This past weekend, I had the good fortune of traveling home to Philadelphia to surprise my best gal pal at her surprise 40th birthday party.
I’ve never really done a weekend “away from it all” since having kids – perhaps shockingly, perhaps not so much. I travel fairly frequently for work, so purposefully leaving the fam on the weekends never really seemed like the thing to do. Plus, and perhaps more importantly (?), most of my friends also have families and / or work full time, so you can imagine the days of grabbing a shore house for the weekend are *quite* few and far between. (And by few and far between, I mean it never happens.) At first – and I mean literally until the morning I left – going away alone for a leisure trip felt odd. But rest assured, dear readers, that I adjusted quickly, and, quite frankly, pretty much fell headlong right back into college-era behaviors.
1) I stayed up late. Way late. I arrived in Philadelphia at 11 p.m. on Friday night. I stayed up chatting with my brother and sister-in-law until about 2:30 a.m. ET, at which point, my night-owl brother finally bailed on me. I stayed awake to catch up on a missed episode of Girls before finally hitting the hay myself.
2) I slept in. I slept until 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Yes, even WITH a 3-year-old in the house. And with said 3-year-old coming in to check on me to see if I was still sleeping.
3) I lounged on the couch. All day Saturday. Like literally with iPad in hand, occassionally discussing what fattening Philadelphia delicacy we were going to eat for lunch. I had not a care in the world except what time I had to start readying my old self to go out for an evening in (Fish)town.
4) I went shopping for post-party / post-bar snacks. We knew it was going to be a late night, so we stocked up on things that no almost 40-year-old should eat regularly.
5) I ate pizza. And cheese fries. For lunch. And pretended I had the metabolism and regulated stomach acid of my 20-year-old self. Since this was really linner (lunch and dinner), and because pizza and cheese fries like Philadelphia does ’em aren’t really a thing in Portland, I was OK with the calorie overload. And surprisingly, so were my jeans!
6) I went to a bar where the (Fishtown) cool kids go. It was full of beards, and tight jeans, and ear gauges and rainbow hair. And that was just the men. My hidden East-side Portlander / former Grunge + Deadhead self felt right at home, if not slightly wistful.
7) I shook my nonexistent groove thing to some old classics by Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock. And I literally mean I stood there and shook my hips once or twice. But it was delightful – mostly because I was hanging with most of my old gal gang from high school, and feeling grateful that not much has changed in the 20+ years since we graduated. We see each other and get right back into the swing of things – no matter how long it’s been between get togethers!
8) I did shots. Ok, I did a shot. But that’s one more shot than I’ve done in recent history. And I discovered that I actually kind of like my grand pop’s drink of choice: Southern Comfort. Not bad with a some lime juice. Not bad at all. This right here must mean I am super close to crossing over the bridge to my twilight, right? I think so.
9) I experimented. Ok, so this was entirely accidental. A goodbye exchange went awry, and a gal and I accidentally ended up kissing each other on the mouth. Her dry, post-smooch summary: “OH! I think we just made out!” will have me (and those who witnessed the event) laughing for years. We’re old friends, but were only kiss-on-the-cheek close until Saturday. Now, we have a story for the ages. I am still laughing about this.
10) I went to the after-party. This really just entailed some shenanigans along Girard Avenue – including taking some fun pics of many things Fishtown (see blog feature pic!) as I walked back to the birthday gal’s house, but still. I stayed after the first car load left. In fact, I stayed out until…
11) 3:30 a.m. Yes, that’s right. I didn’t roll out until 3:30 a.m. Thank God for younger brothers who stay out with older sisters for safety reasons. And Uber. That is one genius idea, let me tell you.
12) I was locked out when we arrived home. And I was legit petrified that I was going to have to call my father to unlock the door to let us in. (My parents slept at my brother’s house after the party.) Phone calls after 10 p.m. were never my father’s favorite, but a phone call from his adult kids who were locked out after a night out? Shudder. Luckily, my youngest brother (who stayed out with me) panicked and ran around the back of the house and banged on the windows loud enough to wake my sister-in-law while I stayed out front and called the phones of everyone in the house. I was thisclose to having to call my Dad when she swung open the door and saved the day! Literally.
13) I ate Cool Ranch Doritos at 4:30 a.m. Right before bed. Right after a night of adult beverages. I was the last (wo)man standing. Granted, my internal clock is set to Pacific time, but still, once you become a mom, purposefully staying up until 1:30 is nothing to shake your fist at. Shockingly, I felt fine the next day when I awoke at…
14) 11:30 a.m. That’s right. I slept until 11:30 a.m. for the first time since college. For reals.
15) I lounged some more on Sunday. Before I went to my first-ever Sunday Funday. I met two friends for wine and food at the good old Drake Tavern in Jenkintown, up the street from our old house. We shared stories and laughs. Lots of laughs. So many laughs that I almost missed my train for New York, where I was heading for work on Monday.
I pretty much reverted to 21 – except I actually felt I appreciated the fun more at 39. Funny how that happens, right? It was awesome – for a spell. 😉
I’ve always been glad I’ve had an older, wiser best girlfriend to show me the ropes. Even if only for a few months until I caught up. 😉 And as she turns 40, she didn’t let me down. We still got it. We can still hang. We have so much living left to do – and this weekend showed me we’ve got plenty of spirit left with which to do it. Cheers, Megan!