Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happiness Is A Place You Can Go

"They say happiness is a thing you can't see / A thing you can't touch / I disagree . . . they say happiness is the folly of fools / pity poor me / one of the fools,"
-"Happiness," Scrooge the Musical

I love to travel.  For anybody who knows me  - or the handful of loyal souls who've been following this blog all along - this is no surprise.  If I sit still for too long, I start to go crazy: even if I'm busy as can be, like when I'm at school.  Go-go-go from 7am to 3am is a typical day. . . but even that can feel boring if it's in the same place.  On the other hand, most of my very happiest memories in life involve me getting on a plane or bus or some other form of transportation and ending up in an entirely new place.  The very best thing is when I can end up somewhere new with someone I love to explore with.  

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to travel as much as I'd like: however, my few trips have all been amazing trips to fabulous locations with wonderful people.  My first big trip was my sophomore year, to Trinidad & Tobago for Carnival with my former roommate and one of our dearest friends:

Other trips have included to NYC this fall for my senior class trip:

AAaaaannnnddd this past weekend which included the exotic and sunny Minneapolis, Minnesota as end destination:

(yeah I know. we're pretty hot.)

So how the hell did I get from Smalltown NE where I was perfectly mild mannered (cough cough) and demure (cough cough cough!) to being ridiculous in a photo booth in Minneapolis?  Well, I have the best and dearest friends in the world.  So when the stunner in the stunner shades, above, realized she couldn't fly from Chicago (!) to my tiny New England college for my Senior Showcase performance, she instead bought me a plane ticket to visit her in Chicago.  Which would've been epic adventure enough, but see she bought these tickets for a very special date, the day one of our super wonderful friends* got married.  So come last Friday I was tossing a few last-minute items into my bag (fleece lined tights? Check. Gum for the flight? Check.) and then tossing my bag into the car, which I hopped out of with a kiss for Boyfriend at the bus station, which brought me to Logan Airport where I flew to Ohare International.  Then I got to bond with the girl who is in every conceivable way, minus genetics, my big sister.  I accompanied her and her mom to a home-bible study and then did a drive-through tour of Chicago at night:

(low-quality iPhone pic of me at the gorgeous Chicago Water Tower)

Before heading back to get some sleep because we had to pick up this amazing woman:
(read more about her here)
So the three of us could drive to Minnesota to meet up with the fourth friend we were sharing our hotel with for the weekend.

(The four of us all dressed up for the wedding!  I'm the short one whose obnoxiously beveling her foot, in case you couldn't tell. Also, yes those are the fleece lined tights, yes they were warm and comfy, no I did not keep them on to dance the night away).

When the entire group of Friends-Of-The-Groom finally got together, it looked something like this:
(I promise we behaved at the wedding)

The wedding itself was wonderful.  Not a dry eye in the house as the world's sweetest couple said "I do," in a ceremony that fit them like a glove: Brass Quintet, snowy backdrop, laughter, and even a quick "Mazel Tov!" Then it was pictures for the couple and cocktail hour for the guests, which is where we discovered the photo booth. And hot chocolate. And other delightful surprises.  There was dancing - hours and hours of dancing.  There was toasting, and more laughing, and reminiscing and hugging.  I went to my "happy place," that is any place, preferably new, that I am discovering with people I love best and who love me back in the same fierce, silly, honest, loyal, ridiculous way.  

Starting the long journey "home" was, as ever, so difficult.  Hugs and kisses and then hours in the car, but Chicago was still waiting and still wonderful.  I even got to try true Deep Dish Pizza!  See!
(Please ignore how disgusting I look.  All I can say is I spent a LOT of hours in a car.)

Then it was home again home again jiggity jig. Car. Airport. Bus. Car. Bed.  And sweet dreams of happiness.

*guys, when I say "super wonderful," I mean at this man's wedding every toast ended with the same description "he's the consummate good guy." He's the smartest dude I've ever met (seriously, went to an elite private college, double major trip minored, plays an instrument. . .you get the picture), and probably the least assuming and most sincere. He believes that the world is a good place, that you hold doors for other people, endangered species should be saved, football is good, and his new wife is the best thing ever placed on earth.

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