Weekend with Anna and the Williams Valley Crew | Philadelphia and Dorney Park | 6-7 July 2019

What a birthday weekend! I haven’t seen Anna in ten years and last week she surprised me when she texted me that she will be in town this weekend. 
Anna, her cousin Luke, and I met up at the TLA and I was greeted by a big bear hug from Anna. Anna introduced me to Luke and we walked around South Street to find a place to eat; Anna and Luke also wanted to drink. We walked to Tattoo Mom’s, but it was too crowded, unfortunately. I was sort of glad because when I first had to go GF, they didn’t have too much on the menu that was friendly for those with celiac and NCGS. While they were just opening, and things can change in 15 months, I want to do my research beforehand. South Street is mostly known for restaurants and they didn’t really want to go to a full sit-down restaurant. I suggested Woody’s, which is in the Gaybourhood, and asked if that would be okay with Luke. Anna was down and Luke was willing to try it.
I’ve never been in Woody’s before, but I have walked past it many of times and it’s always crowded during Pride. We all enjoyed Woody’s and I enjoyed my Shirley Temple. 🙂 Casey, our bartender and server, was really nice. Anna and I caught up, I had the opportunity to get to know Luke a bit more when Anna took smoke breaks, than Anna’s friend, Amber, joined us.
Amber came rather late to Woody’s, maybe around 8:45ish. We didn’t stay much longer and Anna wanted to eat to offset what she was drinking. Amber lives on South Street, so we agreed on Banh Mi and Bottles; Amber’s favourite place also and it had GF options. We shared Friendship Pho before going back to Amber’s where we hung out until 12:30 listening to Cardi B, oldies, Enya while reading our tarots, and Lizzo. The tarot readings were fun.
Anna and I crashed at Luke’s. Luke lives in Allentown and by the time we got back to his place, it was almost 2 AM. I managed to be a champ for Dorney Park with only 5 hours of sleep! I slept pretty well considering I was on the couch, but his cats woke me up at 7. Kitters and Bubbles were adorable, however.
Luke lives about ten minutes away from Dorney Park, but before we went to the park, we had Chick-Fil-A and he gave us a tour of Allentown. Allentown is a nice little town; the downtown area is really nice. We drove past WFMZ, and I smiled because that is one of my favourite stations. After the tour, we went back to his house and got ready. Anna wanted me to help her tie her swimsuit, I helped her. Even though Anna and I haven’t seen each other for 10 years, we still stay in touch by phone and text. She was one of the people who was involved in the tattoo process and gave me advice on how to relax during. Deep breath and it’s not the worst pain. I was a champ because it didn’t really hurt. On Friday evening I told her I wanted to show her Wraith in the flesh, so I showed her Wraith. She loved him!
Dorney Park! Dorney Park was awesome. Amber, her new boyfriend, and Allison were going to meet us there. Allison also lives in Allentown, but she wasn’t coming until later. Before we headed to the water park, a Dorney Park photographer stopped us and took our pictures. The first one was funny because Anna used me as a headrest. The second one was cute, the photographer wanted us to stand side by side with our arms folded (that’s the photo I ended up ordering). 
On the way to the water park, I said to Anna, “let’s get a picture together with our tattoos out! Sun’s out, tats out!” She laughed and agreed, then said to me, “doesn’t it feel great to flaunt your tattoo?” I smiled and shook my head yes. I also took a “shameless selfie.” 
Anna, Luke, and I enjoyed the water park for a few hours until Allison, Amber, and Sam (her new boyfriend) showed up. We managed to enjoy the wave pool, which I wish I brought my GoPro because there were a lot of picture moments in the water park, and we rode a water slide that had us all laughing and screaming. We were so close to riding on the water slides, but they closed it down because of thunderstorms. I did manage to capture two photos of us sitting on beach chairs, resting and hydrating.
We were decommissioned for an hour. We changed into our clothes and took photos. First, I took a photo of the Williams Valley High School group, then the girls of Williams Valley High. After, I handed my phone to Luke and he took a photo of me, Anna, Allie, and Amber together. I had someone else take a group photo. I also took a selfie with Luke. These photos were fun!
The regular theme park was fun. I don’t ride rollercoasters, so when the group decided to go on roller coasters, I watched their things. The Raptor was closed for 45 minutes and Allie had to leave. We caught up, she told me the gang was still waiting, and she hugged me goodbye; since Anna started a group text, we agreed to keep in touch. After an hour of waiting for my friends, we reconnected and rode the Carousel. It started to pour while we were on the Carousel. I’m glad the rain didn’t last long and we were able to ride the Bavarian Wave Runner. I also rode Tilt-A-Whirl with Luke and that was fun. We left at 7 PM, and we were exhausted. Anna, Luke and I had an eight hour day at Dorney Park.
Anna dropped me off at home and I’m planning to visit her in South Carolina probably in the winter or early spring. It was so nice seeing her and spending two days with her. It was nice meeting Luke and her other friends that lived in Tower City, but didn’t quite meet when I was a teen. The friends I met as a teen are no longer friends with Anna either.
Luke sent this awesome photo earlier today via the group text:
I don’t want to wait another 10 years to see Anna; the plan is to pay off my credit card debt and in early spring 2020, I want to go to South Carolina to visit her. We were talking about me flying into Atlanta, hang out in Atlanta for a day, then go to South Carolina and I can fly from there going home. I had a fun weekend; I hope to keep in touch with the local crew as well.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Weekend with Anna and the Williams Valley Crew | Philadelphia and Dorney Park | 6-7 July 2019”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Nobody packs more activity into their days and nights than you, dear friend! My head is spinning after reading about everywhere you went and everything you did over the weekend. I’m so glad you met up with Anna after ten years apart and that she invited you along with her and her friends to eateries, watering holes and the amusement park. It’s no wonder you guys were pooped after spending an eight hour day at Dorney Park. I don’t think I ever went to Dorney Park in my youth, but I did visit Allentown a couple of times. I applaud you and Anna for showing off your tats in the sunshine at the park, and I’m glad she loves your Wraith. You needed to dodge raindrops all day long, but you went on many rides, added some great pictures to your collection and had a blast. I am happy for you. I hope you get the chance to follow through with your plan to visit Anna in South Carolina next winter or early spring. Knowing you, you will find a way to make it happen.

    Enjoy the week ahead, dear friend JM!


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