Friday evening started off with meeting the delightful lovethosehobbits at the airport--a fun and creative lady I didn't previously know and which the drive gave me some one-on-one time to get to know, time that group meets don't always allow. I love the energy of small groups, but I tend to clam up a bit when with more than one or two people, so that was a treat. We got to the restaurant slightly early--which is a pretty rare thing for me to manage and you Mooters should take that as the sign of SUPREME love it is--it may NEVER happen again in this lifetime, yo. So here are some hobbity folk in the restaurant kicking back with that post-feeding glow:
From left to right, the beautiful and always photogenic romeny and ancalime (next moot we try to get really bad pics of both of them--who's with me? just kidding--love you guys!) are upfront, and in back is lovethosehobbits laughingly chatting, as is her wont, and mews with her beautifully glowy smile that we all basked in this weekend.
Further back, left to right is lbilover looking more thoughtful than someone who spends time taking pics of dolls (how strange is that!) should look, the lovely shirebound and mews conversing, and it would be a safe bet to suppose "hobbit" was among the words spoken there, and the shining smiles of aprilkat, honeyandvinegar, ninjamidget, and lazarusrising, the last 3 being new friends to me--yay new friends!
Here's lbilover with her sweet smile, and the wily shirebound about to reveal the hobbit hiding in her hand bag to a skeptical mews who is not yet convinced that there are hobbits living on the west coast, but aprilkat knows better because she saw a furry foot sticking out for a moment.
I love this one of lovethosehobbits, with the fun frolijahfan searching her hand bag in the vain hope of finding a hobbit stowaway, and lbilover knowing she shouldn't bother because east coast hobbits would never be caught dead in a hand bag.
I went back to the motel with those who were staying and we sat up and chatted happily a while. Then I went home and puttered getting all the doll things I wanted to bring together, digging out my air mattress, and some stuff packed knowing the hour plus drive would get to be much by the next night.
So I sauteed some fresh morrells to bring in the morning, stopped at H-Mart on Georgia Ave to get chocolate mushroom cookies that weren't halfway melted like the boxes I had on hand, and had a nice drive once I got north of the congested metro area traffic, and joined everyone at mews's house in Shire country. I love the gently rolling hills, farmland, and woods of northern Maryland which really is very Shire-like. We munched out on the yummy spread of food prepared for us by mews and ninjamidget, with lazarusrising and their SO's. Thank ya'll so much for taking such good care of us.
We moved indoors for the opening of presents for mews's early birthday party--happy birthday, you! As I've already mentioned, her glow was just infectious--she makes it really fun to make much of her, which, you know, must be an insidious plot to throw us off guard. And mews had mathoms for all of us like the hobbit she is. And claudia sent us all pressies of lavender soap and saches (totally inspired by my username of course--what other source of inspiration could there be?) with cards addressed to each of us--this dastardly deed just made us all feel all the more loved and wished she were here. And gentlehobbit wrote a wonderful fic about language acquisition in Tol Eressea that shirebound read to us. Thank you all! And lbilover and I had our dolls and yay! friends to play dolls with! It's not like we're grown-ups or anything--whut? All I can say is romeny better hurry and get her dolls and join us.
Then we went back to the motel and sat up chatting late again, snacking (we invaded the shopping plaza across the street like a rampaging hobbit gang), and sipping yummy daiquiri's romeny had mixed up for us. My roomates were very impressed with my nifty little self-inflating mattress--which made me laugh because I am dorkily happy with this simple little techno-convenience.
In the morning, lbilover and I played with the hobbit doll-sized Best Western truck they kindly placed in the lobby just for us--yay for having a hobbit doll-toting buddy! And then we got group pics taken by a kindly traveler on multiple cameras:
I snagged this one from lbilover--this is a good shot of all of us who were at the motel, though we're sadly missing the mews family.
Then some of us sat out part of the morning by the pool.
OMG--it's a rowdy hobbit gang! I sort of love this pic of this bunch being their joyful selves.
Their smiles are more demure here, but don't let that fool you.
Cali can kill you with that needle--don't let that bright smile fool you either; there's more than one reason they call it grrrrr "cross-stitching".
Aprilkat and Cali are obviously discussing whether putting an enemy's head in a vise would have any effect if that enemy were our former president with a brain as a spare part. Despite that--no, precisely because of that, this was a tremendously relaxing and fun bunch to spend the weekend with. It took me too long to start getting to know this lotr fanficcing circle. And I'm hoping we do it again soon.
I took a slow leisurely drive back exploring those Shire-esque roads in the lovely weather we've gotten a good part of this month, in recompense for this dreary spring. I hadn't been through the town of Westminster proper before and found it full of charming 18th C storefronts and houses, a real treat, and picked up some good fresh fruit from a farmers market. I stopped to walk around at Triphidelphia reservoir, ate at a pizza place I hadn't been to before in my ongoing quest to find the perfect pizza, and then picked up lots of teas and frozen dumplings from the Asian markets on Georgia Ave I can't always get out to. The purrmeisters gathered tight around me when I walked in, scenting out where I had been, and sharing in the happy vibes I brought home, and with enough cuddling and meal fixing, I was forgiven my absence. What a totally great weekend!
That covers the organic persons' portion of our moot. The plastic persons' moot experience will be featured in a post coming to a theater near you.