A-Z Blogging Challenge - F is for Friends

I could have dedicated the letter F to food. Don't worry though, you'll see enough of it, I'll make sure of that. 

So today I proudly present my friends gallery! I am so happy that they were able to meet me at short notice.

Lucy: We've been Facebook friends for a really long time, and we've been commenting on each other's posts and chatting on and off. I followed her cute grandson's development from when he was born and oftentimes wished I could crash their lunches at the marina, trips to SeaWorld and especially visits at the Del at Christmastime! 

Well, this time we were having our very own wonderful dinner @ the Cheesecake Factory!

Lucy contributed some fabulous pictures to my fall ABC, and she was instrumental in developing the title of my post If the shoe fits - buy it in every color!!

Holly: we went to school together. That's right! We attended international HR classes at UCSD together, back in 2001. Whenever I was in California for a vacation, we would meet, and a couple of years later she got married, and guess what, we were invited! I can't believe it's been 10 years. Wait, looking at her kiddos I can believe it!

Her daughter brought her doggie which turned out to be her purse! She was kind enough to show me what treasures she is carrying around. By the time I left, she had added the piece of paper with my phone number on it to them. I feel very honored!

How cute are they?

Ammy: another Facebook friend. I think we used to play Hatchlings. Her two boys are in Colin's age, so we have to meet again next time and give them an opportunity to play together! We were gonna meet at a coffee place, but I was early, so I texted her from the parking lot:

I was gonna reply "wanna go crazy with me?" when I heard someone calling my name. 

I was like "huh? I don't know anybody here? Except.. What? How can that be?" 

There she was in the parking lot at Michael's!! We spent 1.5 hours at Michael's in crafts supply heaven, and her sons were super patient until we finally got to lunch @ Souplantation

Annie: A special Starbucks friend, actually co-responsible for getting me hired! Her being the liaison between the HQs in Seattle and us as an international market, we met at conferences and meetings until she had to quit on me. I remember it was a sad day. 

Networker that she is, she introduced me to Crystal later, see below.

We went out for dinner at Javier's at Spectrum Irvine Center, a gorgeous outdoor mall, I loved every minute of it and tried to soak up the fabulousness!

Crystal: Annie's former colleague with the firm that planned and built this amazing mall in Irvine. When Annie heard that Crystal's husband was going to be transferred to Switzerland for work, she made sure that there was gonna be a Swiss friend to take Crystal to lunch at the mall, and I was happy to become that friend! 

Besides the mall lunches, it was always a special highlight to visit her at her boys' international school's summer festival! 

So this time all we had was a burger at 38° in Alhambra, but still we almost managed to catch up! Almost.

Holli: another Facebook friend (I know, right? Hey, who says online friends can't be great real life people?). 

We tried to figure out through what game we originally met but couldn't say for sure. 

She and her husband Mark were kind enough to meet me at Tulalip Premium Outlets, and coffee lead to late lunch or early dinner at Olive Garden...

Patrice: Probably my first Starbucks friend and best customer. "I need your help on how to fire a partner, I need you to talk to somebody I want to promote,.." 

We can literally say we went through thick and thin, and when we last saw each other in Seattle in fall 2014. she introduced me to her friend George. Guess what - the reason for my trip is the two of them getting married!! Wait for W is for wedding!

Anita: Yes, yet another Starbucks friend (c'mon there was a time in my life when I was working so much I had to make friends on the job!). Like Annie she was in HR International taking care of us baby markets. 

It has become a nice tradition for us to go to the Pike Place Market Store. We even were so lucky as to find a parking spot right across the street from it! And it is a busy place!

You'll read more about it when it comes to P is for Pike Place!

Yolanda: Another Starbucks friend :-) She was actually a member of my HR team, and interestingly enough, she currently lives in Seattle, not through SBUX but through her husband's work. We didn't make it to get together last time, so we had some making up to do, and we did great! 

Spent a gorgeous afternoon at Pine Lake and went to their favourite Sushi place Ohana later with their adorable little girls!

Christine and I grew up a village apart, however we only met at a temp job in 1989. A couple of years later she emigrated to the U.S. Until recently she came to Switzerland for the annual meeting of her parent's company which happened to coincide with St. Patrick's day - what a wonderful opportunity to get together! 

These days it looks like I have to do the traveling if I want to see my busy top three soccer referee friend! What greater opportunity than breakfast at IHOP (who needs Tiffany?) on the day of my departure? 

All those meetings made me think of something which I will share when it comes to Y is for You'll see ;-)