way I can take it. They have helped me through this pandemic, they have accepted Tamy as part of the family, there is no end to the ridiculous things we talk about and they had enough children so that one of them can take care of me in my old age! The moral of this story is take the trip, don't waste time, don't wait for the right time, don't miss out on the people who matter most, in the end they will give you more than any job ever could, more than any of the excuses we make to prevent us from seeing the people we love. Just do it! Hug your friends, love them, don't take them for granted. This girl is thankful every day for this amazing family and for Bob being the friend of the lifetime!
*Note* Everyone of age has been vaccinated, take the trip but be safe and comfortable too!