The plan for Natalie Squared included:
1) Walk at the park early with coffee and catch up.
2) Get pedicures.
(Okay STOP right here because pedicures were not open until 10am and we needed to get on the road. Insert glitch 1 in my plan.)
3) Head to Portland. Check.
Walk around, maybe do some shopping, and of course listen to the playlist of all songs that reminded me of Nat.
(Let me just say.... we shopped until we DA-ROPPED, people. How it happened, I don't know.)
4) Eat lunch together on a picnic blanket in a park with food purchased at Whole Foods, which I had never been to.
(Insert lunch at McMenamin's instead for close-proximity-to-NW23rd street and shops)
5) At lunch, exchange a pair of socks so that we can each wear a pair and take pictures of our feet for 6 months, tagging each other on instagram wherever our socks might go.
(I still have my socks in the car. She still has hers at her house.)
6) Drive back to Salem and go to Create-A-Memory to make mugs, or something to always have with us while we are separated for 6 painful months.
(Insert pedicure, walking around Salem, and eating froyo instead)
7) Conclude evening with a dinner spent together and maybe some steam room action at the gym.
(Insert dinner with her entire family, our friend who is about to get married and her fiance, groomsmen, friends from Australia, and little brothers.... and one heck of a meal cooked by the Zukowskis).
And then we steam-roomed. And went to a SECOND McMenamin's for drinks and live music.
Somewhere in there, we changed our hair at least 5 times, changed our outfits even more, laughed until we cried (when trying to convince the other that they had bigger eyes), took a million videos (random boy at park, what is your name?) and much more.
Thanks, Nat, for being my best friend and making those kind of days so special and unforgettable.
Though I don't know if anything will ever top the night we went snowboarding together before you left for Panama.......
On a more ironic note, I now share some of my husband's ... pain? frustration? entertainment? in planning a date for someone and having it turn out totally differently.
But you know what.
I love me some spontaneity.
And it was a dang good date.