6:15 pm. Saturday. I was just punching out from work. My boss had told me earlier in the week I could leave a little early today, because I had to catch a train to the city that was leaving Milford at 7:05. The trouble was, I had only been scheduled til 6 pm, but a customer had kept me late!! Milford was 40 minutes away, and I had to hurry now or I'd miss my train!!
I was on my way to New York to see some old friends that I hadn't yet met. Amanda, (flew in from Phoenix for her birthday), Andiperullo (Lives in NYC), and Aswold (visiting from West Virginia) were all going to be there, as well as a few other TravBuddies and members of the Couchsurfing community. I have known all three of these lovely ladies through the site for over a year now, and I was looking forward to finally meeting them in person! Andi and I had been previously discussing putting an East Coast TravBuddy Meetup together, but due to conflicting schedules, etc, (as well as Andi usually being off traveling somewhere!) we just never got it all in place.
Now, Amanda was coming up from Phoenix for her birthday, and that was the catalyst that finally brought us all together! This was not going to be a "full blown" TravBuddy meetup, in as much at it wasn't going to be some big affair, advertised on the site with dozens of people coming from all over... rather, it was going to be an intimate dinner just with a few friends getting together. Amanda had told me she was bringing me a Saguaro Cactus magnet for my "tacky magnet" collection (we both have a fondness for collecting these) and of course, I had to get a birthday gift for her, so I ordered some 5x7 enlargements of some of my favorite photos from my recent cross country trip. I framed a nice picture of Niagara Falls for her, but, always the procrastinator, I had not wrapped it yet. Now that I was leaving work a half hour later than planned, I had no time to stop for wrapping paper!! I zoomed down the highway, fortunate not to hit any traffic. I called my Dad, who owns a liquor store, conveniently located across the street from the Milford train station. (This works out well for me, because I can leave my truck parked behind his store for free whenever I travel into the city.) I asked him if he had any wrapping paper in his store, and he said he'd check. By the time I arrived there, he had paper, scissors and tape laid out on the counter for me. Good ol' Dad! Good thing, too, as I had precious little time to spare. In the time of an Indy 500 pit stop, he helped me wrap the gift, as well as another photo of Delicate Arch I was giving to Andi. I shoved them into my bag and ran across the street. Just as I was purchasing my ticket from the vending machine on the platform, the train pulled into the station. Whew! Just made it!!