Imagine that you have over a week of leave time saved up from work, and not only do you get to take a mostly free roadtrip across country with your best friend to visit your close college friends for a weekend, but you also get to detour on the way back to spend most of a week back in your hometown, seeing the family and friends and locations you've not seen in at least three years. Sounds pretty great, huh? Well, do you know how to make it even better? You add in an LEP Meet Up!
Lunch at a Chinese buffet was our first order of business. We started off a bit quiet as we all glanced around a bit nervously at each other and tucked into our food, but soon we were all chit chatting and laughing like the friends we are and hadn't quite experienced yet. After we finished our food, we wrote letters to our fearless leaders, Julie and Denise, which Kate sent off to Canada for us.
Next stop was The River Place where we wandered around in the fun shops of the outdoor mall. While it took everything within me to stay out of Bead Haven (much to the thrill of my wallet), I did splurge on a Claddagh car magnet at an Irish themed shop called the Funky Skunk, and a whole bunch of postcards in The Michigan Shoppe. Some of our number went to check out the Sugar High Bakery, while others went to Grand Traverse Distillery. One shop I'd love to visit again was Charlin's Book Nook which had quite the lovely variety of used books to browse through.
After we were all shopped out, we headed to Tim Hortons for treats and some penpal activities. I quite enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate that Kate had talked up to me back in March, when we'd begun writing in my March of Postcards experiment. While we sugared up, we passed around some postcards to “wreck” together and sign to send out to other LEPers. When we'd finished, we passed around yearbook sheets that Kate, Amethyst and I had made out for everyone that morning. Each of us wrote a short note to each of the others on their sheets. (Unfortunately mine never got unpacked, so it's still in Amethyst's care... oops!) We'd been together from around 11am and now it was 5pm and time to go on our various ways. Of course that would be the time for a torrential rain shower. While everyone else had left, Amethyst, Kate, her hubby Gabe and I were stuck in the Tim Hortons for most of another hour, enjoying each other's company a wee bit longer until the rain passed and it was our turns to go.
I do believe we all had a grand time and really enjoyed each other's company. I know for sure that I did. It was a delight to meet everyone, and I have added a few people to my penpal list. I hope that the others continue to meet up from time to time, even if Amethyst and I won't get to be there for them. Meeting my penpals and my fellow LEPeeps is always an honor and a joy. I can't wait to meet more in the future!