First of all, I just dated myself. Or ourselves. Yes. 24 years ago, a fine group of gals met at Central College in Pella, Iowa and the rest is history. Some of us graduated four years later, some of us transferred, but we have all stayed in touch.
That’s what Girls’ Reunion is all about. Getting together with my college best friends and living it up for a weekend. We have had many memorable reunions and each year, they just get better and better.
We chose the usual spot of Riverside Casino and Golf Resort down in Riverside, Iowa for a few reasons:
1. It’s a central meeting point for all of us (we have peeps driving from Kansas City, Indiana, Omaha, Chicago, Ames, Johnston, and of course…Walford).
2. They have an amazing spa
3. The outdoor pool is wonderful
4. There is always live entertainment on Saturday night with some band (this is a crap shoot because sometimes the band is good and other times, it is less than desirable)…this year, Sushi Roll played and they were good and entertaining to watch…the drummer wore a mask resembling Nacho Libre…completely tasteful (note the sarcasm)
5. We always have the Penthouse Suite at the end of the hall with a room or two adjoining the suite. This suite is like an amazing studio apartment complete with a big screen t.v., leather couch and comfy chairs, nice kitchen with a large granite table to gather around while storytelling, a balcony deck with a beautiful view, and more. #awesomesuite
This year, the girls decided that meeting earlier than the usual 3:00-5:00 timeframe sounded great and those that could, met up and went to Kalona. I wanted to leave earlier, but had a very busy morning packing for Hubby and the boys (they went camping and fishing at the river all weekend), taking the boys to the doctor for their swimmer’s ear, getting crawdads and leeches (not for the Girls’ Reunion, but for Hubby and the boys to use for their fishing weekend. I felt I should clarify that), getting the boys’ medicine for their swimmer’s ear, and then, pack for myself, make the No-Bake Cookies, and get on the road. Sure, I could have packed or made the cookies on Thursday night, but that would have been too organized for me. I am a procrastinator, this I know.
So, I took this picture at 1:32…in hopes of leaving by 3:00 #goodluck
My party favors were washed and drying (the cute mugs with lids and straws), but I had just gotten out of the shower. No cookies made yet. No dip made yet. Clearly, I have time management issues. And the funny thing is this: I’m the closest one to Riverside (we are talking a 25 minute drive, unlike others who have a 4 or 6 hour drive). And I’m always the last one there. #alwayslate
Well, I was able to kick it in high gear and got on the road shortly after 3:00 (or 3:30…whatever). And guess what? I WAS NOT THE LAST ONE TO ARRIVE! Jenna was (though she was coming up from Kansas City). But she did arrive about ten minutes after me, so that was close.
We gathered around the kitchen table and began catching up on all topics. Jobs, life, kids, etc… This is the best time because we talk too loud, laugh too hard, and have too much fun.
It’s rare for us to venture out of our rooms on the first night. Listen. You get six or seven of us together (Homan couldn’t make it this year due to her daughter’s birthday), and we will over-talk one another and laugh and reminisce and laugh some more like no buddy’s business. It. is. the. best.
I love these friends.
There are always shenanigans of craziness. Glenda bought headbands for us to wear (we picked them out of a bag and this determined who our sleeping partner was). We were mistaken for RAGBRAI riders, but that’s ok.
We talked about all of our reunions…our first reunion in Galena (I think it was in 1999?), the Bed & Breakfast at Lord Creepy’s (ok, so that wasn’t the real name, but it was a creepy house…), our beach house on Lake Michigan, the condos we stayed at back in Pella (home of Central College), our pontooning fun, the Amana Bed & Breakfast with the EARLY breakfast call, and the many reunions at Riverside in the Penthouse Suite or in their condo. And each year just gets better and better.
Another great year in the books. Great times with great friends. We’ve grown up a little, but still know how to revert back to 1991 when we were just 18 years old. Some stories never get old. The memories just get better and better. And new memories keep us bonded together. Jenna, Shirley, Heather, Andi, Glenda, and Michelle…you guys are the best. Love you all! xo ~ Angela Banae