Mum was the word on Friday–I was heading to L.A. to attend a surprise party for my dear friend, Cindy Leuty-Jones, so I couldn’t mention my destination for fear of arousing suspicions.
I stayed at the lovely Westin Hotel at LAX, and on Saturday, Cindy and her romance-hero husband, Jack, met me there for lunch. Jack and I had been plotting for days, via phone and text, and Jack had told Cindy I was just passing through and wouldn’t it be great if we could get together for an hour or two? I was nervous–I’m a very bad liar and I knew if Cindy asked any penetrating questions about where I’d been (home) and where I was going next (home), I’d probably trip myself up by saying something like, “Ah–er–um–”
Fortunately, we were so busy hugging, laughing and chattering away–lots to catch up on–that the subject of why I was in town never really came up.
There was a small challenge after lunch, though; when saying good-bye, Cindy teared up–as I said, we’re very old and very good friends who don’t see each other nearly often enough–and she figured it would be a long time before we could get together again. (It was hard not to say I’d see her that night.)
Another member of our outlaw gang, Annie Kodak, was unable to attend, due to illness. Kodak, we missed you. Get well soon!
At five, Jack sent a car to pick me up at the hotel–I told you he was a romance-hero :)–and I was driven in style to their lovely home, where the caterers were busy as the proverbial bees. Jack and Cindy were still out–they’d gone to dinner and a play–so the guests had plenty of time to arrive. Since I was a little early, and wanted to stay out from underfoot, I sat in the living room and petted the Jones’s dog, Sydney. Always a good way to pass the time.
There were probably a hundred of us there by the time Jack drove up with the guest of honor–and was Cindy ever surprised! It was so cute–she was overwhelmed and got all misty-eyed again–and after that, we had a great celebration–fabulous food, live music, lots of laughter and good conversation. Since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, I was out of there around ten–exhausted but happy.
I chilled at the hotel most of Sunday, finishing up Linwood Barclay’s excellent new book, “A Tap on the Window” and watching a “Storage Wars” marathon (I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for shopping) then hopped a plane home in the afternoon. I was, of course, bushed by the time I set foot in Spokane again, but happy. I had a wonderful, wonderful time.
One thing Cindy and I agreed on–we’re not letting so much water run under the bridge before we have some quality girl-time.
Things are lookin’ good for a long weekend in Santa Fe, with Annie, hopefully recovered by then, in attendance. Our other dear friend Althea happens to live there, too, which is a definite plus. Santa Fe is a favorite with all of us–haunted hotels, super restaurants, seriously cool shopping opportunities.
So that was my weekend. Much livelier than most of my Saturdays and Sundays.
Now, back to the real world. (Sigh.) Dental appointment this afternoon.
But then I can get back to my new book, and that’s an exciting prospect for sure!
The new contest begins today. Just comment, and you’re in. (Saying something nice will improve your chances. )