Thursday, January 15, 2009

Old Friends and All-Nighters

My husband's best friend in the Navy, Nick, came through town last night. Nick was Matt's best man when we got married (And Matt was Nick's, but that's a whole other story) They met in New Orleans and lived in neighboring barracks buildings, and we even lived next door to each other after we all were married off, in little duplexes off base. When Matt got orders to Maine and Nick got orders to Texas it was a little heartbreaking...but the boys have kept in touch as much as guys like them do, and all's well.
I wish it could have been under better circumstances that we got to see Nick, but he had a death in the family and had emergency leave to come home from Bahrain. He basically flight-hopped across Europe, making stops in Italy, Portugal, and Iceland on the way (Maybe Germany too...I forget). Nick finally ended up at NAS Brunswick, Maine, of all places, and we couldn't have been happier to see him. It had been almost two years!

Having never been to Maine before, this was not exactly an ideal time for Nick's visit. It was dark, freezing cold, and we had only twelve hours to spend together. So what could we do? Matt worked until midnight, so there was no place to go for a couple drinks or sightseeing after that...

Well, there was one place...

I absolutely love the fact that L.L. Bean is open 24 hours. There aren't even locks on the doors. Nick said he needed socks (in his rush to pack he packed one pair of socks, which he threw away at our house) so off we went to Bean's at 1AM! The place was, of course, deserted. We had the run of the store and tons of fun checking out the merchandise, the sales, and the shoes. Nick got his socks (and two pairs of shoes, a shirt, some postcards...) and I got my maple sugar candy and blueberry syrup. There was free coffee and an extremely friendly and helpful man who brought out dozens of pairs of shoes for Matt and Nick to test out. We found some trout swimming in the fish pond, tested out bison-hide boots, searched the after-holiday deals, and found some really cool alarm clocks. After the experience that is L.L. Bean ("wait, there are three floors in here?" "Nick, there are three other STORES in here!") we headed to the next 24-hour place...

We joined a New Jersey man studying several books, two Brunswick cops, and the two-person staff at Tim Horton's for a 3AM cup of coffee and sandwich. After an hour there, it really was time to head home. Nick had to repack his bags and leave by 6AM to catch a flight to Detroit, and then drive home to Ft. Worth, TX with his family. I fell asleep watching some true-life story of a man who crashed his small plane in the bush of Africa and broke his legs and nearly died 18 times. I think Matt and Nick shot the shit til it was time to catch Nick's flight. I very sleepily said goodbye, rolled over on the couch and slept until 2PM. And now it's time for pancakes with blueberry syrup and to get back to the ho-hum life. =)

Miss ya, Nick!

Nick and his twin kids, Austin and Abby =)

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