I ended up with a surprise day off on Friday (I missed the memo that we weren't working on July 5th!) and felt very strongly that Jason and I should take the day and go up to Jacksonville. He had been wanting to look at some dive gear up there, and we thought we would stop somewhere on the Coast for dinner before heading home to Orlando.
Jason decided that he would love to take me to New Smyrna Beach for seafood, where he'd spent so much time as a kid. As we drove along the coast on our way to dinner, Jason was sharing stories with me - from his youth through his college days - of what had happened here or there...
As we passed a certain beach house - Jason says, "Hey, the garage is open. I wonder if Chad is here this weekend?"
Chad is Jason's best friend from college and was the best man in our wedding. He and Jason have had a lot of fun (and trouble) together over the years, and Chad famously broke his collarbone on Jason's Bachelor trip, then spent a few days on our couch, vicodined up with his arm in a sling, snuggling with Indy. You see, Chad is a walking party - always up for a good time. And we haven't seen him since our wedding day - almost three years!
So back to the story. Jason texts Chad and Chad calls him right back. He's in New Smyrna Beach! So we invite him to join us for dinner. Dinner turns to sunset drinks on the patio at his parents beach house which turns to meeting friends of his at a restaurant, and then dancing at a bar with a live band and finally us staying the night at the beach house with nothing but the clothes on our backs. In the morning we bought cheap bathing suits (Jason's has a dragon and roses on it - see the photo below) and we spent the day in the ocean and their infinity pool - enjoying the sun and the company.
It was awesome! We had so much fun, and returned home Saturday night sunburned and wearing our dirty clothes from the day before.
I'm really trying to seize the moment and every opportunity that presents itself - this was the perfect opportunity to do so! I haven't had this much surprise fun since I got stranded at the airport in Salt Lake City and found myself sledding down ski slopes (which I will not name here) in the middle of the night.
Thanks, Chad, for hosting us so unexpectedly! It was GREAT to see you!