This post is late – one month exactly now. Sorry Candy. But lets hope I can make up for it with my tribute to a wonderful city and an even better friend.
The end of the summer and first half of September were very trying for me. I am the first to admit I was not myself and let my stress surface and take its toll on all of those around me, my family, my friends and even my job. I had surgery; not the kind that is super invasive but enough to make you think.
My surgery was scheduled for the day before we were supposed to go to Montreal for one of my oldest and bestest friends ”special” birthdays. There was really no other time I could schedule my procedure, as I liked to call it, and no other weekend to celebrate with Candy. I had to do both. My procedure was actually pretty quick and complete on Thursday Sept 10 at 3pm. We were on the road bandages in place, bottle of Tylenol by my side on Friday Sept 11 at 10:30 am. The support of Mike, my parents and Aunt Jubes and knowing that I was going to spend a great weekend with my friends got me through the day and motivated to get better real fast. I am big on having something to look forward to.
I had never been to Montreal. –And sorry to say, I did not know one of my best friends in the whole wide world was born there. I thought she had just picked Montreal as a fun destination city to visit. I had no idea that she was going on her birth tour!
We had an amazing weekend. The feline phenomenon took Montreal like no other. The weather, the company, the cuisine, the shopping (now that got me up and on my feet pretty damn fast) and learning something new about a dear friend were exactly what the doctor ordered.
Montreal is beautiful and easy to get to for a long weekend. I highly recommend you make the trip. Stay in Old Montreal in one of the boutique hotels and submerge yourself in the architecture and the culture. You swear you are in Europe. No one seems to be in a hurry to go or do anything and the ease of long days that flow right into a nap and then great late dinner are contagious.
Spending time with family and friends is always the best medicine whether you are sick or not. Make the time to do more of it. I am absolutely fine now and healing quite nicely. The only memories I will have from this experience are good ones - I am lucky for so many reasons and visiting a new place with old friends is definitely one of them.
Montreal: It’s young, it’s old, it’s daring, it’s comfortable, it’s hip and it overflows with tradition. It will always be there. Just like a great friendship.
Happy Birthday Candy. xoxo Coco
[SING OUT LOUD] “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play.” (There is a deer playing in this picture, make sure you click on it to enlarge the photo.)
Park City = by winter, a western state luxury, destination resort for powder skiing and mountain wonderland for the avid outdoors man in the summer. Sounds like just the kind of vacation place for this city rat. I can run miles in heels, power shop in less than 30 minutes and organize an event for thousands blindfolded, but sad to say, I am not the outdoorsy type and I am not a good skier. Not to mention, I have never really been out west (unless of course the Four Seasons in Vegas counts). I do not own a pair of hiking boots and my mountain bike boasts a zillion cob webs in my garage. Yet, each time I have visited Park City, I have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
My very first time was this past January – I went to see Sarah and GT’s new home and to brush up on my skills on the slopes. My last time on skis was over 5 years ago in Vermont. I thought I did great. The other three on this particular trip to Twin Farms informed me it was really a hill that I had “completely and totally mastered” and reminded me that I was on a private um,,,hill, with a private instructer and accompanied by a professional hockey player who made it all look so easy. Anyway, out west, I too had a private instructor and was supported by my dear girlfriend Sarah. After a half day lesson I was ready to tackle those double blues. And in case of an emergency (ie I find myself completely out of control and/or with my tips pointing straight downhill) I can strike quite the bullfighter pose if needed. Needless to say, I was quite skilled in the apres ski rituals and loved the lodge at Deer Valley. Big fire, yummy wine, great people watching. . . see this was my type of place.
Second time was a couple of weeks ago right after July 4th weekend – once again to see Sarah and GT but this time to share in their wedding day! I was a bridesmaid, or as Sarah insisted on calling us, a friend of honor. So with all my “bridal I mean friend of honor duties,” I did not get that much time to explore the mountains in the summertime (I really wanted to try zip-lining in Olympic Park. . .so maybe next time) but I did manage to see a few critters that I don’t get to see every day here in Beantown or on Cape Cod. Every night driving home we would see a few deer and one morning I saw two elk (deer with goatees) just strolling right in front of the house. And I swear the bunny rabbits out there are bigger than some medium size dogs. The last day we saw a moose. Now that was pretty cool, although poor giant creature was injured. Don’t worry, we called highway patrol and reported, “there is a moose down on Rte 150.” Again, not a typical call to make living in the city.
I had a blast.
The wedding was gorgeous, the bride stunning and the views breath taking. It truly made me want to be more of an outdoorsy type. And even tried organizing a group one morning to take a power walk with me. Let me tell you, you get winded out there and pretty quickly.
But most importantly, we had a great time with the newlyweds and their friends and family. And bonus, I got Mr. Even Less of the Outdoorsy Type to promise me that we would go back in the winter so I could once again hone up on my ski skills and so that he could wait for me by that big old inviting fire in the lodge.
It’s here! The sun is finally our friend again and boy does it feel great! Better late than never. Let the tan and the fun begin. . .
Happy 4th to all!
Last week I had just checked into my mid-town home away from home, when I ran into a very dear and special friend. . .by complete chance. We were college roommates for 3 years at Boston College. Our other friends and families nicknamed the two of us, Squirt & Flirt.
Ahhh, the good old days. She is a tall blond with a fierce figure, has a bubbly personality to match and a passion for the finer things in life. She drove a convertible Mustang in school, sported only designer duds and used to buy filet mignon at the grocery store to cook for us for dinner. Combine this somewhat southern girlie girl from Richmond with me, and well, let’s just say we had our fair share of fun.
Skip to last week. As I mentioned, I had just checked in and was enjoying the attention from the bellmen, now my pals. But wait, they were all friendly with another guest. And they knew her by name too. Who could this “intruder” be and more importantly, was she worthy? I turned around to see this stunner walking towards me and the first thing I noticed was the outfit (shocker). That day it was bloody hot in NYC. She had on the cutest white shift dress and black and white flip flops. Mind you, the dress was Gucci and the flips, Louis Vuitton. Wait a minute, I know this girl. As she approached, the biggest smile come over my face and I knew it was Steph. Hugs, kisses, a few “oh my Gods” and “you look sooooo good” happened next for about 5 minutes. The bellmen were amazed that we were college roomies and immediately started drawing all sorts of conclusions (some of course were dead on, some we will leave up to the imagination).
I hadn’t seen Stephanie in about 4 years. Last time she was in Boston we got together for dinner, but we have not been the best at keeping in touch. She lives in California and rarely gets back east. I visited her once in LA, but do not get out to the west coast that much anymore. And the last time we met up, she was telling me all about her neighbor who she had a slight crush on. Steph never had a slight crush. She fell fast and hard every time. Turns out this time, she met her Mr. Big. She married the neighbor last year in a very private ceremony at Parrot Cay.
So now a number of years later (will never tell you how many) the two of us are together again in the Big Apple. We were both in on business, but managed to find some quality time to catch up. It is so refreshing to see my friends happy and to realize that besides a few years, a couple of husbands, career responsibilities and a pair of new boobs, not much has changed since we were sashaying around the campus of BC.
Steph came with me the next day to an appointment, we had lunch at Pastis and then shared a taxi further downtown for our meetings. We hugged, kissed, said a few more “you look amazing and haven’t changed a bits,” and then said good bye. This time, I truly hope we make an effort to keep in touch and stay a part of each others lives.
The power of emails, cell phones and all those American Express miles can only help.
p.s. – she is almost two inches taller, so that made me Squirt and her, Flirt!