The fictitious lady in the title always relies on 'the kindness of strangers', but lately I have been the extremely grateful recipient of the generosity of my dearest friends. This weekend was another chance to visit some of my closest(though, alas, not physically) and oldest friends, A and B, and their lovely kids G and D (yeah, G kinda ruins the alphabetical order of their initials, but she's pretty cool so we'll just let that slide). I try to get down to see them once or twice a year, but with the moving and Mrs. Marius's crushing work schedule traveling has been more problematic than usual. Added to that my car's air conditioner died last year, and with temps regularly hitting the high 90s a long(three hour) drive is akin to a mobile sauna. But a rare convergence of events transpired this week that allowed not only me to travel south, but my lovely wife as well...and her a/c works just fine. :-D You see she's finally, after three years, being moved up to full time at her job, thus allowing her to quit the second job, and actually get real, honest-to-goodness days off. And there was much rejoicing.
We both had to work Saturday morning, but the afternoon found us giving the cats an early dinner, packing a change of clothes, and wending our way to the magical land of Naples. After passing through a deluge or two, this is summer in Florida after all, my cell rang and it was A instructing us to get off the freeway ten miles early and meet them at Outback steak house. This we gladly did and joined them for a lovely meal. There were many hugs and laughs, and amazed comments at the seemingly inhuman growth of the children, and catching up on such things as movies, and TV and such. And there was much rejoicing.
Ere too long we repaired to the hacienda, assured the ferocious Bigby the dog that we really weren't there to hurt him and that he didn't need to keep hiding behind the living room chairs, and settled in to visit. The ladies almost immediately began discussing Twilight, and us guys did our best not to roll our eyes out of our heads. Eventually B and Mrs. M went away to look at books, and A and I chatted about this and that, and then the words Rock Band were spoken. No, quoth I, I have not played yet. No sooner had these words been uttered when the kids and A pounced on their PS3, and suddenly the living room was converted into a Karaoke bar. I sang, 'played' drums(very badly), and had a blast. Eventually the ladies returned, and my wife had a bag full of paperbacks to bring home, and everybody joined in the game. A couple of hours later we retired to the hot tub while the kids swam and we chatted, reminisced, and just chilled. Bedtime followed soon upon.
Sunday morning was mellow and unhurried. Mrs. M had never played any Wii games, so that system was unsheathed, and we all threw things, and shot things, and then she was introduced to the strange world of Raving Rabids. Then a sumptuous lunch was made by A and B, and we feasted 'pon grilled piggy and taters. Alas, all too soon it was time to make our way home to the, at least in their minds, starving Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse. But before we left we were presented with some groovy stuff. A and B had cleaned out their daughter's closets, and the wife and B went through the Goodwill-bound bags to see if there was anything the CoA could wear, and yay verily there was. A, having been gifted this yuletide with the first two seasons of Star Trek TOS on Blu-Ray gave me his DVD copies of the same(at which point I think I might have squeed just a bit), and just when we thought the presents were done, they gave me a small, gift wrapped package that they said was meant for me at Christmas, but we never got together. I opened it, and if I squeed a little over the DVDs, I squeed a lot over this:
If you don't know what that is, last year a company released three Star Trek related fragrances, Tiberius, Red Shirt, and Ponn Farr. I loooove the artwork on the bottle. It's pure genius. And here it is on display with some very good company:
And then it was time to make our way home. More hugs were dispensed along with hopes that the next visit would not be so far away this time. We loaded up our booty and our memories and sallied forth. The drive home was uneventful, and upon our arrival the cats merely sniffed our hands and gave us sour looks over the obvious scent of our puppy-petting guilt. Then they started bitching about the empty food bowls, and all was right with the world again.
Thanks, A, B, G, and D. We had a great time. :-)
And there was much rejoicing.