I had the great pleasure of hosting one of my most dear friends last week! Ingeborg made a stop in Orlando on her backpacking trip along the southern US states on her way to Phoenix! It was amazing to see a friend from Australia (we were flat mates over there in Spring 2008 during our study abroad trips; she's from Norway). Of course we had kept in touch, but we hadn't seen one another in the flesh in 18 months! It was amazing to catch up with her in person. Here is the link to the full photo album.
We had something fun to do every day of her stay. Here's the run-down on our little adventure together:
Friday night: Inga arrives; we stay up way too late talking about EVERYTHING; we eat lemon poppy seed muffins with butter and jam; I unwrap all the little presents she brought me from Norway; we gorge on all the candies included in said presents; we have fun speaking "Norway-English," haha; we agree to sleep in the next morning.
Saturday: we slept in; she blogged about her travel to the US while I went for a run; we had pot pies for lunch (her first time having one; she's a fan); she made great friends with Ashes; and we went out for NORWAY NIGHT!
Several of my good friends from the book club joined us in showing Inga Downtown Orlando! We hit Latitudes (to get started), The Lodge (Inga's favorite), and Eye Spy (heaps of dancing); then we capped the evening with some good ole Jimmy John's (another first for Inga).
Sunday: met some folks from the book club for brunch at Hue, downtown. It was quite tasty, but took longer than anticipated, and so we were running behind time to get to the book club at Stardust. I was able to inform Inga of the book we were reading for January in time that she could read it, so she had fun taking part in the discussion with us. We had several new faces at both the brunch and the book club, but Inga was dubbed the "honorary, global book clubber," haha! After the book club we strolled around Lake Eola.
Monday: I had to work; Inga had a nice, lazy day. That evening we were originally planning to go to my Orlando Camera Club meeting to learn about HDR, but we got sucked into a shopping mode and hit Ulta and Ross that evening. We got a little crazy with our nail polish selections! So many to choose from! For dinner I took Inga to Panera.
Tuesday: I worked again, and Inga had another relaxing day. That evening I took a nap while she read, then we went to the California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. After CPK we went downtown, in formal-wear, mind you, to celebrate Joel's birthday at The Citrus Club on the top floor of the BB&T building downtown. It was really elegant, and we had fun chit chatting with Joel and his friend, Dennis. Happy birthday, Joel!
Wednesday: Again, work for me; Inga had a lazy morning; I brought home Jersey Mike's Subs for lunch, then she went to Waterford and I went back to work. That evening we lounged for a bit before going to Urban Flats for some flat bread, live music and she had some wine (as I was driving). Afterwards we went to Borders where I picked up the February book club book and she found a cool iPod case.
At one point through the week I took Inga to The Marble Slab. She was blown away by the concept, haha! She had a crazy concoction, but it really wasn't too bad, less the York Peppermint Patties, haha!
Thursday: after work Inga and I went to Amigo's for dinner where I ate entirely too much, too quickly, haha. Inga picked up heaps of goodies for the pre-screening of the movie "Dear John" that Joel got us tickets for. Ryan met up with us, too, and we camped out for an hour to get excellent seats in the theatre. I didn't cry, though my eyes got a little dewy. Inga cried, I'm pretty sure. We felt the movie was okay, and preferred "The Notebook." Fun time, nonetheless!
Friday: I took the day off to spend a full day with Inga. Ryan hooked us up with some good deals to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures. Ryan was a great "guide" to the parks. We hit up all the good rides and the longest wait, with one exception (the new roller coaster where they play your song during the ride), was 15 minutes! It was unheard of, I tell ya!
After much walking around, snacking, riding and chatting we got back to my apartment just in time for a quick power nap and prep for the Girls' Night I had planned as the last big to-do before Inga left Orlando. I had a few girls from the book club over, and Tiffany. We chatted, snacked on fruit and fondue, drank wine and had a lovely time painting our nails. I have a feeling there will be more Girls' Nights in the future.
Saturday morning we packed up and drove to Gainesville as it was her next stop and it was on my way to Atlanta to pick up Heidi. So we got a couple extra hours together. She DJ'd for me with the iPods. When we got to her hostel we said our goodbye's quickly to avoid bawling. I sure will miss that girl!
Thank you so much, Inga, for visiting! I loved having you in my home and company! Travel safely as you journey to Phoenix!
PS - Here is the link to Inga's travel blog if you're interested in reading (the second half of each post is in English) about her travels in the US.