In a gloomy 2015 April after rather a lot of wine I came to a decision. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, and that moment felt like the right time.
Having had the aforementioned wine, I rose from my desk with a steely determination and swaggered into the kitchen where my husband was busy cooking dinner. Leaning precariously against the wall I took a deep breath before uttering my question. “Can I go to America?”
Of course, he realised this was more of a statement rather than a question. He heard what I meant to say, “I’m going to America, live with it.”
As soon as I got the supportive nod I was there, on Facebook, basically inserting myself into the Meredith household. I booked my flights and promptly filled Facebook with countdowns (to the second) on a regular basis.
MK and I had become great friends over the past two years or so. Apparently I replied to a mutual friends status. The subject matter I don’t recall, she heartily agreed with me by all accounts. I’d not long since penned Falling to Pieces. The first I actually remember is reading MK’s Malibu Betrayals as a beta, prior to its acceptance for publication with Entangled. Anyone who’s read a Meredith book knows what a fine, smooth, writer she is. It’s enviable. However, in that first draft of the book she wrote ‘drug’ instead of ‘dragged’ on several occasions, that caused me to threaten her with violence! That’s where the friendship began in earnest.
I touched down at Washington Dulles on the 22nd of November 2015. One would expect a slight amount of awkwardness between two people who’d never met in the flesh, but honestly, strangely there was nothing. Not an hour after arrival in VA I was sat, feet up, wine in hand, and chatting as though we’d been best buddies for years.
The next day I embarked on a journey to see my cowriter, Matthew Peters, that’s another blog post. I suffer with driving related PTSD and took the road trip to North Carolina in a hire car under the blessing of my therapist. Well, she must have been as crazy as I was because it was awful! Of course my coauthor offered to return me to DC for Thanksgiving. However, that didn’t happen for a number of reasons, and MK was the best friend in the world ever for coming to get me!
We were upright and lofty for Thanksgiving and went around to a friends to spend the day. Brian, MK’s gorgeous husband, and his beautiful friend invited me out to the sidewalk whilst the turkey deep fried to reminisce over military days gone by. It was truly awesome :).
They were wonderful hosts. However, I apparently said something inappropriate and fell asleep with hilarious consequences. It was over twenty-four hours later that I would find out about the pictures…
BASTARDS! 😉 Of course, I was thinking very hard about the plot for my next book!
There is a Meredith household tradition called Finger Food Friday. I’ve been obsessed with it since the start of our friendship. I was not disappointed! FFF is amazing and was well worth the £500 airfare! (Just in case you’re considering it!)
Talking of being inappropriate, we went to a child’s birthday party a few days later. The adults were talking about what I might take back with me. They suggested I might smuggle wine back if I affixed ladies towels to the bottles, because no-one wants to touch them. I added, “Especially if it’s red wine and the bottles break.” To say the audience were horrified would be putting it mildly. However, MK looked as though she wanted to high five me! LOL! That was pure British humour, so forgive me for thinking she was born in the wrong country.
Later that night we frequented a gorgeous, famous DC steak restaurant, The Palm with the lovely couple, Sean and Gabriel. Again the perfect hosts and an amazing night out. I’ll look forward to my next night out in about a years time. 😉
Days seemed to fly by so fast while I was there. It was soon a very sad Monday for different reasons than usual. It was my last whole day in the US. We decided that it was probably time to see some sights. It was raining and we decided to start with lunch at the very posh NOLA. I enjoyed a delicious burger and a glass of wine (of course). That sort of set the tone for the day. We walked over to The Whitehouse in the horrible grey drizzle. MK stopped mid-stride with a horror filled expression. I immediately asked what was wrong. “I left my umbrella at the restaurant.”
I furrowed my brow and looked up at the umbrella above our heads and back down at MK’s still horrified gaze. I raised a brow and pointed up at it. “Do you mean that umbrella?”
My cackle could probably have been heard in The Oval Office! I laughed so hard. I love that girl…
So, I was entirely unimpressed by The Whitehouse. It’s tiny. I stated my opinion to a guy standing on guard, and said our palaces are much better. He told me that when it was built they wanted a peoples house, not a grand palace. I scoffed and walked away, feeling a little chastised. When I was ten metres away MK admitted that The Whitehouse is huge and that it goes quite far underground. I had to force myself to continue walking in the other direction so I didn’t go and tell that bad man off for spinning his lies! At least our palaces are honest! Luckily, I spotted a bar which, of course made me walk toward it.
I was devastated to leave. I adore Target, the petrol and cigarette prices. All the laughs I shared with MK and Co were priceless memories to treasure for a long time to come. I couldn’t have had a better trip if I’d tried. I can’t believe that will be the last time we all get together. I know MK and Brian want to visit Europe! I hope they make it to Old Blighty! ❤
Make sure you check out my video interview with her HERE ❤