It was her second visit to Virginia, but this time she brought her husband.
Before I continue, let me go back a bit. Almost 10 years ago, when I first met Amber.
Amber had finally turned 18 and as she had vowed years earlier, was on her way to spend the summer away from her home and small town in FL. I was on my way to spend my 21st summer at the lake. I was going to spend the summer scooping ice cream for the tourists. Amber was going to help a few nights every week, in addition to working in the dining room on campus.
Amber was so cool. She was the outgoing, optimistic girl that all the boys had a crush on. She had a way of making anyone feel loved. She never swore, she went to church on Sunday mornings and she sang in the talent show. She was way cooler than me but for some reason wanted to be my friend.
We spent the summer getting to know each other. She dyed my hair and helped me get the perfect thin-eyebrow that was so-2004. We made lists of what we wanted to do each day that we had off together: go on picnics, work on art, and of course go to Walmart. We hit it off and before we knew it, we were dancing on the bathroom sink singing Maroon 5.
When the summer ended, we kept in close touch. There was no facebook or texting yet which was the most perfect way to make memories. She sent me the most creative cards and notes that always lifted my spirits in the dark days of Ohio winters:
There would always be a surprise inside: tea bags, glitter, pictures, itineraries for future reunions, etc.
We finally did get that reunion, after 4 1/2 long months! We met back up for a New Years bash:
And 3 months after that, I met Amber in her homeland of sunny FL for spring break:
at Jimmy's Buffet's
We spent another summer together in 2005 as roommates. Our dorm room was themed with palm trees and sea shells. We spent that summer making plans after graduation: we'd open a coffee shop together in FL with her art and my math skills. For some reason I cannot find any photos of our room. It was gorgeous though. I hope 9 years later that it's still painted that beachy green color.
I didn't get to see Amber again until 2009. We had yet another reunion and she finally met Jim!
Our old stomping grounds: the Store.
Sipping on our favorite: Saranac. After indulging in jalepenos of course.
So you could imagine my excitement when Amber announced that she was bringing her husband to Virginia. Granted it was the ugliest month of the year (January) for Virginia. But we made sure to have a blast!
Fresh off the train
Amber making us laugh.
Our husbands proudly displaying their $2 bill in front of Monticello.
Goofing around on the walk to Monticello.
Right after Amber got in trouble for climbing the tree by security...and I obviously had to social-media it.
On the steps where ole Tom once stood.
In front of Amber's name.
We had such a busy schedule while they were here. We went to Monticello, Mount Vernon, DC, Luray Caverns, and my personal favorite, Rappahannock Winery. It snowed hard that night and we had massive snowball fight in the back yard afterwards. Couple vs. couple. Not pictured :(
What a blessing a Kindred Spirit is. They can live near or very far south. I am looking forward to the next time we reunite. It will be by summer for sure. Because we have a lake in common that will forever whisper both of our names when we've been away for too long. In the meantime, we shall make our lists through confetti-filled snail mail of what our next reunion will be like.