The best, most awesome thing in the world happened today. I was talking with my BFF of 20 years on facebook, and I was telling her all about my trip to Europe in May. Jokingly, I asked her if she wanted to come. To my surprise and delight, she said she would absolutely love to, and that it would be good for her to get away. So she’s leaving behind her husband and kids for two weeks to come cause trouble with me in Europe!

Seriously, someone should maybe warn these cities ahead of time that we are coming. We somehow always manage to get into some sort of shenanigans when we hang out together. I was already planning on making sure I knew where he US Embassies were in the cities I’m visiting, but now I’ll really make sure! She’s even going to fly a few hours the wrong way, from St. Louis to LAX, so that we can fly to Copenhagen together.

I didn’t make it easy for anyone to join me on this trip either. I was planning on going solo, so I booked flights without paying the extra money for seat assignments, and booked several small one way flights to Paris and Venice. And I booked everything separately, no package deal or anything to simplify things. The only thing we can book at the same time is the train from Venice to Rome, since I haven’t booked that yet. I’m going to have to notify the places I’m staying that there’ll now be 2 people instead of 1.  But…OMG. IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME!

I’ve known my BFF since high school.  We actually became friends after we both dated the same guy (at different times). I dated him after her. I didn’t know her then. We were in band together, and one day she invited me over to her house to go swimming with a bunch of other people. The rest is history, we’ve been BFF’s ever since.

This girl has been there for me through some of the best and worst times in my life. When, at 16, I found out my dad had cancer, I drove straight to her house. I walked in, without bothering to knock (small town), completely forgetting that she was having dinner with extended family that night. When I saw them all at the dinner table, I turned around to leave, and she ran after me, knowing something was must be wrong. I’ll never forget that, not ever.

She was with me a few years later, at my dad’s funeral, giving me all the support I could ever need. It was that same week, a few days after my dad’s funeral, that we got matching tattoos. She already had one, and I had told her I wanted one. So for my 19th birthday, she got me a tattoo, and got the same one in the same spot. 15 years later, that tattoo seriously needs to be retouched, but I think of her every time I look at it.

When my car broke down in Hattiesburg, MS, driving back to college in Alabama from Missouri, I called her when I couldn’t get in touch with my mom. By the time I called her, I was in a state of panic. I was at a gas station in MS, my car was dead, I couldn’t get in touch with my mom, it was getting dark, and I had no money. She calmed me down, and was about to send her husband down to get me when I was finally able to reach my mom.

She has always encouraged me to chase my dreams, no matter how crazy they probably sounded at the time. She will always and forever be someone I know I can count on, no matter what, to be there for me. She can always count on me too.

I love her dearly, and I can’t WAIT to take this friendship international!

I may not be finding myself on a solo trip to Europe anymore, but I’ll be reminding myself of those carefree high school days, when I was just beginning to think about where I wanted my life to go. I’m kind of at a new beginning now, and I have no idea what the future holds for me, but at least I know I’m going to have an EPIC two weeks in Europe!

It’s our 20th anniversary trip!


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