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Finally time for the recap!

Finally time for the recap! This gets fairly long, but I really want a record of my fun time, so here we go. <.g> Maybe I'll move it to another page and link it? I don't know, we'll see how it goes. <.g>

Rina's Trip to Maryland to visit Gangster Babes
Through some miracle, I got everything all packed Thursday night. <.g> So when Friday morning came along, I was able to get up and head off to work with no worries outside of plane delays or crashes. <.g> I was able to leave at 10:30, since Janie came, and dad already had my luggage in the car. We stopped at home so I could say goodbye to mom and Josh, and we headed out. I was still feeling a little apprehensive, so I turned on the oldies station. Always a guarantee to make me feel better! A few songs in, what is playing? "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band. We've long considered this to be the Gangster Babe song - there are lyrics about "They call me the gangster of love; they call me Maurice." Kinda fun when you're a fan club for Maurice Benard who plays a gangster. <.g> So that really cheered me up and got me excited. That was only the first sign that this weekend was meant to be. We got to the airport, and found a spot seriously right by the elevators. We go to check in and there's a long line. We wait for maybe two minutes before an employee walks up and says that we can go to the first class area to check in since no one was in line there. So we do, and we're ready to go immediately. Then, wonder of wonders, my gate is the second one! I'm so used to walking all the way down the terminal. LOL So we headed to the food court and ate yummy Mexican food for lunch before sitting down to wait for my plane. My group was called and I boarded the plane. When he hugged me goodbye, Dad said there was a surprise in my bag that I should look for right when I got seated, so I was a little excited. I get settled in, and take a peak - he had bought me a copy of David McCullough's "John Adams" book!!! I've been dying to read that, but was planning on waiting for paperback so I could afford it. LOL I was very excited. I started reading it, but when the plane started moving, my tummy got all nervous again. I started rifling through the magazines just to keep occupied. The final sign to get me through the flight is presented to me - who is on the cover of the inflight magazine but the lovely David Duchovny! So through takeoff, I read about his favorite hangout places in Vancouver, Canada. Very nice indeed. The flight passed just fine. I read books, listened to WENN episodes, and munched a snack bag they passed out. I was a little nervous about finding the Gangster Babes, but luckily they recognized me, because I sure didn't know them! LOL It was Alice and Nikki, and Alice didn't look much like her picture at all. So we hugged, and got my luggage, which was amazingly fast. We drove to Alice's, allowing me to get my first taste of the Beltway. LOL When we got there, Amy rushed outside, saying that she was anxious to meet me and gave me a big hug. She was so much like what I expected her to be! I followed her inside and the rest of the women descended upon me with hugs. LOL Bonnie was also just how I expected. Mary Ann was somewhat less, but I could still tell who she was. Jami was nothing like what I expected, although I still don't know what I did expect. LOL Bess I had already seen photos of, so no surprise there. I met Alice's boys, and Jasim let me use his slinky phone to call my mom. <.g> Everyone was amazed at how soon I was there - my flight had actually gotten in ten minutes early. So I chatted with them for awhile, and headed back down. Shortly after we had arrived, a big storm started, so we decided to get pizza delivered and wait out the storm. Now here comes the AMC moment I mentioned to Kristine. <.g> We began talking about the show because Jami has several connections there - she was one of the people who would have been hired to write had there been a strike, and there's a strong possibility Richard Culliton might hire her. Amy lives in NY, and often sees stars walking around, but has never asked for an autograph. She made two sacrifices for us last week, however. She was at the beauty parlor getting a manicure when she saw Eden Reigel, Bianca on AMC! She knew that several of us watched and liked that character, so she decided to go over. Her first sacrifice was grabbing any bottle of polish in her rush to sit next to her, and ending up with cotton candy pink nails. LOL The second was, of course, the autograph. She told her about how we were getting together this weekend, and several watched the show. Eden was quite gracious, and asked who would be attending. She then wrote out a note addressed to all of us, wishing us a fun weekend. (Amy told us all this w/o revealing the actress until she passed around the autograph. <.g>) We all looked at it, and I told her how cool I thought it was. Then she told me I could keep it!! So now I have an autograph from Eden Reigel. : ) : ) : ) After the storm passed, we loaded up Alice's minivan and Jami's jeep and headed out to the beach house. I went with Alice, Amy, Nikki, and the boys, while Jami took Mary Ann, Bess, Bonnie, and her own son Alex. As much fun as I had with Alice's gang discussing soaps, Jami's was the place to be, as they were reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." LOL Oh, well. Took us over an hour, but we finally got there. Man, was it worth it! Gorgeous place. All dark wood, with a wrap-around porch, surrounded by trees. When you walk through the doors, there's the kitchen on your left and a hallway leading to a bathroom and bedroom on the right. That's where I stayed, with Nikki. Walk a bit and the living room is on the right and the dining room is on the left. Walk forward a bit more and you have the master bedroom on the left and the screened porch with the hot tub on the left. Down the circular stairs is the family room with many couches, and another bedroom with bathroom. Simply gorgeous. We got our stuff put away, and settled down in the living room. (The boys took over the downstairs and pretty much stayed there.) We were up until after 1, eating chocolate, drinking Nikki's secret-recipe daqueris (or, in my case, Cherry Mountain Dew, which ROCKS), and talking. Nikki had brought along this "morals" books, with questions like "Would you pay for an expensive education for your child if you knew he would grow up to be a truck driver?" Things to inspire discussions, and boy did they. LOL We talked about everything from kids to politics, living in the past to General Hospital memories. It was so great. Then we went to bed. LOL

Saturday dawned bright and early for some of us, but not me. LOL I slept until 9:30 (which really felt like 8:30 for me, so that's not too bad. <.g>), and was the last one up (barely). I joined everyone else on the porch, drinking OJ and munching donuts, all of us still in our pajamas. I had only been out about fifteen minutes when Jami decided to go finish the book she was reading. This, my dear readers, set the tone for the rest of our weekend. LOL I shortly followed, wanting to head to the air conditioning. I saw that she was on the couch reading, and a big grin spread across my face. A gathering of friends wherein I could go off and READ?! Woo-hoo!! By the time I decided what book to read (John Adams), Amy was also there next to Jami reading. <.blissful smile> Jami finished her book, the third in the "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" series. Somehow, we began talking about it.

Now, I must say this. I've known Jami for years - she was in the group when I joined. But we never really connected. I didn't quite *dislike her, but I never really liked her, either. I think this stems from senior year when she offered to read my non-fanfic "When Angels Cry" and suggest changes, since she was a professional writer, and then told me to scrap the entire thing and make it so that Gracie had long had a brain tumor and always knew she would die soon. I politely thanked her for her opinion and immediately disregarded it. LOL Although now I'm thinking that might be an interesting plot for another story. <.shrug> Anyway, that didn't quite endear her to me. So I kinda went into this thinking that it was good that I had flown into BWI and not National so that Alice picked me up and not Jami, etc. Yeah. Keep that in mind. <.g>

So we started talking about Anita Blake. She said she thought I would enjoy it, I picked it up and started skimming the first chapter, I got hooked. LOL I began that book while she picked up the other book in the series she had brough, two down the line. Throughout the day, we would sit down together, read her books, and discuss the characters and plot lines. Then, we got started on Harry Potter. LOL Turns out she's even on the HP4GU list with me! So we started getting into these huge discussions and debates. I loved it! She met me scene for scene, quote for quote, opinion for opinion. Late in the afternoon, she, Amy, Bonnie, Bess and I went into the hot tub. We all discussed GH and its history, and then Jami and I got started on HP. <.g> The others were leaving the tub and we didn't even notice. For over an hour, we sat in there and debated SO many different topics. I would say that I spent most of my weekend with Jami, to be honest. I had always kinda been turned off about how opinionated she was. Then I realized that we had so much in common, that I could be opinionated right back. LOL I don't feel comfortable entering debates or conversations unless I'm sure on my facts, and the things we have in common where things on which I'm sure of my facts. (GH, AMC, HP, WW, Clinton vs. Bush, etc.) She was reading GoF aloud to Alex throughout the entire weekend, so after she finished a chapter for him, we would discuss. Poor Alex was so confused about our adult level HP stuff. LOL (He's 7.)

I got ahead of myself, though. LOL In the early afternoon, we went to the Chesapeake Beach. I got some lovely pictures. I had my suit on, but didn't feel like heading into the water, although I regret that now. I had thought we were going back later and I'd be able to, but that didn't work out. So I stayed on the beach and chatted with Nikki, who is such an awesome person. Lots of fun. While most of us were there, Alice and Mary Ann had headed to the grocery store for our weekend food. We were under the impression we'd be there for maybe an hour, but that didn't work out. <.g> Two hours later, we're baking and starving, and no Alice. Just as the ice cream truck pulls in and we're finally eating, she shows up. LOL Our last GBabes, Lydia and her daughter Christina, had driven in from Long Island, NY, and Alice and Mary Ann had met them and taken them to the beach house first. So we pile in and head back. We hung out, reading for awhile, before jumping into the hot tub. We had a delicious dinner - steak and cheeseburgers for me and Nikki, and rock fish and crab cakes for everyone else. Jami and I adjourned to the couch to read Anita Blake (I finished the first one by 11. I'm a speed reader), while the others chatted and did a puzzle. Then they came over where we were and we talked politics for awhile. Very interesting to hear everyone's view points. We also discussed the various medical procedures many of them have been going through, so I got a taste of what's to come. LOL They all couldn't believe that they were discussing these, thinking those conversations wait until you're at least in your fifties, but there we were. LOL Then it was time for bed! (At a very early 12:30, I might add. LOL)

Now onto Sunday, our last full day there. I was up at 10 this day, but not the last one up. <.g> Back onto the porch for breakfast - OJ and corn muffins that Lydia brought with. Very yummy. Jami had stayed up until 2 finishing her book. Knowing that I didn't mind spoilers, she told me what changes had occured in the series, and we were astonished together. <.g> We all hung out in pjs until noon, when Lydia and Christina had to leave to drive back to NY. We read and discussed what books we were reading, and I totally gloried in that. LOL I just loved being in a group where everyone had brough with at least one book, and sat down to read periodically. Such fun!!

We had lunch, left overs from dinner on Saturday. Nikki had to leave that night, so they planned on leaving around 5 to get her to the airport. So before we had to do that, we decided to go to a nearby town, Solomons Island. We walked the boardwalk, and explored the marina. It was so beautiful there! We met a man and woman sitting on a bench, and asked them to take our picture. The woman was quite happy to do so, and ended up taking about 6, with all of our cameras. LOL She was such a sweet person, and thought that the story of how we all met was just so exciting. <.g> We finished up with ice cream from the little store. We had to drive back quick, so I so sadly lost the chance to drive over the super long big white bridge. LOL (I have an intense fear of heights and bridges. <.g> You can imagine my disappointment.)

Alice and Nikki left for the airport, and Mary Ann and Amy decided to go with. They rented a car there so that we would have an easier time getting the three of us (MA, Amy and I) to the airport so early in the morning. It turned out to be a great idea! That left me, Bonnie, Jami, and the boys to hang out and endure the storms. Bonnie read, the boys played downstairs, and Jami and I played Quidditch card game and talked HP. Then Bonnie played a few rounds of HP Uno with us, and made brownie cupcakes. <.g> After the storms stopped, at about 8, Jami and Alex had to leave - he had camp in the morning. We hugged goodbye, and I forlornly waved the book I was reading goodbye. LOL I was on chapter thirteen of the book she had finished very early that morning. <.g>

The airport gang arrived about an hour later, and we hung out, talking about all sorts of things. I was kinda out of it, as I had taken two Benadryl before I ate my brownie - just a precaution. LOL It worked, but I was sleepy. I did manage it until midnight, though, when I crashed into bed, fully packed. Amy agreed to wake me up at 6:15 so we could leave at 7 for the two hour drive for my 9:50 flight. <.g> I like being early, as Kristine and Megan have learned. LOL

So, I woke up at 6:15, and headed downstairs to take a shower. Now come the signs that it was time to go home. LOL I saw this big spidery daddy long legs thing in the bathroom. After dancing nervously around and it failing to squash it, I decided to let it hop around all it wanted and just ignore it. I bent down to pick up my clothes, and out sprang another, bigger one. I nearly shrieked, grabbed my clothes, and RAN. No shower that day. LOL I got dressed up in my room, and threw my last minute things in my bag. Alice, Bess and Bonnie woke up to hug us good bye, and we set off. Me being me, I did get totally carsick, but that's okay. Amy is also a WENN fan, and Mary Ann has seen an episode or two, so we popped in my WENN tape and listened to two episodes. Of course, we had to sit through a few songs and two scenes of Silk Stalkings first, but they didn't mind. LOL I, however, cringed when I realized that the tape was from junior year, and I had the Spice Girls' "Two Become One" on there. <.wince> That was embarrassing. But my other songs were good! LOL Build Me Up Buttercup and Total Eclipse of the Heart, among others. So the drive passed quickly, and we got there monstrously early. (8:30) Amy went with me to check in my luggage - we were the first and only people in line! We hugged goodbye in front of the security check, and I realized that once again, my gate was second. Yeah! LOL So I headed to the airport gift store and bought souveniers for my family. Daddy got a local newspaper, mom got a Maryland candle, Josh got two post cards (one Baltimore Oriols ballpark and one Jefferson Memorial), mom and dad got seafood salsa to share, and I got myself two shirts. One is pale blue, with a yellow daisy on it, and says "washington dc" in alternating blue and yellow letters, and one is ash grey and says "Baltimore" on it with three symbols underneath - peace, love, and USA. They're very cute. <.g>

So I settled down to wait for my flight, and got on easily. No more David on the cover of the magazine, as this was now July, but this plane had music and free headphones. So I listened to the INXS channel, jazz, classical, and kids station. LOL The flight passed quickly, and dad was waiting there to get me. My bag was the first suitcase out of the plane, and I was home less than an hour after I landed. I finished off my role of film, and dad took it to Walgreens, where we picked it up later that night, as previously blogged. LOL I haven't had time to scan yet, but I have a few I'd like to share sometime soon. <.g>

So, that was my fabulously fun trip! Hope you liked reading!

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