Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chapter 12

***Workin' on getting past the writers block here! Also hoping to get my laptop fixed cause I have more of my story on there...which I sadly cant get to. So this is written from memory, probably a little different then what I had planned. Hope ya'll enjoy and thanks for reading!

I finish up my meeting with Stan and walk down the runway to the ice. I had glass seats to a game before, but standing right at the door way to the ice and looking up at all the seats, you never realize how big the ice and the arena is until you are down there near the middle of it all. Jon was on the ice with Jordan, Brian and Sharpie, joking around more than anything it looked like. I just stood there in a daze looking around the arena before I almost had a heart attack because Sharpie decided to shoot a puck at the glass right next to me.

“Jerk!” I yell at him as I open the door and stand at the edge of the ice
“Ha, sorry I couldn’t resist, we kept yelling at you but you weren’t paying attention” he said
“Yeah, I zoned out I guess”
“Come out here!” Jon yelled at me
“No way, I’ll fall flat on my face”
“No you won’t, I wouldn’t let you,” he says as he skates over to me and puts his hand out
“Ok, but any broken bones and I’m blaming it on you” I say as I walk out onto the ice
“I promise you, you wont fall”
“Look out!” Jordan yells at me as Sharpie comes skating towards me and picks me up over his shoulder
“Patrick Sharp! You better put me down right now!”
“No, I don’t think I can do that”
“Ok, I guess so” Sharpie says as he puts me down at center ice
“Thanks Sharpie!”

The guys joked around on the ice for a while longer; they even got me to shoot a few pucks, and let me tell you, trying to shoot pucks in flip flops is not the easiest thing to do.
After the guys changed, Jon and I headed home, and he jumped in the shower. I decided to put some blankets out on the balcony and sit out there for a while

“You really like it out here, don’t you?” Jon asks as he sits next to me and puts his arm around me
“Yeah, I love balconies, they always seem to be so peaceful, and the view is amazing”
“A balcony at this place was almost a requirement to have when I bought this house”
“I remember when I was in Spain and Italy a few years ago, every hotel had a balcony, I would always spend so much time on.”
“Nice, I usually hang out here too, sometimes before games to clear my head.”
“It’s good for that too”

June came and went pretty fast, the Penguins had won the Cup for the second time in 3 years, Jon was happy for them because he was friends with Crosby and a few guys on the team. Laura had made her move out here and found a little apartment off Michigan Ave and had a few meetings with Stan and the equipment team to get her internship situated. She had went on a few dates with Kaner, but she didn’t say much to me so I didn’t know anything as to what was going on. After countless shopping trips, I was able to find a cute summer dress to wear to Duncan and Kelly’s wedding, it’s a strapless dress that went to my knees and was pink with a black ribbon across the middle, perfect for me to say the least.

“So, I guess I should mention this now, but since the wedding is in Manitoba, my parents are going to be there” Jon says as we’re in our room packing
“Oh yeah?” I say, looking at him kind of nervously
“Don’t worry, they will love you,” he says as he walks over to where I am
“Ok, I think I can handle it, I’m just nervous”
“Babe, you have nothing to worry about,” he says with a kiss
“Ok then, I’ll take your word for it,”
“Ok, great”

The next morning we got a cab with Brent and Dayna and headed to the airport. After checking in and going through security, we hang out and wait for the plane; Dayna and I decide to walk around and get junk food or whatever, and let the fans talk with the guys for a while. We get back to see the boys relaxing and Jon on the phone, as I sit down next to him, all I hear is “yeah here she is,” then he hands me the phone saying it’s his mom

“Hello?” I say
“Hi Jamie! Its Andree,” she says happily
“Hi! How are you?”
“Good, thanks and yourself?”
“Great, just getting ready to head out to Canada!”
“Well great! I’m really looking forward to meeting you! Jonathan has had nothing but nice things to say about you!”
“Oh really? Well I would hope its all good things”
“Oh yes, it is! He talked about meeting you a few months ago and now with your move out to Chicago, and your living with him correct?”
“Yeah, I got a job offer with the PR department for the Hawks so I took it! Jon has been so sweet too, and yes I am, I didn’t know if he told you, but I was a little nervous about that part”
“Oh honey don’t you worry, he has talked about you a lot, you seem like a great girl and the first thing he told me after he said you were living with him was that he didn’t want me to think you were a jersey chaser, but I could never imagine that about you and I’m honestly glad that Jonathan opened his house to you, we couldn’t have raised him any better”
“Yeah, that was the first thing that worried me was that you would be wondering who this girl is that is living with your son.”
“Well I did kind of wonder, but I know that he wouldn’t let some random stranger live with him, I think his dad was more iffy about that one. But Jon talked to us before he went to see you in your hometown, so it reassured us a little more.”
“Ok, well I’m glad to hear all this, and talking to you makes me a little less nervous to meet you”
“Yes! I cant wait to finally meet the girl my son has been talking about! Tell Jonathan that to call me when you guys land and we will go to dinner!”
“Ok, great I will! It was great talking to you!”
“You as well, see you guys soon!”

“She wants you to call her when we land so we can all go to dinner” I tell Jon as I hand him his phone
“Ok, that will work and then we will see them at the wedding too, my parents and Duncs’ parents have been good friends since forever.” Jon says as we start boarding the plane…first class, I might add…yeah no wonder Jon changed the subject when I asked him how much my plane ticket was, oh well.

So many laughs, a million pictures, a few drinks and 3 hours later, we land in Winnipeg and walk through the airport to the baggage claim. I wish I could say we got through quietly and smoothly, but of course that didn’t happen; people caught sight of Jon and Brent and about lost their minds; some were respectful but some were straight up crazy. A group of girls even pushed through me and Dayna and one of them almost punched her in the face! I was about to step in her face and say something when Jon grabbed my arm and thankfully, airport security caught wind of this and came to escort us the rest of the way. We finally made it to the hotel, which happened to be the same hotel where the other guys were staying and it was also the same hotel where the wedding reception would be held. We all got situated into our room while Jon called his mom to see what they were doing. I, of course, went straight for the balcony to check out the view; it was absolutely breathtaking.

“I knew I’d find you out here,” Jon says
“Really? Never would have guessed,” I say with a laugh
“So I talked to my mom, and her and my dad are running around town. So we’re going to go to dinner with them at like 6:30 tonight,”
“Then wedding stuff starts tomorrow, but we won’t meet up with all them until tomorrow night at Bailey’s Restaurant and bar, that’s where the rehearsal dinner is. So during the day, I figured I could show you around my old stomping grounds.”
“Sounds great!”
“So, what do you say we take a little nap then get ready for dinner tonight?”
“I like that idea”

“We’re going to walk around the city and explore, you guys want to come?” Brent asks us
“Nah man, we’re going to pass and take a short nap. Going to dinner with the ‘rents tonight,” Jon says
“Uh oh, J, meetin’ momma and papa Toews?”
“Yeah, I talked to Andree on the phone when we were still in Chicago, so I’m not too worried anymore”
“Ok, good luck! We will be back in a few hours,” Brent says with a smile as they walk out the door.

5 o’clock comes around before I know it and Jon and I are getting ready for dinner tonight. Even though I had talked to Andree earlier today, my nerves came back a little bit, knowing that talking on the phone and talking in person is completely different. But Jon knew I was nervous so he kept reassuring me that I would be fine and that I am getting nervous for nothing. Jon and his parents decided on the Keg Steakhouse & Bar for dinner; I didn’t object, since steak is my favorite food, I didn’t have a problem.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

bad news bears

UGH so my laptop decided to crash this morning and I wont be able to take it in until Monday....and I hate to say it but my story is on there :( boo Im so mad about it. But I will have you know that I will put a new post up as soon as I get it fixed...cross your fingers that it can be fixed and I wont lose anything! Sorry no update ladies :( Ill keep ya'll posted!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chapter 11

***Little bit of writers block right now, trying to figure out where to go with this and how to write it too...but I figured I would post a little filter chapter :)

After the last minute packing up in Albuquerque, we had all started the drive on Monday morning. Keeping pretty good timing, we got into Chicago early Thursday morning. Jon had made arrangements for a storage unit to be ready for me when we got out there which made everything easier. And thankfully we had arranged most of the stuff in the U-haul to where the storage stuff was in the front, and some boxes that were coming up were in the back of my brand new Xterra that I had gotten as a graduation present.

Jon’s condo had turned into a maze of boxes. Some in the living room, a couple in one of the spare bedrooms, and the rest in his…um our room and closet. I was glad to have a few days to organize all my things before I had to meet with Stan. My parents stayed for a few days to help unpack and to check out the city before they headed back home. I had filled up 2 picture frames with pictures of me and Jon or me and the girls and hung them up around the house as well as the famous “Kissing the War Goodbye” poster. Needlessly to say, the walls were pretty plain, so he was glad to see the pictures and a little more color in the house. And thankfully, the closet was huge; because I had taken up all of the space he had made for me.

Once all my stuff had been moved in, Jon and I decided to cook dinner and invite some of the guys and their wives/girlfriends over. Although I was still waiting for Laura to move out here next month, I had gotten closer with Abby and Elina.

“Oh, hey I meant to ask you, did you bring your passport?” Jon asks me
“Yeah actually, I think I did. Why?”
“Well Duncs and Kelly are getting married in a few weeks. I already RSVPd, but I wanted to ask you if you would join me”
“Oh, yeah I would love to! Where is it?”
“Somewhere in Winnipeg”
“Ok cool”
“Ok, we will tell them tonight”

Duncan and Kelly are the first to arrive, so we talk to them and Jon tells them that he will be a plus one at the wedding, which made them happy; I'm excited too because it will be my first trip to Canada. Soon after, Pat and Abby arrived, then Nik and Elina and lastly Seabs and Dayna. My mom had packed green chile from home, so I made enchiladas, which turned out to be a hit; which I wasn’t sure about because I was positive that the only chile out here was the gross Tex mex. Duncan, Kelly, Nik and Elina left while the 6 of us decided to play rock band and Wii bowling for about 3 hours until the rest of them decided to go home.

I took advantage of the weekend that I had before meeting Stan to go shopping for some more professional looking outfits, and before I knew it, it was Monday morning and Jon and I were heading over to the United Center, he wanted to get some skating time in while the arena was vacant. We pull into the parking lot and walk down the hallway towards the locker room and the offices. Jordan Hendry and Brian Campbell were there also to get some skating time in, so they all headed out to the ice as I walked towards Stan’s office and knocked on the door

“Hello Jamie, come on in” he says as I sit down
“Hi, how are you?”
“I’m well, thanks, how are you?”
“Good, thanks”
“How are you liking Chicago so far?”
“So far I’m really liking it a lot”
“That’s good! So a couple little things right now, I am aware that you will be joining Jonathan and some of the other guys to Duncan’s wedding, which is fine because since it’s an early off-season, things are pretty quiet right now. “
“Ok, yeah I meant to talk to you about that, Jon asked me the other night and I hadn’t had a chance to call you”
“Oh, it’s completely ok. So with free agency coming up, I will have you help me with that, probably writing press releases for the Hawks website. And I’m going to tell you this now, when you are involved in a meeting that has to do with free agency, whether it’s a player coming or going, the information needs to be kept confidential until Coach Q or I address the team and we are ready to announce it on the website.”
“Yes sir,”
“Also, I know some of the guys will have public appearances in the coming months and I know a few of the guys will be having their usual golf or bowling tournaments for their foundations or charities, so I may send you out to those. None of them, however, will be attending the draft this year,”
“Ok, and will you need me to be at the draft as well?”
“As of right now no, but I will need to have you on call or near a computer to receive emails to update information on the website”
“Now, since it’s off-season and not much is going on right now, I will probably call you a couple days before I need you to come in for the day. And then once it comes close to time for the convention, I will need you on a daily basis, and then that will be when you start the actual internship”
“Ok, great”
“Besides you, there is only 5 other interns with the Hawks right now, 3 of them being with the athletic trainers and the other one with the equipment team. I don’t know if Jonathan told you and I might have forgotten to mention, but this is a paid internship. And if you show great improvement throughout the internship we will bring you on board for a permenant position with the team.”
“Oh wow, that sounds amazing!”
“Yes, and it is. I have good faith in you Jamie, Jon spoke very highly of you and I believe you will be a good addition to this organization.”
“Thank you so much”
“Ok, and I think one last thing is, we will be introducing you, as well as the rest of the interns, to everyone publicly, and obviously you know that people will talk about you, may be good and it may be bad;”
“Reporters will be coming up to you and asking questions as well. If it is business related, answer it. If they are just trying to get details on your personal life, I advise you not to say anything,”
“Yes sir, I never open up about that stuff if I don’t know the person”
“Ok good, and I’m sure you know that the guys have reputations to keep up as to how they act and their behavior around here or in their hometown. I would hope that you could do the same as well.”
“Yes sir,”
“There’s not a lot of paparazzi out here, but I don’t want to see you on the cover of any of those ridiculous gossip magazines. If an issue comes up that you think may cause a problem, come talk to me and it can be worked out”
“Yes sir,”
“Ok, great, and like I said, I have faith in you, I think you will be a good asset to this company. I don’t think I have anything to worry about with the last few things that we just discussed, so don’t let me down.”
“I won’t”
“Great. So I think that is it for today. I’m going to call Lauren Campbell in here and see if there’s anything with the Better Halves that you could help her with”

“Hi Jamie, how are you?” Lauren says as she walks in
“Hi, good how are you?”
“Good! So I hear you will be working around the offices this summer”
“Great! Now with the Better Halves, we do most of the events during the season. The next one coming up will happen about a week before preseason, when we organize a night on a riverboat for dinner and a night of dancing. It’s kind of an annual thing that us girls started planning, to let the guys have one more night to let loose before the season is back in full swing.”
“Ok great, that sounds fun!”
“Yeah, it’s always fun and the guys love it. We will stay in touch throughout the summer and more during the season. It’s always nice to have a new face in the WAGS association, especially after we lost so many last season due to trades.”
“Yeah, well I’m happy to be a part of all of this”
“Well great, I look forward to working with you! I have to get going and get the kids so I will talk to you soon, it was good meeting you!”
“You too!” as she walks out the door

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chapter 10

***Sorry it's a little short, and a little late then I expected....I took a road trip to see the Penguins play in Phoenix...and WIN, thank god! An exciting game, which made it even better! New post should be up soon! Enjoy :)

“I’m gonna miss this place” I say as I look around my almost empty room
“Yeah, I bet, it’s your comfort zone, it’s where you grew up”
“Yeah, but I think Chicago will be a good experience for me” I say as I tape another box
“It will be fun, and it’s not like you can’t come back to visit either”
“True, which I probably will, whenever I can,”
“So what do you plan on doing with this” Jon asks as he holds up all my Penguins pictures and the shirt signed by Sid and Fleury.
“Um, put it in storage I guess, the pictures I’ll put in a photo album or something”
“You don’t want to put them up?”
“No, but I want to take them with me, don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to move to Chicago, but I will always be a Pens fan.” I say with a smile
“Well yeah, you grew up watching them”

I planned on putting all my Penguins stuff in a box and storage, except for my shirts, and the Penguins blanket, which will be on the couch, thanks to a little convincing and sweet-talking from me. The walls that had collages, picture frames and posters were now completely bare. I even had a new picture frame to put pictures of Jon and I after all the Pens game pictures came out. The only thing left in my room was the air mattress, the last of the boxes, and a suitcase full of clothes.

After eating dinner with my parents, we decided to call it an early night, a long day was ahead of us tomorrow; picking up food and such and finishing setting up before the party starts at 2, there was a lot to get done.

Having to wake up so early is one of the most unnecessary things ever! Jon and I were up helping set up things for the party. Thankfully, most was done the day before, all we really had to do was put the table stuff out and pick up the food and cake. Jon helped my dad with some more things well I went to shower and get ready. The party started at 2 but of course no one showed up right away; you always gotta be fashionably late, right? All my family had gotten there, and had met Jon. My uncle was the first one on his case and grilling him with questions, but Jon didn’t have a problem with it, he was happy to see how close I was with my family. A few of my cousins followed hockey, so they knew who he was and talked to him too, but like Jon normally is, he got along with everybody.

Me, Bailey, Steph, and Laura are sitting and talking when Jon joins us and sits next to me
“So, let’s go to Grahams tonight, yeah?” Bailey asks
“Yeah! I told my parents I wanted to go one more time and they said that was fine,” I tell her
“Ok, mom is watching B, so it works good. Chey and Kelly are coming too. You excited Jon?”
“Yeah, I’m anxious to see what this place is all about” he says
“Oh, it’s a lot of fun, but you better know how to two-step”
“I kind of know, but it doesn’t look that hard”
“No, James can show you too”
“Oh and both of the Megans are coming!” Steph adds in
“Ok sweet! Some people from work are coming too,” I say
“So lets meet there at 10?” Bailey asks
“Yeah, that sounds good” the rest of us girls say

The party was a success, all my family and friends had fun and they all loved Jon, which is always a good thing. Bailey and all the girls had left to get ready to go out later, so Jon and I helped clean up stuff to kill time until we leave for Grahams, which wasn’t too hard, we managed to give a lot of the food away as people left.

Before we knew it, it was 10 and we were going to Grahams. Soon after pulling into the parking lot, we see Bailey, Chey and Kelly next to us, and Laura was parked on the other side.

“Hey girls!”
“Hey!” they respond with hugs
“This is my boyfriend, Jon; this is Chey and Kelly”
“Nice to meet you both” He says and gives them handshakes
“I can’t believe your moving already!” Chey says
“I know, I’m kinda sad, but now ya’ll have an excuse to come out to Chicago!”
“True story; that would be awesome!”
“So, James, I gotta warn you that Sarah is going to be here…” Bay says after we get through the doors
“Ugh, seriously? I don’t want to deal with her drama”
“Neither do any of us,” Kelly says
“But she’ll probably have a guy with her…”
“Or 2 or 3” Chey adds with a laugh
“Yeah and Jon watch out for her too, she doesn’t care about any body, she’ll try and pull you away from Jamie”
“Bull shit she will! I’ll punch her in the face” I throw in
“Babe, you have nothing to worry about, I have you, why would I mess anything up?” Jon tells me
“Aww, well good. But I’ll warn you, she is a slut”
“Even more of a reason to stay away from her, I see enough of them in Chi, Kaner might like her though”
“Kaner wouldn’t touch her with a ten foot pole! That’s how gross she is”.
"Yeah and i'd kick her ass for that," Laura says
"Oh a little defensive, are we?" I tell her
"No, he just doesn't need anymore sluts around him"

We spent the whole night dancing, and having a couple drinks. There was probably about 15 other people that showed up, so it made it a lot more fun, and a little sadder too to know that I would be leaving in 2 days. Bailey had requested the Cupid Shuffle, which was a normal song for us, then had to teach it to Jon because he had never heard of it; and continued dancing until last call when we all left. Thankfully I took probably a million pictures to have with me on my move. I said some tearful goodbyes to people I knew I wouldn’t see before I left. Then we finally got back home at about 2:30, and passed out so fast.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chapter 9

May 2011

Graduation had passed and before I knew it, it was time to get ready to move out to Chicago. Laura took an internship offer with the Blackhawks training staff, so needlessly to say, I was excited that she was moving too. Jon and I talked everyday on the phone, over text and also on Skype, and thank god for Skype because I think it made it a little easier to see him while we were talking. It seems hard to imagine we would get into any arguments being so far away from each other; but when the Ducks knocked the Blackhawks out of the playoffs, it was a little more difficult to handle and it caused a few little fights, but nothing we couldn’t get though and in a way it made things stronger.

Thursday, 19th
It was the week of my graduation/going away party, and also my last night working at Red Robin. I was talking to my manager about things out in Chicago when the hostess tells me I had a phone call.

“Wow, way to answer your text messages” Laura says
“Oh, sorry I was talking to my manager,” I tell her
“Ok, I just wanted to make sure your still at work, I have a surprise for you and I am going to bring it to you.”
“A surprise, eh?”
“Yeah, I’ll be up there in 15 minutes” she says
“Ok, see you soon” and hung up

I talk to my manager again when my phone goes off, it’s a text from Laura and it simply says that there is something on my car…I take off right away to look, because I haven’t even had it for a week. As I’m walking out to the side door, I see someone standing next to my car…
Oh. My. Gosh. I’m thinking as I get to the door to see that the person is Jon. I run out to my car as he holds a bouquet of roses and his arms out for a hug.

“Surprise!” He says with a kiss
“I can’t believe this! I’m so excited to see you!” I tell him with a smile ear to ear
“So surprise” Laura says
“Wow dude how did you manage to keep a secret like this from me? You are like horrible at keeping secrets!” I tell her
“Ha! Yeah it was hard to do, I almost spilled when you asked me what I was doing earlier, I was going to the airport to pick him up,” She said

Laura decides to leave and Jon and I go inside to see if I can finish up at work. My manager didn’t believe me at first that I was dating Jon, so this really topped it off; he was shocked to see him walk into the restaurant. Him and Jon talked for a few minutes while I finished up and clocked out, then I called my mom to tell her I had a surprise for her and dad when I got home. Afterwards, I said some tearful good-byes to the friends and memories that I had been around for the last 5 years. Jon and I got in my car and headed home so he could meet my parents.

“I gotta hand it to you and Laura for being so secretive about you coming down here,” I told him
“Yeah it was so hard for me to keep quiet, I talked to Laura before I booked my flight and everything and made sure she could pick me up. I wanted to surprise you and I figured now would be perfect so then I could drive back to Chi with you” he said as he grabbed my hand and smiled.
“Aw, well I’m glad you decided to. But I hope you realize that my party is on Saturday and my entire family will be there, so you’ll be meeting them.” I tell him
“I think I can handle that”
“Ok, just making sure, so I’m apologizing in advance if they interrogate you with questions”
“It’s fine, people love me”
“Getting a little cocky, are we?”
“Who, me?”
“Yes, you, Mr. Toews”
“So are you going to show me around this little town of yours?”
“Yeah, there’s not much to see. I’ll show you my high school and UNM, um there’s the Zoo and Aquarium, but those are kinda boring. Maybe I can get some people together one night and we’ll go to Grahams, there’s the tram too.” I say as we pull up to my house.
“You ready to meet my parents?” I say while he gets his duffle bag out of the backseat.

“Hey!” I say walking towards them and about to introduce them when my dad stands up
“Hi, you must be Jonathan, I’m Tim” he says with his hand out for a shake
“Oh, call me Jon please and it’s nice to meet you Tim”, then my mom says hi
“Sorry about the loss, I should change the channel, you probably don’t want to see this,” my dad says
“Oh, no sir, it’s not a problem at all” Jon says as we all sit down
“So Jon, tell me about yourself”

We were all talking for a while with the game on in the background, so my dad kept bringing up hockey, which surprised me because I didn’t think Jon would want to talk about it, but he didn’t mind. After an hour or so, we all decided to go to bed.

“Jamie, are you going to show him around town while he’s here?” My dad asks
“Yeah, I figured we would do some of that tomorrow, go up to UNM and that area, who knows.”
“Since your bed is already in the U-Haul, and it’s just the air mattress in your room,” my mom starts saying
“You kids better behave” my dad cuts in
“Oh my god dad, chill” I respond
“I’ll sleep on the couch,” Jon says
“I must warn you, they aren’t very comfortable,”
“It will do, I'll respect any wishes or rules of the house”
“Well we appreciate that and if that makes you more comfortable, then knock yourself out,”
“Ok, well, Jon, I’m glad we finally met you, Jamie talked about you and the boys a lot, and never missed a Hawks game.” My dad says again
“Yeah, glad to meet you guys too, I was kind of nervous at first but Jamie talked about you guys a lot over spring break so, I think it made it easier” he said
“Ok, well goodnight guys, see you in the morning.” Mom said as we all went to our rooms.

I was still sleeping when I heard Jon come into my room, and then leave again. Such a morning person that boy is, I guess he went back to the couch because I didn’t hear him again until I woke up 2 hours later and found him in the living room.

“So, what’s on the agenda for today?” He asks as he sits in the bathroom watching me get ready
“Well, we can go up to the campus, I can show you around there, we can take a ride on the tram, I don’t know we can figure it out as we go”
“Ok,” he says

We eat breakfast with my parents and tell them we are going to drive around town so I can show Jon the sights, they decide to stay back and finish getting stuff ready for the party the next day.

“This is the house I’ve lived in my whole life. My sister and me grew up with a lot of different kids, but they all ended up moving away. One of the moms used to tell us to stay away from the ditch because the ditch witch would get us.” I say pointing to it
“The ditch witch?” Jon asks with a laugh
“Yeah, there was an old story that an old lady threw her kids into the ditch and they drowned, then she felt bad so she jumped in and drowned herself, so it scared us kids from playing in the ditch, otherwise she would get us”

We take a detour past my old high school before we park on the UNM campus and walk around, I showed him the student union building, where I spent most my time, also by the duck pond and some of the buildings; the last stop we did was the bookstore, I wanted to get him a UNM hat, even if he didn’t wear it, and one last shirt just to have. Next stop was going to be a ride up the Sandia Peak Tram, which is something New Mexico is known for and also the sunset on the mountains is the prettiest ever, that we will have to look at it tonight. We buy our tickets and get on the tram to go to the top of the mountains.

“Wow, this is amazing!” Jon says as we are overlooking the city
“I know, it’s especially pretty at night with all the city lights”
“I bet; do you come up here a lot?”
“Sometimes, it’s so peaceful up here, if I do, it’s to get away from everything for a while”

We hang out up there for a bit and take some pictures, then get back on the tram to go back down, we get back to my car when my phone rings,

“Hey Bailey! What’s up?”
“Nothing what are you doing?”
“Just leaving the tram with Jon”
“Jon…your boyfriend is here?”
“Yeah he surprised me last night and came into town and is going to drive back to Chicago with me next week”
“Oh! Well I would like to meet this boyfriend of yours, and Briar misses you!”
“Aww little B! Ok well what do you have planned for today?”
“Nothing really, have ya’ll eaten lunch yet?”
“Not since breakfast”
“Let’s go to lunch?”
“Ok, let me check with Jon,” so I tell him then get back with Bailey
“Ok, he said that’s cool, we weren’t going to do much of anything else today,”
“K, come to the house while I get B ready and we can decide where to go”
“Sounds good, see you soon”

Jon has heard about Bailey before, she’s been one of my best friends since we met, so he’s looking forward to meeting another best friend. I tell him a little more about her and her 2-1/2 year old daughter when we pull into her driveway.

“Hello???” I say as we walk into her house
“Aunt Jamie!” I turn to see Briar running towards me so I pick her up into a hug, and not far behind is Bailey, we say hi and I introduce her to Jon
“Dang James, you did good!” she says to me after she shakes Jon’s hand
“Thanks, I try” slightly blushing
“So where do you want to go, I’m starving” Bailey says
“I don’t care, wherever”
“I want Chinese,” she says
“How about P.F. Changs? Or Elephant Bar?” I suggest
“What’s Elephant Bar?” Jon asks
“It’s kind of like P.F. Changs but cheaper, and they have more then just Chinese food”
“Want to go there?” Bailey asks him
“Sure, wherever is good” he replies
“There we go then.”

Bailey gets things for Briar together; then we all pile into my car to go to eat. Bailey asks questions about Chicago and about my job before saying that she wants to come visit, and I agree with her, especially since she hadn’t been out there before. At the restaurant, we all get situated and continue talking.

“So have you gotten recognized out here yet?” Bailey asks him
“Not yet, but J tells me that hockey’s not big out here”
“Yeah, she wasn’t lying.” She says with a laugh
“It’s nice though, to go someplace and know that I can be a normal person, but people in Chicago are respectful of us and they aren’t really crazy”
“I bet, so are you excited to move out there?”
“Yeah, I really am, I think it will be a good experience for me, especially since I already have a job and an amazing boyfriend out there,”
“That always makes things easier!”
“Definitely, it might be hard to get used to but I think it will be fun”
“Yeah it will be, now I have an excuse to go out there!”
“Yeah for sure! We’ll go to games and stuff.”
“Where are you going to live?”
“With me,” Jon says as Bailey gives me a questioning look, but Jon continues
“I know from experience that it’s hard to find a place out there, so I offered to let her stay with me, and if she finds a place on her own, I’m not going to hold her hostage,”
“Yeah, so I’ll be staying with him, when I was looking at apartments out there the majority of what was available was 2 or 3 bedroom,”
“Oh ok, well Jonathan, I expect you take good care of my best friend here, because I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Yes ma’am, you have nothing to worry about” he says with a smile
“So I was thinking that we should go to Graham’s one night, as a last final going away thing, because tomorrow will be a lot of family.”
“Ok, well why don’t we go after your party?”
“That could work,”
“Cool, I’ll call some of the girls”
“Ok, I’ll tell Steph and Meghan.”
“Sounds good, do ya’ll have anymore plans today?”
“Not really” I say as we’re leaving the restaurant
“I was thinking about taking B to the Zoo, because Jay is out of town this week, so we switched his days for having her”

So we ended up spending the rest of the day at the Zoo. I had forgotten how much I missed coming here. It always seems to be more fun with a little kid around; Briar never gets tired of coming here and seeing the animals all over again.

After a long day and a tired toddler, we took Bailey and Briar back home and we headed back to my parents house. They were setting up tables and chairs in the back yard with some friends that had come into town, so Jon and I decided to pack up more stuff in my room. I turn on the radio as we start taping boxes together. Thankfully all the big furniture was already in there, so we just had little things to box up.