Paul picked me up from Reagan National Airport Friday night and we got back to his house around 10:30pm. Genelle had planned a suprise birthday luncheon for her mother, Wanda, on Saturday afternoon so her sister and two little nephews had flown in from Los Angeles for the the weekend. Julianne and the boys had the guest room upstairs so I slept on the futon in the *man cave*(Paul's recording studio in the basement). I guess nobody thought to tell Zach about the sleeping arrangements 'cause the next morning he said he spent most of the night sleeping on the couch in the living room until he somehow realized that I wasn't sleeping in his room like the last time they had a houseful of people (for his graduation party in June). That weekend Paul's parents were in the master bedroom, Paul and Genelle moved upstairs to the guest room, Paul's sister Shelley and her husband Steve were in the man cave and I got Zach's room. Not quite so much juggling to do this weekend but somehow poor Zach never got the room assignments!
As usual, after everyone else turned in, Paul and I ended staying up till the wee hours of the morning drinking beer, listening to music and hanging out in the man cave. It was a lot of fun but the next morning I was definately feeling it. By the time we left for Wanda's party I was pretty sure I could keep food down but I knew I wasn't drinking anything that day. Paul kept trying to get me to have a beer with lunch and after I said I just couldn't for about the 10th time he made me say out loud, "I'm a wienee". So after making me verbally humiliate myself, did he quit? Noooo........then he wanted me to do a shot of tequila with him in the bar. After about 6 No's I finally said OK. You should have seen how he twisted my arm! After a while Zach comes to find us. He has this accusing look on his face and says, "You left me alone......with all old people". I had to laugh. He did it with such a straight face.
That night Genelle, Julianne, Austin and I got into a very weird game of some kind of gin rummy while Paul snored on the couch. We didn't finish until after 1:30am so it was another late night for me.
Paul and his friend Scott (who I've met before and like very much) both own speed boats so the next day we had 8 adults, 3 teenagers and 4 littler kids out on the Potomac river on the 2 boats. Add one tube to pull behind one of the boats and you have the makings for a really fun day. Those who didn't want to ride the tube stayed on Scott's boat which was anchored in one place. Those who wanted to ride got on Paul's boat. The women all elected to stay stationary but this just looked like too much fun to me. Never one to turn down a new experience, I had to try it! The tube holds 2 people so the first time I rode Paul went with me and Scott drove the boat. The second time Scott went with me and Paul drove. Of course, both times, whichever one was driving, they each did their best to scare the crap out of me without actually dumping me into the river. I think it worked, too. It was all I could do to keep myself from screaming like a girl as the boat would make a tight circle and the tube would go flying out to the side in reaction to it. I'm not sure exactly how fast we were going but from where I sat it was plenty fast enough! And I would just like to say now that Paul and Scott both got thrown out while I managed to stay IN the tube both times I rode ( I think the only reason I didn't get thrown was because I had a death grip on the handles! But don't tell my cousin that) . What a blast!!
When we finally called it a day Genelle, her sister and kids and Austin went to Genelle's parents house for the evening and Paul and I went home to shower, eat pizza and watch the Redskins play the Colts in the Hall of Fame game. The Redskins won.
You never know what nuggets Life will hand to you when you least expect them. Who would have thought that, in losing my dad, I would meet my cousin for the first time at his memorial, that we would hit it off so completely that first day and that I would then end up so close to him on the East Coast? Or that over the last few months we would have gotten to know each other, not just as cousins, but as really good friends? I think Paul will be one of the people I miss the most when I leave for Europe. But the good part is that, no matter what, he will always be my cousin and we'll always be friends.
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