Of the three members of the Single Ladies Club (SLC), I am the oldest, therefore the first to reach the big 3-0 milestone. The two youngsters in the group planned a weekend extravaganza to celebrate my birthday. 
It took place on the second weekend we were visiting at home, so AB would have a weekend o’fun with Grammy while I galavanted around the country with the party animals. It was the day after Annabelle had gotten sick, and the same day she developed mysterious spots on her arms, so I hated leaving her. I didn’t want to leave a sick child with Mom. Our pediatrician had diagnosed it over the phone as something more serious than HFM, and I didn’t want Mom to be in the position of having to take her to the ER if needed. Mom kept saying it was fine so after many tears from Annabelle and much hesitation from myself, I decided it was ok to leave.
Autumn and Joanna wouldn’t give me any details beyond that I needed to be ready to leave around 10:30. I rushed to leave Aunt Camp and make it back to Mom’s house in time, but A&J didn’t show up until noon. Autumn’s life is always 2-3 hours behind the rest of us of it wasn’t much of a surprise. They offered to let me sit in the front but I’m terrible with navigation so Joanna was the copilot. I can get almost anywhere I need to in my home state without knowing street names. I barely know highway numbers. I know where to turn based on what houses and Dunkin Donuts I drive by. It’s not foolproof but for the most part, it works well. On this trip, I was kicking myself for not being better at directions. All I knew was we were traveling north/north-east. Mom and Aaron could have mapped out the whole route in their heads within 5 minutes.
Given that we were driving and would only be away for 2 nights, my main guesses about the location were Cape Cod, Maine or possibly New Jersey. I highly doubted NJ since none of us love it there, but I wasn’t ruling it out completely. I would have had a great time with any location. Autumn and Joanna are a hoot anywhere we go, so we could have gone to the parking lot of Pier 1 and had a great time. To my great joy, they took me to Old Orchard Beach, Maine. They didn’t know Maine is one of my very favorite places but they couldn’t have picked a better spot.
Our first order of business after dropping off the luggage at our Airbnb was to get lunch. Eating was the main activity of the weekend and we started off well. We got shrimp wraps and fries and took them down to eat on the beach. For some reason, we started talking about old age and death which turned into me saying they should have living wills and make sure their affairs in order. Is this what old age is like? You get together for the weekend and spend time discussing who in your life can make your medical decisions if you’re in a coma?
“Let sparty.”

We spent the first evening eating our way through Portland. We started around 8 o’clock with dumplings and pork buns, then walked around town for over two miles, stopping to eat wherever we desired. At one place, we ordered a bread and cheese platter. The thin bread came with three small pieces of cheese with a dab of pepper jelly, little squares of jam and a swirl of organical sourced honey. It was all superb but tiny. Any of us could have eaten the entire plate as half an appetizer. We were still hungry after that, so we found a more substantial third course that we topped off with dessert from a chocolate restaurant.

After a spectacular brunch the next morning, Autumn wanted to visit a cryptozoology museum. She studied each and every plaque as if her life depended on it. She believed every single word. Joanna and I breezed through the exhibits in no time and rolled our eyes the entire time. It was so fake. There was even a sign that said, “Upwards of eighty percent of the data is misidentifications coming from known species. For example, a sample of sasquatch hair that turns out to be from a buffalo rug.” If Jojo and I hadn’t been skeptical before that sealed the deal. There was a display of sasquatch and yeti themed games, one of which was Yeti in My Spaghetti, a game we have. How ironic that the yeti from our spaghetti game has not been seen for many a month, much like the yeti that is supposedly wandering the earth.
We wanted to visit a cheese factory but ran out of time, so we went to a chocolate store and saw the worlds largest (and probably only) moose made out of chocolate. For supper, we went to a gourmet pizza place and we’re still talking about how delicious it was. I CANNOT emphasis how good the pizza was. We ended the evening with gelato by the pier and a movie night.
We didn’t stop talking for nearly 48 hours. We’ve been friends for 26 years and come from very similar backgrounds. We’re VERY different in some ways now, but we all accept the differences of the others and it doesn’t hinder our relationship in any way. We can talk about what we think and believe and not once get offended or feel insignificant because the others might have different opinions. 
We’ve come a long way from the days I wouldn’t hang out with them at church because I thought they were too young to associate myself with.