The Journey of Goodbyes: Part 2
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017. Wake up call at 5:00AM. I hardly slept at all due to the a/c vent blowing directly on top of us but The Husband and the pups slept just fine. We got up to our alarms, brushed our toofs (the word we use for “teeth” as a point of humor, though most people don’t think it’s that funny), let the pups out to pee, and headed back on the road. We drove to Aurora, Colorado to visit with our good friend, Rich, and her wife.
Back story on Rich: She and I had a mutual friend that I was close to in Texas. This friend joined the military, met Rich in Fairbanks, Alaska and by proxy, Rich & I became friends. Rich and I ended up becoming roommates in Anchorage when she ended her term of active duty military service, AND introduced me to The Husband. As you can guess, we married a year later. After 3 years of marriage, spending 3 weeks in close quarters, over 4,000 miles in the car and constant presence of each other, I still like the guy. I’ll give it another 3 years and re-evaluate then. ;)
ANYWHO- we headed to Aurora to visit Rich and her wife. We have this ever-impending trauma of dropping off Stella at Matt’s parents house and the emotions were revisited upon arriving at Rich’s house because Rich was there the day I adopted Stella. Madam Estella. (Her story shall be elaborated another time...)
Rich was the only one home upon our arrival. We met their four dogs, all insanely adorable, plus the one they were sitting for a friend. Rich’s wife was going to be at work until around 8PM so we proceeded to catch up, light a menu on fire, and drink water at a local hibachi joint. Great times were had: Reminiscent of Rich introducing me to The Husband in the Fairbanks, Alaska Wal-Mart parking lot in 2013, the ridiculous ridiculing moments we introduced to each other’s lives and the future trips of Europe living that we dream of.
Rich has been a good friend to me for only a few years but it feels as if 20 have gone by and our friendship will endure another twenty. Rich, though you may never read this, you have influenced my life in so many ways that I am very grateful for you. I hope the same inspirations are had in your life that have graced mine. <3
Anyway, since living with Rich in Alaska, she was the guinea pig to my early meatball recipes. Since being roommates in that adorable apartment in Eagle River, we have dealt with spiders crawling out of our coffee cups, grazing our lips and puking everywhere; also survived the long and hilarious drunken nights at Chilkoot Charlie’s (to the locals known as Koot’s) in Anchorage or playing darts or pretending to be a married couple of 9 years to a perfect stranger at Red Robin’s for New Year’s Eve. We have had the perfect number of memories between us and I’d never share them with anyone else.
Again, ANYWAY, meatballs. I have no recollection of how I began to cook meatballs. Was it for a special gentleman in my life? Was it to impress for a dinner party? Was it for a work potluck? I have no clue. All I know, is that the recipe was perfected over several weeks of trial and error. Rich and my very good friend, Victoria, were the taste-testers and over the course of this recipe perfection, drank mass quantities of wine. To the point that we had a wine subscription to receive 6 bottles of wine from around the world each month on top of whatever we bought in the store each week. Not that this is pertinent information to this particular blog post but we liked to mix Barefoot Moscato with Arbor Mist Pomegranate Berry Pinot Noir. Thinking about the amount of wine we used to consume makes me so happy remembering the good times but also makes me a little nauseous. *Insert happy and reminiscent facial expression HERE*
So, Rich asked me to make “balls and sauce” when The Husband and I arrived. Ended up making the meatballs with elk and turkey meat... they didn’t cook the same as the hamburger/sausage combination I normally use. They made the house smell AMAZING and they tasted incredibly delicious. They finished cooking about the time Rich’s wife came home from work. Once we all sat down to eat, the room was silent other than the begging stares of all the canines dying to nibble on some scraps.
After chatting with Rich and her wife a little too late in the evening, fully knowing we were planning on getting up at 5 to head to Boise, we finally said goodnight.
Road trip total mileage: 789 miles.