Thursday, January 23, 2020

Travel Tuesday on Thursday!

So. I made a quick trip to St. Louis for my birthday weekend. My sister, Janice (one of the twins) was in town from Texas and I didn't want to miss that.

Our birthdays are close together---mine the 11th and the twins on the 14th. Over the past few years, circumstances have been such that we've had the opportunity to celebrate them together.

I flew in to town on Friday morning. I did it again---for the third time in my life. I fell asleep before the plane took off and didn't wake up until the landing!! Granted, it's only a 40 minute flight, but still. Seemed like seconds!!

As I was on the way to baggage, I came across this.
 Nothing reminds you that you are in the midwest than a good ol' tornado shelter.

My sister, Jeanne picked me up. We went to Jennifers and spent the day together (with Janice). Our plan was to go to Janet's in the evening for a sisters poker game. Janet always has a spread---I wish I'd taken a picture. Still, Janice wanted Imo's pizza---I wanted their salad. There's nothing like salads in St. Louis. There's actually "stuff" in them---and I mean good stuff (artichokes, olives, pimentos and LOTS of cheese!)---not like here and most restaurants with a single cherry tomato and exactly 3 croutons!

I have a confession to make. I think I'm losing my poker skills! In this family, we started playing games for money at age 5. Our grandparent's came over on Sunday afternoon. Grandma would give each of us 25 pennies to play "fan tan." To this day, I still like a good game of "fan tan!"

Anyway, those beginning games progressed to full on poker. We've played our whole lives. But on this particular night, I was "hot." I won several hands. Then, I managed to fold a winning hand. Anyone that plays poker knows that leads to bad "juju!" I started losing. Then, it happened again. I folded another winning hand. Are you kidding me?? I let my sisters bluff me out!! That is so unlike me. I think I'm losing my skills! I ended up only being down 50 cents for the night, so that wasn't so bad. Still, I blew the roll I was on!

The highlight of the evening was when Jackie, Greg and the little girls showed up. Jackie had texted me earlier that 7 year old Evie was dancing around and all excited in the morning. Jackie thought that she was happy that it was the weekend or that she had a soccer game. But when she asked, she said, "I get to see Aunt Barb!"
Talk about melting me---omgosh. That little girl did. In fact, I upped my Girl Scout cookie order! On the other hand, we got to have some of these cookies Evie and Josie made. I'd rather buy those!! They were so good. I love iced sugar cookies.

On the way home, Jeanne said, "Barb, you're doing good." I said, "What?" She said, "Driving." (I was the designated driver.) I said again, "What???" She said I was doing good driving in the dark and the rain. I thought to myself, "What the heck, does she think I'm 80 or something?" Not really sure where that came from. Or maybe she's surprised I know my way around St. Louis so well!

The next day,  Janice, Jennifer and I spent the day with our cousin, Chrissy. Oh my gosh! So much laughter and fun! That's another girl I love! We had all planned to go to a movie and then out to a nice dinner to celebrate our birthdays. Then this started.
Around 4 o'clock we all decided to nix the plans and head for home. I have to admit, even though the snow wrecked the plans, I did love it. I just don't get to experience snow much anymore. We got 4 inches! Plus, I got to watch the Titans beat Baltimore!

Sunday the plan was to meet at a coffee house in Maplewood to hear our niece, Ranya play. Since that wasn't until 2 p.m., we had time to work in a visit with the "little" boys. Travis and Nathan are the cutest little guys! They were absorbed with a new gaming system they got for Christmas and couldn't wait to show me all about it. Of course, I don't get it. How do you know if you jump on something it turns in to something else? I never did "get" video games.
I enjoy ALL the "littles" and look forward to seeing them whenever I'm in town. They are all excited for Camp Aunt Barb 2020.

On to the mini concert.
Ranya is in the middle. She teaches and plays all over town (and even out of town) at private events and subs when the symphony needs a cellist. She's played with Transiberian Orchestra and Barry Manilow too. These three set up a non-profit to promote music education for kids. This was one of their planned fund raisers. Many of their students were there.

Afterwards we went to lunch. Aunt Marie and Uncle Tony were with us, so I was happy to get to spend time with them on this trip.
From left: Jeanne, me, Janice, Jennifer and Matt.

I flew out early Monday morning and was home by 9 a.m.  It's been so much fun--celebrating together, that I wouldn't mind making it a tradition!

And then, I came home to this:
Jordan sent me this tiny cake from LA. It was the perfect size! Stephanie, Nicky, Mindy and Justin brought dinner Monday night. We watched the National Championship together. Sadly, Clemson lost. But, the cake---although we couldn't fit 68 candles on it---was a huge hit and we stretched it 6 ways!! Really, all you need is a bite!!

Now, if you think that is the end of my birthday---well, it's not! Sandy, Greg and Elizabeth are coming in town this weekend to celebrate with me!!! It looks something like this:
Friday---happy hour at Steph and Nicky's---dinner in the Melrose area.
Saturday---high tea here for the girls---and stitching while watching a movie. Later it's back to Steph's for my birthday dinner and family games (we got some fun new ones for Christmas).
Sunday---breakfast at the club before Sandy heads home.

I could get used to a month long birthday!!

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