Last Tuesday, my best friend, Marlinee, sent me a simple text: "What's the name of that pho place in New Orleans?" My response? "Who is going to New Orleans!" She was, and not only that, she was following it up with a weekend trip to the beach. It was her unofficial 25th high school reunion with her Murphy High pals from Mobile.
In true best friend fashion, she was sending me "Come join us" texts by Wednesday. By Friday, I was out of excuses for why I couldn't possibly go. On Saturday, I hit the road.
I arrived in Gulf Shores around 2:00pm in the afternoon and kicked my shoes off on the back deck.
Then I walked down to the beach and joined in on the fun.
Over the years, I had either met or heard tales of most of the people at the reunion, so I felt right at home. After chit chatting for a bit, I went to unload my car and see what was happening inside.
Max and Tally were making gumbo!
I washed my hands, and started peeling shrimp. Eventually everyone else came in from the beach, or the store, and we had ourselves a little party.
Tally's husband, Carl, made salad, and Stephanie doctored up the French bread, and we sat down to one of the best meals of my life.
Seriously, I am going to dream about Tally's gumbo for the rest of my life.
After dinner, we moved outside to play Cards Against Humanity.
Not to brag or anything, but I totally won.
We stayed up late talking and I went to bed so, so happy I'd made the drive. When I woke up, I was informed that Marlinee's parents were on their way. Even better, Chow was joining forces with Tally, who lived in Thailand for a few years, to make us all a Thai lunch.
I'm pretty sure this is what mornings are like in heaven.
Marlinee was concerned that Tally might take too long preparing his dish, but Chow came with hers all ready to go.
We snacked on Thai poppers and spring rolls while Tally worked his magic.
I'm telling you, he is magic.
Then, once again, we all gathered around the table to enjoy an amazing meal.
Once lunch was over and the dishes were done, we went out to the beach. The waves were amazing and we alternated between playing in them and admiring them.
There are no words for how happy I felt.
The best part? I still feel it.
Thanks to Marlinee for inviting me, all of the Murphy Panthers for making me feel so welcome, and to Warren for keeping an eye on our babies so I could go and not worry.