Well all, I'm back safe and sound, and as expected, I have a lot to report about my big visit to see Cristina. I have to be honest and admit that I don't even know where to begin. I am completely overwhelmed with the volume of wonderful, funny, meaningful anecdotes I could share with you. Plus, remember when I went to Atlanta back in June and got the post-CNMC blues? Well, you could say that I have a major case of the post-Cristina Visit blues. Every time I think about how I'm going to frame this post, I start crying. Nobody needs THAT little scene again.
It's interesting, isn't it? That our reach in terms of meeting people and making friends is so much larger these days, which is fantastic, but yet if you are lucky enough to meet in person, it's terribly painful to part from them, because you don't know when you'll see them again.
My, my, my, what to do...OK, what I'll do is this: I'm going to give an overview as best I can in this post, and we have a surprise for you down at the conclusion. Don't peek! Just read along and you'll see once you get there. :) Tomorrow, I have a video to share. This isn't my typical Tea Time series. This is a special video extra, and we're calling it Wine Time with Tiff and Cristina. :0 And then on Friday I'll put out a 7 Quick Takes on highlights from my trip. Sound good? Fab, let's get started...
Soooooo, Saturday morning found me staring in horror at the itty bitty, propeller-driven aircraft that was to deliver me to Cristina. I don't know about you, but I fear airplanes in which there is an advertised "WEIGHT RESTRICTION" at play. They acted all nonchalant about it, but in my opinion, we should have weighed every single thing that was going on that plane, including the people. I was perfectly willing to go forward and write down that I weighed 400 pounds, compensating for all of the women who would have been vain and lied about their weight. Taking one for the team, right there. But no, there was no weighing, they just made us gate check all of our carry-on bags and seemed to think nothing was amiss. For my part, when the flight attendant came to take my drink order, I ordered coffee with Bailey's, and let me tell you, BEST $8 I EVER SPENT. I was happy for the remainder of the flight. ;-)
Arrival, lots of walking. Cristina asked me to meet her at Baggage Claim F, so I just followed any baggage claim sign I saw, figuring they were all the same. Right, this is what happens when you're from a small time airport arriving in The Big City. The instant I closed in on a baggage carousel, I discerned that there were a multitude of baggage claims at the Philadelphia airport, and I was at the wrong one. A flurry of phone calls and text messages ensued. 30 minutes later...
...we found each other!!!
Ecstatic hugging and chatting commenced. I don't think we took a breath all weekend long, except to sleep.
When you meet someone for the first time, after a solely online relationship, you always wonder about what the dynamic will be like, right? The verdict in this case?
It was awesome. :0 We clicked immediately, just as we did online, and we were like Energizer bunnies, rushing from one fun activity to the next. So, let's see, we:
(1) went to Mass and prayed the rosary together:
(2) went to a Barre3 workout class,
(3) bought matching pink water bottles :0
(4) took the kids to the pool,
(5) went book shopping,
(6) watched "This is 40",
(7) drank lots of wine,
(8) cooked lots of fantastic food,
(9) did a live Periscope video! AND
(10) made several other fun video and audio recordings, deets TBA!!
Oh, and I joined Instagram because of her. I have to admit, I kind of love it. If you're on there, I'm @catholictiffany! I posted some photos from our weekend, and so did Cristina (@faithfulsocial).
I also ADORED her considerate and funny husband, Mike (he made us up a spread of wine, cheese, crackers, fruit and prosciutto for when we arrived from the airport!) and her SWEET and adorable sons. Oh goodness!
Over the next few days, I'll put out all of the stuff that we worked on. For today, I have a very fun audio recording/sort of podcast thing to share with you. We were in the car on our way to Cristina's house from the airport, chatting a mile a minute:
SIRI: *momentary shocked silence* "Make a U-turn, as soon as you are able."
And that wasn't the only time SIRI got a little stern with us. :0 Let's just say that we were talking so avidly that we weren't paying very much attention to (a) SIRI, or (b) directional awareness generally. And so we got a little lost as I got out my audio recorder, hit "record," and the result is what you will find below. SO.FUN. This is pretty much like being a fly on the dashboard in Cristina's car, for one of our very first in-person conversations. Except we won't squash you with our shoe. ;-)
This is just uninhibited, raw audio footage here. I apologize in advance for messing with the sound level mid-recording, this is amateur work over here, I'm still learning! It's just over an hour, approximately the length of an average podcast. You can either listen right here, or download it to your phone/iPod: select the column icon (it will say "See more Formats at Internet Archive" when you hover over it) to head over to the hosting page. Once there, right click on the MP3 option on the right side of the screen, and select "Save Link As..." Then save the file to your device.
Caveat: like I mentioned, this is a spontaneous, unedited recording of two friends talking. We use adult language (i.e. swear words are in here :0). So if you're in the car with your kids, do not play. ;-) But it's extremely fun, and for those of you who want to come along with us for a car ride, we'd love for you to tune in and share that time with us! We talk about anything and everything, from our first impressions of each other (that would be a normal topic), to airplane lavatories, our desire for an Introverted Airlines, pre-menopause, lost parking garage tickets and SUPER SERIOUS PARKING GARAGE POLICEY GUYS (these would be the ridiculous topics ;-)). P.S. you all are given a shout-out. :)