You know that person whom you can laugh with and feel at ease with even if you haven't seen each other in years? Devan is that person for me. Since we were 12, or 11, or whenever we first became friends, she has been a constant. Through many shared laughs and woes and lots and lots of Swedish Fish (I can't believe I used to love them so much), we drifted toward and away from each other, only to land and realize that it never felt like we stopped talking. We live by that now. We feel as if our souls are just always on the same page. We can pick up where we left off at any point in time, whether it has been five minutes or a year.
Friday was a glorious day, because two months earlier Devan and I decided we were going to start a new tradition of old-lady-like friend trips that will occur at least once a year. Friday, I saw my dear soul friend for the first time since January (but actually since over a year ago because it was a brief visit in January - haha, get it, Devan, brief?) And my oh my, was it a lovely spontaneous trip we just had.
Devan lives on the coast of Oregon and I live in Montana, so we decided that it would be most efficient for both of us if we each drove an equal amount (5 hours) of distance and met in the middle: Eltopia, WA. But Eltopia was not appealing in the least, so we decided the Tri-Cities area was a better compromise. We stayed in the bustling metropolis of Pasco and ventured into Kennewick a couple times too. The worst thing: 108 degrees on both days. Ugh.
We made it work, though. It was pretty funny how I forgot about the time difference and arrived an hour earlier than Devan. So I got an Italian soda (nothing hot - and only a $1.50!) at a coffee shop and called my mom while I waited. Then Devan rolled up in her fiancé's little red Geo I was surprised made it that far. She bought herself a floppy dramatic sun hat and then we were set to adventure.
We decided it was worth the sweat to pick berries at Bill's Berry Farm (pretty much the most wonderful place on earth and to us, the most appealing attraction in this area), where we got a little pink and melty, but got to pick the most delicious raspberries either of us has ever had. We got to pick peaches, too! I've never picked a peach. The people at the farm were so sweet - a family - and we got to ride on a cart of hay and everything. I felt like I was in Palmer, AK again.
We had a fancy lady date (our tradition) at Twigs, a martini bar and restaurant with 36 martinis to choose from! We both had our first martinis, and being adverse to the taste of strong alcohol, we ordered very fruity and sweet ones that were delicious. And THAT FOOD. Also, that light fixture.
We enjoyed our hotel, especially the continental breakfast and the brilliant layout of our guest room. (How smart of them to put a tiltable TV in between both the bed and the couch, and how did they fit a mini-kitchen, a closet, and a desk into that small space?!)
The next morning we tried to find a pretty place to take photos, but alas, downtown Kennewick is not one of those cute downtowns that one might expect, but rather a fairly drab and depressing place that had more tattoo parlors than all of Montana. We went to Fred Meyer instead (a place I miss far more than I probably should). I bought a carrot and coconut water and then we searched for anything green in the sea of dry, yellow ground. Eventually we happened upon a small parking lot where there was a 4-Runner with a bike rack on it, which made me think they would want green stuff too, and there was a small stretch of grass. Yay! We lied down in the grass and read Romans 9, enjoyed the small pocket of shade, and took some photographs of ourselves. We also ventured up the nearby bridge, which was neat because there are no neat bridges in Montana.
We ate at Applebee's for lunch, which was kind of weird, but I guess it was good. Then the end was in sight. We decided to write down our adventure in greeting cards, give them to the other person, and not let each other open them until next year. This will be a tradition: our old lady once-a-year let's make time for each other trip. And when trip 2016 happens, hopefully our old lady brains will be refreshed with the cards and the news that the previous year's adventure set a very low bar for the endless future ones.
I think the best things about the trip were watching Devan try to get Siri to behave, staying up late watching a movie most appealing to 12-year-olds (how fitting), and eating chips in bed. (Forest would never let me do that, haha) How blessed and overjoyed I am that my dear Devan and I could spend a few hours together face-to-face, despite the chronic distance between us. (Thank you to my sweet, understanding husband for allowing me to slip away for one night.) How happy I am that since Devan and I were 12, or 11, or whenever it was, we have been watching stupid movies and eating chips in bed together. We're determined to continue this until we are dead. Not depressing in the least.
We really don't plan to meet in Pasco again, but the long and back-pain-filled drive was worth it to get another bad arms-length professional camera selfie of us - or a few. It means we got to see each other, even if only for 24 hours.