I had just three weeks left of my epic voyage and one of those weeks was already blocked out for a work retreat in Orlando.  I knew I wanted to spend the other weeks with my best friend Jason in Boca Raton.  This would not only give me one last boost of warmth and Vitamin D before returning to the subterranean Chicago winter but BEST FRIEND time.

Jason and I have had many adventures during our years of friendship, including the time we went to a fundraiser that had unlimited booze, which we took full advantage of, forgetting about the free appetizers, food which was being carted away while we were coming out of our vodka fog in one of the curtained booths.

The bar was ending the event and opening up to the general public and so we followed the carts to see where they were going to store our leftovers.  Losing sight of them for a moment, we ventured around a corner and caught up to them heading into a room.

“After party!” Jason exclaimed as we chased the food into the room.

Now this was some after party, there was a full buffet with fried chicken and mashed potatoes and the works.  A perfect way to end the evening.  We happily loaded up our plates and turned around where we not only didn’t see anyone we remembered from the event but where we also realized we were the only white people in the room.

“Oh gosh, is this not the fundraiser?” we asked?

And then the most delightful thing happened.  The family who’s event we had literally just crashed exclaimed, “Oh go on and help yourself, there’s plenty.”  And we spent another couple of happy hours sitting and chatting with strangers who became friends over fried chicken and more vodka.

These are the kinds of things that happen when Jason and I are together.

While we didn’t crash any family reunions, we did enjoy some of the best seafood I’ve had, enter and exit vodka fogs and spend many happy hours chatting and laughing.

Just what my heart needed before returning to the real world.

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