Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My bionic belle comes to vist!

Every hour of this past weekend felt happy hour because my wonderful friend, CI mentor, fellow blogger and mother of five adorable kiddies Jennifer flew in from Tennessee and stayed the weekend with me! When we met in Reno for the first time, it didn’t feel like it was the first time we met. We clicked, we really clicked. The fun does not falter between us. The thought of waiting one whole year for the next hearing loss convention to see each other again did not appeal to the likes of us. Quite frankly, neither one of us are that patient so we moved it up a bit :)

Friday night, I slipped behind the wheel of my new white Toyota Prius that I have nicknamed the Incredible Eco-Egg, to trek across the Garden State into the city of brotherly love to pick up the fair southern bionic belle. I still get a surge of excitement every time I get behind the wheel because the feeling of being green has a cheaper price tag attached since I am now getting fifty miles to the gallon. That’s right, fifty, 5-0, five dash zero, 50 miles to the gallon :) But, I was ten times more excited that I was going to pick her up and submerge her in the New Jersey finger flippin’ culture for the weekend.

We had timed the flight perfectly because as soon as she got her luggage, I pulled up and we started flapping our jaws. I felt as we picked up right where we left off in Reno - minus the interesting fan club. We had some time to kill before we met up with Wayne Roorda, who is another AB user and his very lovely wife Lili for dinner. Since I am the native, I felt it was my duty to give her a little scenic tour. I picked a part of South Philly that was just a little too urban for our countrified doll. I was watching her facial expression change as our surroundings went from social suburbia where all the houses were decorated with shiny new siding and plantation blinds with to poorly painted row houses with the cheapest bed sheets hanging in the windows littered with cigarette burns haphazardly filtering the afternoon sunlight. I forged ahead down the one way street past the barren school yard. I drove through the underpass where a rusted shopping cart was missing a wheel supported the cardboard structure. When a gloomy site passes by your eyes, it goes in slow motion because it is sad when you realize that is going to be someone’s home tonight. I come to a stop sign, glanced over to the left, and notice a thick young girl covered in tattoos that look as if she were going mullet hunting. All Jennifer kept saying was, “We don’t have things like this back in Nashville.” I bet she didn’t. My gas gauge started emitting a beep and flashing. It was letting me know that I needed to get gas now. I took it as a sign and got the heck out of the ghetto. Women's intuition and all that jazz...

Shortly afterwards, we met up with Wayne and his teeny tiny wife of 30 years at a Mandarin Restaurant in Cherry Hill. I hadn’t seen Wayne since Reno and it was such a pleasure to see him again. This was my first time meeting his wife who just a doll. Jennifer had an itching to try something new and it included tentacles. She decided to try an itty bitty octopus with doctored up with habanero peppers. She cautiously placed the octopus in her mouth; eight limbs and all and then proceeded to chew.


And chew.

And chewed some more.

I went to get my second helping.

Came back and she was still chewing…

Once her incisors managed to macerate the poor thing, she offered to share her second one with me. I toyed with the idea of going on a chewing marathon to burn some extra calories but after pushing it around on the plate...



I politely declined. We ate enough to feed a small army and began to wobble our way out of the door but not before I plowed through four different fortune cookies until I found a one that I was satisfied with :)

After finding the perfect fortune, we took some pictures as you can see here! Wayne and Lili, thank you for dinner, I had a very lovely time and we must do it again!



After dinner, I loaded the Incredible Eco-Egg with Jen and myself and we began the trek back home. I made Jen count how many diners there were along the way. I think she lost count. We managed to get home at a decent time and we just chatted with my mom. I introduced her to the flying fur ball otherwise known as Bella. She took a liking to the southern belle. :) Surprisingly, we closed our eyes at a decent hour…

The next morning, I presented to Jen a cup of coffee big enough to go fishing in. I think my mother’s special blend got her motor running in no time at all. We put our batteries in and got a move on to face the day. I introduced her to one of our shiny aluminum sided diners where everything is cooked from scratch and served on 20” plates. We ordered some French toast, which was more like half a loaf of bread sliced three times. We wobbled out of the diner, quite literally.



I had made tentative plans with Sam Spritzer a few weeks ago to meet and through some trials and tribulations, we managed to meet up on Saturday afternoon at a nearby mall! My first impression was that someone drank his milk when he was younger because I was prepared for his vibrant personality but I was not prepared for his height. I think I got a crick in my neck straining to look up at Jen and Sam :) Since Sam has bilateral cochlear implants, we decided for acoustic purposes to stick him in the middle. I stood on the right side so I could my implant on my left ear would catch whatever Jen and Sam said. Jen stood on the left side so her implant on her right ear would catch Sam and I would have said. It is so much simpler when I am around other cochlear implant users because they are aware of how to maximize the listening experience. If I were to frantically shuffle around anyone else, I get a questionable look. With everyone properly positioned, we walked around the mall and chatting about anything and everything. Not that I am short, I am more fun size then anything but I had to keep looking up at their lips and I couldn’t very well watch where I was going. I kept walking into tables and the like. I thought for my own personal safety that they should sit down. :)


I had such a great time with the two of them just shooting the breeze with Jen and Sam. I am looking forward to seeing him at the Nashville HLAA convention next June!

Part 2 up next :)

8 comments:

Kim said...

I'm so jealous! Sounds like you two had a blast. I would love to meet Jennifer and Sam sometime.

Valerie said...

I am so happy Jen flew up and can't wait to meet you in June in Nashville. My Jenna thinks she can come and was so upset when I told her adults only!!! Her comment - but can I meet Abbie!

Sam said...

Meeting you and Jen was the highlight of my weekend/vacation! I do hope we get together again, before Nashville and you can count on me being there! Thanks for the wonderful time!

Denise Portis said...

It was fun reading y'all's "versions" of seeing each other again! Glad you were able to get together... that's always so much fun!

Anonymous said...

That pic of you with the eight-legged octopus on that plate was priceless. Can't believe Jen macerated the thing to death in her mouth and even swallowed it. Dunno, if it had been a dare, I'd have probably tried to swallow the thing without chewing it, heh! Yah, then *gag*!

Seems like ol' times getting together with a favorite friend though, and you two apparently had a ball in a very short time together. Which ended all too soon for either of you.

It's Nashville next and you guys are gonna go Southern, yup!

Ann_C

Cyborg Queen said...

Aww man! You're making me miss Jersey! With all those diners!

Did Jen say anything about "Full Service" gas station? LOL! That would be a hoot to watch for someone from Nashville.

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