Michelle and I started going to school together at Fort Lauderdale Christians school in kindergarten in 1983. We would be friends all the way through our graduation in 1995. We attended the same church and lived very close to each other. Michelle's mom was a single mom and worked quite far from the school. My parents would take Michelle and her sister Lauren home from school and Jan would pick them up at our house. They only spent many summers hanging out with us at our house.
We were the maid/matron of honors in each other's weddings and through the years have maintained a very close friendship. She married an incredibly amazing, wonderful man. Seriously, Hershal is ... awesome. And they have three sweet children! The boys LOVED playing with Edward and Abigail and Annabelle were fast friends. Poor Benjamin had to deal with Hannah's drama, but he seemed to tolerate her okay.
They spent three nights at the farm, and we spent a day at Dollywood together. We have season passes, and they give you free "Bring a Friend" passes to use! It was a fantastic day with very few lines and crowds. The Pleasant kiddos had never been to an amusement park before and Hershal and Michelle had no idea how they would do. Annabelle was a little more guarded but still game to try some things. Edward, however, a bit soft-spoken and cautious, blew everyone out of the water by going on every single roller coaster Isaac did (4 of them!)
Here is a picture as we were going into the park:
Unsure if Edward would want to ride WILD EAGLE, I decided to walk up to the gate with Hershal and Isaac and Edward. The plan was that I would walk back down with Edward if he changed his mind and Hershal and Isaac would ride. But Edward decided to go and to make Isaac happy, I went to. That will be my very first and my very last time every riding that roller coaster. Holy cow. Here's Isaac and I taking a selfie right before getting on:
And here is Hershal and Edward a little nervous themselves:
I also rode Thunderhead with the three of them. That will be my very first and very last time on that one as well. Picture a wooden roller coaster that goes about five times faster than Thunder Mountain. Ugh!
Here are a few more pics from our day:
So I really dislike this ride above, but Abigail loves it and is too small to ride without me. JB gets very bad motion sickness so I am taking yet another one for the team. Actually Hannah is in that picture too but you can't see her!
It was Bluegrass Festival week at Dollywood. At first, when we pulled up to the park, we were greatly concerned by how many people were there. But we soon realized that none of them were children. They all had grey hair. They were there for the festival, not the rides, which was good for us! Here was a quick moment that we stopped to hear one of the singers:
Here are a few old pics I found of Michelle and myself. I am sure I must have pictures of us from when we were younger, but it is amazing how different the world was before digital photography:
Right before we moved to Turkey in 2010, we drove through and spent a few day with Michelle and her family.
This would be our high school prop in 1995.
Sometime in 2005, a few of us old classmates got together for a nice evening together. There were only about two dozen in our class so seven isn't too shabby of a turn out.