Monday, September 10, 2007

September Trip, I

This past weekend I flew to Florida to surprise BeFri for her wedding shower.* The surprise was probably not that much of a surprise as she said, "I just couldn't imagine you not coming." But the surprise real, feigned, or non-existent, the shower and the trip were a lot of fun.

I arrived late on Friday night and stayed with BeFri's sister at their relative's house. And by house I mean mansion. Not McMansion, but a full on 24,000 square foot mansion. I brought the sweater with me because I had an assload of time on flights and layovers, but in the end I didn't get much sweater knitting done. I did, however, get pictures with the sweater in the mansion because, well, that is what I do.

Here is the sweater with a World Series Trophy and with a Vince Lombardi trophy!

The sweater was getting freaked out during the photo session because the help, and yes, I just used the word "help" to describe people, who the hell am I? The help, in particular, the head lady help, she kept checking in on me, the weirdo taking pictures of the valuables. Or rather, the weirdo taking pictures of the valuables with what looked like a wadded up blanket. Since the sweater was shy I put her away and took a few more pretty shots when the help was not looking (which I'm sure fueled the fear that I was in fact casing the place and not merely taking pictures of things simply because they were neat).

This is the view from the master suite, and incidentally, I now understand why there is something called a "master suite" and to all you posers out there like me that think having a walk-in closet and a bathroom attached to your bedroom renders it a "master suite" know that that is not true and we are merely deluding ourselves. In fact, the guest room that I stayed in was more of a master suite than my stuff at home. It 1) was bigger than my master bedroom; 2) had a larger, fancier bathroom than any of the bathrooms in my house including my master bath; 3) had a walk-in closet larger than my house's guestroom; and, 4) had a partial loft which was about the size of my master bedroom. But let's move on.

Here is a picture of art. Real art. Like art you would find in a museum but instead it's in some one's actual house. Real art that probably has an insurance policy more sophisticated and higher valued than my homeowners policy.

What is so neat about this particular piece (yes, first it was the help and now it is the piece, I'm a freak with the vocabulary of someone in a much higher socio-economic class than that of which I am actually in!) is that it isn't a painting but instead is a gazillion tiny pieces of Venetian glass mosaic tile thingamajigs jammed together to make a picture. I'm sure the artsy fartsy term is not "jammed in" nor is it "tiny pieces of Venetian glass mosaic tile thingamajigs" but I don't know how else to describe it. So there ya go. Oh and the art, it had it's own label and description, like in a museum, but not, because it was in the foyer. Also, like the master suite, you may think you have a foyer, but you don't, not really.

So after ogling the nice house and embarrassing the hell out of my sweater with all of my picture taking/ducking the help, I readied myself for the shower, as in the bridal shower, not my bathing shower, though I did that too, in a steam shower which was more complex than the cockpit of a jet and made me twitch when trying to figure out how to turn on only one jet/faucet because the others were shooting at me all willy nilly and freaking me out. So the shower, the bridal shower.

There was some prep work done in which my surprise appearance was suppose to be ensured. That is to say, I didn't show up with BeFri's sister, but was instead snuck through the back door of a clothing store across the street and placed in a holding pattern until BeFri couldn't see me and then led across the street having to squat as I walked because my "blockers" were all six inches shorter than me.

But I did arrive and BeFri did act suitably surprised and so the ruse made everyone feel good. Like we were slick, even if we weren't. Which BeFri won't confirm or deny for certain.

The shower was at a paint-your-own-pottery store and BeFri had picked out plates, cups and colors for use to do. I being well prepared (or crazy and anal and nervous that mine would suck without having a DETAILED plan) had practiced drawing mine and even enlisted the help of a real artist to give me a template with which to work from. I was really pleased with my plate.

That is until BeFri's sister decided to put Van Gogh's Starry Night on a cup.

Now at first glance you might think Starry Night is not terracotta orange in color but know that this Starry Night won't be terracotta orange either. The glazes were fancy schmancy and all go on in shades of terracotta but then fire into different blues and greens and yellows. Hopefully BeFri will send me a picture of the finished products so that I can show you the magic of ... fire? A kiln? Magic something.

In addition to painting pottery we also got to eat. And boy did I eat. Specifically I ate the hell out of some cake. The cake was so awesome that even the sweater came out of hiding to check it out. The muggles, however, were freaked out by the sweater, and she got all nervous and ran back into her bag.

BeFri was not forced to open her gifts in front of everyone, which is good because she is so not into that. And also, some of the gift's were, um, unique. Like this.

What the hell is this? Half a sweater? BeFri was going with a shawl "like rich people wear to the country club" but I thinking that this is a bridal shower gift and should be homey or something am going with apron. Thus far no one else is seeing the apron idea.

She also got some slightly used lingerie in that the giver decided to try it on herself to make sure it would fit BeFri. Can we get a collective EWWWWW? One more time, EWWWWW, because what the fuk is that all about trying a thong on yourself to make sure it would fit your friend? Honestly, I could not make that up. The giver was so excited about the gift that she made BeFri open it after the shower officially ended, but before she got home. Dirty Giver proceeded to tell BeFri, as she was opening it, that she had tried it on and so knew it would fit (despite being eight inches taller and about seventy pounds heavier than BeFri). Yuck.

After we deloused BeFri, she and I went back to her house and she and her fiancé opened the gifts. Including the aforementioned APRON. Later she and I went out to eat and had some of the best spinach and artichoke dip ever at Houston's. Damn that stuff is good.

The next morning we woke up early and went to breakfast at a local jewish deli which was also delish and then I caught my plane home. Well one of my planes, because hello layover I hate you. I did manage to knit on my second flight. The flight that was so ridiculously short that there wasn't even beverage service. So I didn't actually get much done. But the little bit I did finish included ATTACHING THE POCKET. Woot Woot!

I now have about seven thousand inches of straight stockinet to go before some neck shaping. Oh the joy!

*FYI, in case you are ever enacting a surprise similar to this surprise, I suggest you have a back up plan, just in case. Ya see, had I truly surprised BeFri and had she had plans for Saturday night or Sunday, I would have been screwed, and also stranded with no place to stay and no way to get to the airport to get home, having been sold on the following by BeFri's sister ... "So, we won't tell BeFri you are coming. I'll pick you up at the airport Friday night, we'll stay a X's, and then Saturday we'll go to the shower. You can then go home with BeFri and spend Saturday night and Sunday with her and then she can take you to the airport." Which is a great plan unless, like I said before, BeFri had had plans. I realized the potential disaster at the last minute (and by "I" I mean my husband who said, "What are you going to do if BeFri has plans?" and to which I said, "Shit!") and made a back up plan with Opa which turned out unnecessary. But my point, as long winded as it is, is have a back up plan should you travel fourteen hundred miles to surprise someone.


Suz said...

Oh man, I am still laughing at your post. I'm so glad you came! Thank you a million times.

You take wonderful pictures!

Regarding the mystery knitting, you can use it any way you please.

barbp said...

This post was too funny and MFB had to come out and take a look when I mentioned the trophies - we thought we might start playing "guess the mansion owners name". But since our house is probably smaller than the guest room you were in - we thought - screw it!

Is there a trip II ?

Rebecca said...

I saw the apron thing too. But what IS it?