Sweet Home Alabama

Angela, Fred and I in front of Saturn V
Angela, Fred & I in front of Saturn V at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville

[Sorry, the title was just too good to pass up!]  I am having withdrawal now, and I’m sad.  We just spent several fabulously incredible days with long-ago-then-new-again friends, Angela and David, and their son, Neil.  Angela and I worked together back in the early ’90s when we were both out on the east coast, and it was there that our friendship began.  Through my visit with her and her husband at their home in Virginia a couple of years later, I got to know David, too.  Then the last time I saw them was over 10 years ago; with a packed car and their then-toddler, Neil, they visited me in downtown Chicago.

It’s funny how life zooms by, and that’s what it’s done for all of us.  Careers and family and life in general kept us from having the time to get together, but Christmas cards kept us in touch and updated, and I knew that one day I’d get to re-connect with my old friend.  Life has, indeed, changed.  David, once a Colonel in the Air Force, is now staying on the ground but still working with the U.S. military, so has found Huntsville, Alabama, the place he needs to be.  Angela still remains the uber-organized hostess with the mostest, and I think has gotten even sweeter over the years.  Neil is now a very active, very polite, very fun-to-be-around teenager.  Fred is now in my life and we’re homeless!  And there’s a little more of all of us to love.  But reconnect and love and enjoy and have fun during our entire visit at their lovely home we did!

With attention to detail like I always knew her to do things, Angela planned several really terrific outings for us while we were in the area.  I mentioned Neil’s archery tournament in a previous post; that was truly lots of fun to see!  We also spent an afternoon at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center – home to all of the rocket technology our country developed and perfected (the fabulous museum walked us through all of that) and a popular destination for kids from all over the world to attend Space Camp.  On Saturday we toured Belle Chevre, an artisan goat cheese creamery in nearby Elkmont, and went to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge to observe a couple thousand Sandhill Cranes in their winter habitat.  Sunday found us visiting the Guntersville State Park to see if we could see any nesting Bald Eagles (saw one momma on a nest), enjoying brunch out, then doing some hiking in the park before settling in the lodge for a few games of checkers and backgammon on the big lodge game tables.  These were all places and trips we enjoyed taking, and we highly recommend Angela’s Planning and Hospitality Services to anyone coming to Huntsville!  :)

Interspersed throughout our really wonderful visit, Angela served absolutely delicious meals – lasagna, Moussaka, poached salmon, soups and salads… and really a treat for me, these fine meals were served on real china – no plastic plates nor wine glasses in her house!  Stargazer that Fred is, he especially enjoyed gazing at the planets, constellations and nebulae through their ultra-cool telescope – we saw Jupiter and five moons surrounding it!

I’m energized as I write this post, for I had really really really enjoyed the time I got to spend with Angela and her family. But now alas, we left their house yesterday and are now back to our life in Charley.  While this is our ‘home’ now, it was surely a treat enjoying Angela, David and Neil’s beautiful home for several days in Alabama, and I vow that it won’t be another 10 years until we visit again….