all that way for a baby shower

And it was SO worth it.

Last weekend, I drove to DC to attend the baby shower of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Betsy, who I met in college through Air Force ROTC and who was my maid of honor at my wedding.  She and her husband, Josh, are stationed at the Pentagon right now and are preparing to welcome a little girl, Madeline, in February. 

I started my trip after work on Friday and drove six hours to Pottstown, where my other girlfriend from college, Leslie, lives with her husband, Christian (another friend from college) and their three little ones. We’re all Penn Staters, and I love driving through Central PA.  It reminds me of fall in State College, weekend trips and all the friendships I’ve made through the years.

I arrived just in time to say hello and goodnight before snuggling under bright pink covers in their oldest’s room.  In the morning, I went for a crisp run before Leslie and I hit the road.

Leslie drove us the rest of the way to DC and we arrived at our hotel in Alexandria around 1 p.m.  She and I freshened up and headed into the ‘downtown’ area to grab some lunch and do some shopping.

We followed Betsy’s recommendation and ate at Le Pain Quotidien before popping into Anthropologie for some treasures.  The downtown area of Alexandria is just the quaintest shopping area you ever did see: tons of coffee shops, boutique gyms, gift shops and a few big-namers, like Sur La Table, H&M and Gap. Bets says taking a walk in her neighborhood is dangerous!

Their shower (a.k.a. a party with good food and drinks that happens to include presents for a baby) was delightful. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know Betsy’s family quite well, so it was nice to catch up with her parents, sister and cousins. Turns out her cousin, Matt, ran the NYC marathon two weekends ago, so we got to chat about running and how I was there cheering on some friends.

Baby Madeline will be outfitted in onesies that feature planes (her daddy is a pilot) and otters (his call sign is ‘Otter’), as well as lots of other goodies. I chose a couple ‘food-related’ items on her registry (a bottle brush and drying rack) as well as a sweet ice cream cone-shaped teether from our toy store here in the village, the Toy Loft. In her mother’s words when I inquired about their registry, “Betsy loves a good boutique!”

After the shower, Les and I met up at the AirBnb where Betsy’s family was staying for a chance to visit and chat.  We sat on the couch talking until all our eyes were drooping. We’ve been friends for fifteen years. FIFTEEN YEARS.  How are we even old enough to have been friends that long?!

Les and I headed back to our hotel to find a little excitement: fire trucks!  A good five or six of them were parked outside, responding to smoke that–apparently–might have been questionable to begin with.  They were on their way out as we were walking in, and each and every one of them did indeed belong in a calendar.  Ha!

The next morning, after a quick 40-minute weight session in the hotel workout room, we cleaned up and headed to Betsy’s townhouse in downtown Alexandria.  We brought bagels and croissants from a local bakery to round out the egg casserole Bets made.

We were able to visit again with her parents, sister, cousin and even her sister’s in-laws.  Her sister, Sarah, is due with her second ONE WEEK after Betsy!  Super exciting for everyone, both mammas look amazing, and Mrs. Caskey seems to be doing quite well herself. 🙂

It was SO NICE to spend a couple hours in a small group with Bets.  Her home is lovely and they are going to be such great parents. I can’t wait to see photos when she arrives, and meet her next time we get down to DC. (You’d think it would be easy since my parents are there, but nope, no it’s not.)

Andrew and I are hoping to get down there one more time before the end of January, as there is a Vermeer exhibition we’d like to see.  It goes through Jan 21, so hopefully we can schedule a long weekend in January to see my family, Bets and Josh, and the museum.

While I spent about 18 hours in the car last weekend, I can tell you that it was all worth it to have a few hours to visit with my best girlfriends from college. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again soon!

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