Have you taken the RealAge Test?
I took it five years ago, when one of the Kuwait bloggers published the link and we all tried it to see how we measured up. I was shocked to learn that because I was not exercising enough, nor seeing a doctor regularly, I was actually OLDER than my age. It shocked me enough to see a doctor and take her advice.
Today I took it, and now, with regular exercise, I came out eight years younger than my age, and younger than I was the first time I took the test, Woooo HOOOOO!
The test has changed, but only updated by the newest findings. It now measures social factors, like how many people you are close to, how many you help, etc. You learn a lot about what is important just by taking the test.
I challenge you. Take the test, and tell me how you did.
We had great weather during the Doha reunion, great in that it was warm every day, and it only rained a little now and then. We had lots of sunshine, and they even got to experience a little bit of Pensacola sultriness.
The big thrill, for me, was the winter beach. I love good wave action, and a little drama in the sky. The Pensacola beach, with its gorgeous white sands, gave it to us in full:
‘What are we up to today?” one of the Doha reunion visitors asked as we sat around the breakfast table at the Shiny Diner.
“I was thinking a drive into Alabama,” I threw out, “Or is there anything you have heard of you would like to visit, or re-visit?”
“I’ve never been in Alabama before!” one guest enthused. “I could cross it off my list!”
We dropped one friend off at the airport, said our farewells, and headed into Alabama. For those of you who are thinking it might be a long trip, Pensacola is close to the border; 20 minutes later we were in Alabama.
“Where are we going?” the remaining two visitors asked.
“I’m thinking Fairhope,” I responded, “it’s cute, and there are walks, and shopping, and cute restaurants.”
While we are not world-class shoppers, Fairhope is enticing, with it’s small boutiques and specialty shops. It’s not like the same-old same-old in every mall and strip-mall.
As we walked along the Fairhope Pier, we guessed how long it was. We saw several people doing laps of the pier – what a great place to walk, all that fresh air, the view of the Mobile skyline, the wind and the water. One of the walkers strolled along with us and told us the pier was exactly 1/4 mile, so if you walk out and back, you have walked 1/2 mile. She also gave us a recommendation for a place to eat, in Fairhope’s French Quarter, Panini Pete’s. “Be sure to eat outside,” she counseled us.
We found Panini Pete’s, and snagged a place in the gazebo, which I thought was ‘outside’.
It was a lovely location. My friends had the Reuben sandwiches with special homemade chips:
I had the house salad with grilled chicken:
We spent a lovely time dining, only to discover that we were not outside; this is what ‘outside’ is:
I did not take a photo of dessert – we shared an order of beignet. These were the big round fluffy beignets, covered with powdered sugar. So yummy!
It was a great visit, even though we never found an Alabama Starbucks cup for our visiting friend, she did get to spend time in Alabama. Next reunion, maybe we will check off Louisiana and Mississippi, the only other states she has not visited.
The last of my Doha friends left yesterday, not without moments of hilarity. We had a great time together, and all my concerns about visiting Pensacola in the coldest month of the year were for naught. The weather, every single day, was in the 70’s, and one of the days it almost hit 80. One friend was flying straight into severe weather, and I wonder how it affected her day – if she even got home.
We had one lovely evening when our son and his wife and little happy toddler came over, laughing and talking, and our sweet daughter in law introduced all my friends to a Pensacola specialty, Sin in a Tin. Our last stop on their last day was the market where they could stock up on it to take back with them!
I am keeping my own eye on this ‘slow moving weather front’ because it is headed our way. If you’ve seen the devastation in Dallas, you’ll know – hurricane level destruction, 90 mph winds – high winds and lots of rain, and flooding.
When I checked Weather Underground this morning, this is what it looks like heading towards Pensacola:
Scary looking, hmmm?
We just finished a five day Doha reunion, a group of us who used to gather frequently in Doha, ironically most of us introverts, but who found gathering together forced us to exercise regularly, helped us to run our errands downtown, and helped us laugh a lot at our own foibles in a strange land. It’s not all that often you can find four women who all get along equally well with one another, but this group was that rarity, and having them in my house was a joy. We were together in worship and in friendship for several years, so having another opportunity to gather was just magical. (We also gathered in May, for a wedding.)
Yes, for those of you who are wondering, AdventureMan was here, and what a blessing he was. He cooked dinner and cleaned up two of the nights, after days when we had been out exploring all day. We could not have had so much fun without his help. I think the other husbands were jealous; they like to be a part of the conversations, too. We always have so much fun together, and such great issues to cover, big topics, small topics, family issues, political issues, fund raising, social and cultural challenges. We share frustrations and experiences, we share resources and brain-storm solutions. For us, it doesn’t get any better, these gatherings feed our souls.
Cat-like women, they all arrived on their own time and schedule, as it would fit, so there was a couple days of total overlap, and some days with fewer. The day the first visitor arrived was also the day of Pensacola’s newest parade, Marching Madness.
“Want to see it?” I asked her? They were going to try to set a new record for the largest number of people in the world doing a line dance.
“Sure!” she said, always a good sport.
This parade was hilarious. First, it was a daytime parade, and most of the parades I have been to in Pensacola have been night parades. There were like fourteen marching bands and many floats, so it was LOUD! The Happy Toddler would have loved it. Lastly, they were generous with the beads, people were loaded with beads, and some of the beads were special!
“I’ve never seen anything like this!” shouted my friend, over the bedlam of trumpets and drums in a compelling jungle rhythm. She was dancing and waving her hands madly at the passing Krewe, hoping for a strand or two to come her way. She ended up with a LOT of beads.
It was so much fun!
This isn’t New Orleans. This was a family parade, lots of babies, lots of children, lots of grandparents, so no one was underdressed, or showing off the wares, if you catch my drift. The people throwing beads were generous across the board, especially to the babies. 🙂
Pensacola is amazing. As we walked back to the car, the street cleaners were standing by, and the street was cleaned and re-opened to traffic within an hour. How amazing is that?
Thank you, Renee, for sending this:
Lunch with the girls through the ages –
A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, worked there.
10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and
there were lots of cute guys.
10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn’t be
too many whiny little kids.
10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and nice buns.
10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case
of hot flashes), and fish is good for cholesterol.
10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird special.
10 years later, the group of 75-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.
10 years later, the group of 85-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before.