Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lunch with Grace...

Update: I fixed the flick'r link below.


One day this spring, I was sitting at my computer, plotting our course for this trip, when it popped into my mind that one of our China families lives in Pennsylvania. Now, Pennsylvania is a huge state, and I tried not to get too excited as I googled up a state map. Lo and behold, their location was almost smack dab in between Hershey and White House Station, our next stop! I immediately sent out an email to see if we could arrange lunch, knowing it was a bit of a drive and the middle of a weekday for our friends. Things fell into place beautifully, as they tend to do when divinely orchestrated, and we were able to meet up with Grace and her family for an all-too-quick visit.



It poured...and I mean POURED...rain all day. Luckily, we were able to load up our van in a parking garage in Hershey, or our luggage would have been soaked! We hit the road according to schedule but traffic slammed to a halt within an hour. A horse-trailer jackknifed and separated from its truck, blocking both lanes! Thankfully, it appeared that there were no injuries, including one visibly shaken horse. The traffic jam, combined with a teeny-tiny wrong turn, caused us to be a little later than we'd planned. Grace is the fifth child in her family, though, so they were completely wonderful and understanding. We sloshed our way into TGI Friday's and chatted and stuffed ourselves silly.


What's lunch with your China sister
without a little sibling chokehold?
Click here to view the entire hilarious set!

As always, it was amazing how quickly our families settled into comfortable conversation. I fully expected for it to take a few minutes for the girls to warm up to each other. Grace is one of the quieter girls of the bunch, and they've only seen each other once since China...that being our reunion almost a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see them instantly wrap their arms around each other, grins plastered on both of their faces! It was so sweet! It didn't take them long to start cooking up playdates at each other's houses. That tugged at my heart a bit. I wish so much that they had that chance.


Sweet goodbye kisses and hugs...


We had a good laugh because the waiter insisted we

use the bar to stage our group photo!

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye and ease on down the road. We had such a great time and wish only that we could have had a longer visit with our friends! We're hoping to get another chance to spend time together at the AWAA reunion in October.


Ally said...

Does that mean you all are going to the reunion in October? If so we will see you there:) We are finally meeting with our group next month. I can't wait to get the girls together. Thanks for sharing.

Kristi said...

That second picture of Grace and Caroline hugging is the sweetest! And it also convinces me more than ever that Grace and Kylie are cousins or something...
I'm hoping we'll still make it to Ohio before the summer is over (with of course a quick sidestop to IN), but if not, October isn't that far away.

Donna said...

Oh my goodness, those pics are a hoot!! We had the best time!! It's really a shame we can't pull off those playdates the girls were planning, they would love it (and this mommy would too!!) Can't wait to see you guys in October!!!

Our Journey said...

I gotta say -- I LOVE that outfit your girl has on -- I "need" it! So great when you can catch up w/ some of the group - I can't wait for ours next month!
Kristi is right, Grace & Kylie do look alot alike!

Tricia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tricia said...

Cindy, my favorite shot is the one of Grace and Carolina hugging and kissing goodbye. So sweet. And I'm glad that Kristi said something about Kylie and Grace being related because my first thought was, "oh my goodness, she looks so much like Kylie!"

I use the Rebel XSi and the pictures from the 4th were taken with my 50mm 1.8 (which I find myself using almost exclusively). I didn't use the flash on the night shots. Like most people, I guess, I really don't like the flash shots and try to avoid them at all costs. :)

Have a great day! (sorry for the delete above...I had a typo)