Despite all the traveling woes this past weekend I had such a great time at my 20th high school reunion that it was well worth it. I can be pretty introverted but I genuinely enjoyed talking to everyone that night. So many people were so happy and looked great and had beautiful kids...it was crazy. Maybe it was the booze, but I was just digging on everyone. I think that there was just something so moving about having witnessed all of these people at the most vulnerable times in their lives and being able to experience them now - at least most people there seemed very comfortable with themselves.
I'm usually horrible at small talk but I managed that night because I was quizzing folks on where they live (and have lived) in an effort to add places to the relocation-noodling-list. Tucson, AZ is still on the short list and I even found myself nostalgic about Philadelphia (but that's firmly in the "need more info" bucket). Ann Arbor, MI and Syracuse, NY had potential but the intelligence I got this weekend nixed them with a "too cold" verdict.
Speaking of other cities, I think I'm going to need a larger travel budget next year as I am determined to visit some folks that live farther than a car trip after seeing them this weekend. I'll need to find ways to have both the time and money to go to at least London and San Francisco...and if possible, even places like Ann Arbor and Tuscon.
In reviewing expenses...we did pretty good. I met up with my besties beforehand and another friend and his wife joined us at Parental Abode A where we noshed and chilled before the big event. I bought my tickets ahead of time ($60 each) and we received two drink tickets a piece. Since my first two drinks tasted watered down I was enormously grateful when Margaret gave me hers. And then I was handed a ticket found on the floor (thanks Rich...I think!). I swear I am a two drink kind of gal...and I had five. Um. But they were all free!
When we left we found a ticket on the one car we all squeezed into (mind...doh!) because we hadn't put money in the meter. In Boston, meters are free after 6pm so we didn't even think to check. Oops. It was a $20 ticket but one of my friends gave LaLa money to pay it. Her parents had taken her to the family safety deposit box earlier and she was able to cash a $25 savings bond given to her long ago and net well over $100 so she was feeling flush. Compound interest can really be exhilarating.
Since we were all starving we stopped at the WaWa on our way to Parental Abode B and stocked up on hoagies and snacks. We hadn't allowed the organic farmer among us to get cash so I sprung for her tab too - our total was a little over $15. Parental Abode B belongs to the farmer's parents and even if they weren't away for the weekend we *still* would have all had our own beds...and saving the cost of even a single hotel night really made a difference. And of course eating hoagies and Tastycake butterscotch krimpets at 2am with friends who have known you since you were 15 (and younger) is really priceless. Breakfast (for three of us) was just under $20 and then we all hit the road ending our official reunion festivities.
I will do an official total when I can access the gas (via my credit card downloads) and toll (via EZPass) totals but the total reunion cost for me was definitely under $200. Whew. And did I mention I had a good time?