Mary and I became instant friends forever when we met in Changchun, China, where we were both living and teaching for a year. So it was crazy to us that we hadn’t seen each other since then – three years ago! Here is a picture of us, from our last hurrah together – a five week backpacking trip across Southeast Asia:
And here is a picture of us from just a few days ago, with our Chinese beers in Phoenix, reminiscing of old times.
We picked up as if it had only been 3 days since we’d last seen each other.
Crazier than us not seeing each other for so long was the fact that Mary hadn’t met Steve! And I was anxious to meet the man in Mary’s life, Luke. Before we sent the boys off on their own travels – Steve to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, and Luke to Ontario (!) for a fishing trip – we had a night of hanging out and getting to know each other.
One thing I learned very quickly in Phoenix – bring your i.d. everywhere! The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19, and being 28 years of age, I don’t worry about getting carded back home because it never happens – it’s usually only needed for going clubbing, and then everyone’s getting carded to get in the door. So when Mary said she wanted to take us to her favourite pub after dinner that evening, it didn’t even occur to me that I’d decided to go sans-purse for the evening (that’s what happens when you get married and can count on your husband to have his wallet 😉 ). But we were determined to relax over a pint and so persisted and got my i.d. and ended up compromising on an Irish pub near Mary’s – they had Guinness, so I was happy!
The next day the guys headed their separate ways and when Mary got home from work, it was just us girls! The timing of both their trips couldn’t have been more perfect. We got to spend hours reminiscing about China and our travels through Southeast Asia – literally hours. We got out Mary’s journal (we both kept one while travelling) and went through every single entry from Southeast Asia. It started out innocently enough, just wanting to look over the entry from this time three years ago and then we couldn’t stop ourselves and we were reading them all. We also spent several hours going through my wedding photos. Mary was not able to make it to the wedding, and we were both crushed. So it was great to share the day with her and walk her through all the little details that made it so special.
Mary was able to take Friday off, so we had the whole day together. One of the things I wanted to see most here in Phoenix, was her mom and sister’s coffee shop/yoga studio. I’ve heard about Inside the Bungalow from Mary for years and I was so excited to finally see it, and to meet her family. It is such a cute and cozy place – I wish I could transplant it, and Mary, to Ottawa – I’d be going there for iced coffees and yoga regularly if it were in my neighbourhood! It’s located in a gorgeous old house in downtown Mesa and each room has a different theme/feel to it. My two favourites were the Alice In Wonderland Room…
After enjoying a delicious and healthy lunch, and a lovely chat with Mary’s mom and sister, we headed to the street of cute shops and boutiques of downtown Mesa (a suburb of Phoenix).
The rest of the day was full of girly-ness. Not only did we check out those boutiques and shops, we also drove to two different scrapbooking stores. For dinner we met up with one of Mary’s girlfriends, Sam, and the three of us went out for some great Mexican food and then gelato for dessert. All in all it was a fabulous day of girly fun 🙂 While Steve was hours away having a decidedly manly day and evening of fun, gambling and drinking at the bachelor party.