Well, as you may have guessed by now, the summer of '88 was THE summer for me.
I spent 3 months working in the Mexican Pavilion at EPCOT, being treated as the "gringa favrita." I also had no fewer than three marriage proposals during that time. To be fair, two were blatantly based on a desire for a green card but I think that Pancho was quite sincere in his quest for my hand. Alas, I had to let poor Panchito down gently, explaining that it was just not our destiny. I did not tell him, however, that I really could not deal with the fact that he was an inch shorter than me!
Me and Panchito in front of Disney U. I was slouching and he was pushing up on his heels
Me, Alejandro, Alejandra and Maria in the Mexican Pavillion breakroom. Alejandro..another suitor :)
During that same 3 months, when I wasn't working, I spent my time playing with my new and dear friends. Spontaneous road trips to Cocoa Beach (yeah, that's right, where Major Nelson and Genie lived!), enjoying quarter beer night at CJ's (and yeah, that's right, way back when they had 25 cent BEER nights), 3am dinners at Denny's on I-Drive (and there are about 100 Denny's on I-drive), going to the Giraffe for free shrimp and wings....ah, those really were the good 'ol days.
But, alas, August inevitably arrived. Time for us all to return to the real world. Back to my final year at Carolina. We said tearful farewells with determined plans to reunite during the school year. It was HARD to leave. Everything felt too good, too fun and too right for that 3 months. Sigh. But, we had to move on...plus, I had spent every penny I made on Mickey Mouse ear hats for like 30 people.
So it was now Autumn in Chapel Hill and I start getting these strange calls on my answering machine. Quuuuuuuuuu...I miss youuuuuuuuuuuu" (for those of you who do not know, my nickname is "Q") And then a click. No name, no nothing. The next time my mystery caller thankfully ended his message with "this is Scott."
Now, as you are likely aware, Scott is a fairly common name. And I actually had a couple of really good friends at Chapel Hill named Scott. So to be honest, I was not sure which Scott this was. Finally, I was actually in my room the next time the phone rang. And lo and behold, it was Scott Hughes....the tall guy....from my summer in Florida. Turns out he was planning a road trip to come visit his buddies in NC (Holly, Heather (Holly's sister, whom he met in Florida in '87) Dara, Suzy T and little 'ol me. He drove down for the weekend and we all got together and had a fun time as friends.
Scott enjoying a lot of female attention, Fall 1988 (Suzy T, Dara,Holly, Q & Scott)
Sidebar: About a year later, when Scott and I were "officially" dating, he recalled exactly what I was wearing and how my hair "was swinging behind my head in a pony tail" when he first saw me walking across the street in downtown Chapel Hill during that fall visit.
I, on the other hand, had no memory what-so-ever as to what he had been wearing....which is why I take pictures!
The following February 1989, the entire InX gang gathered in Nashville for a winter weekend of fun. Quite the road trip for Dara, Holly and me. It was snowing as we slugged our way through the NC mountains when suddenly Dara's driver side windshield wiper flew off! Dara was concerned about visibility - naturally - but I reasoned that "I could still see" from the passenger side. Yes, I know, what a completely dufus thing to say and rest assured I got razzed about that for many years to come.
After a stop at a gas station where a really nice man put the new wiper on for us, we were ready to get to Nash-vegas. That weekend, I got to meet more folks that hailed from Crawfordsville, IN (Elizabeth T, Karen Marie A) and we made lots more great memories. Like when we took over the "house" band in the hotel bar - dang we had some cajones! Monte on drums, Karen Marie on keyboards, others grabbing available instruments and then we belted out a really bad rendition of "Margaritaville.
Ah, good times. Good times.
Being silly in downtown Nashville (Elizabeth, Monte, Dara, Suzy, Holly, Scott & Laura)
Then Spring came and so did college graduation. What in the world was I going to do now? I had a degree in Speech Communications, which I also referred to as "fluff!" My big plan was to wait tables all summer, save money, and move back to Orlando to recapture some of the summer of '88.
(By the way, you can never go back and recapture it....sorry to say but it is true. So just do like me - revel in the memories and move on!)
Jill already had an apartment ready for us with a couple of other roomies, so I was focused on getting back to Florida. So early September I hopped in to my brand new car (Honda Civic, interest rate a whopping 14% and a monthly payment of $218.31 - it was going to be a long 5 years to pay that baby off!)
Well, I walk into the new apartment and I immediately had a phone call. Strange, but true. It was Scott Hughes. Hmmm. He and I chatted for a while and then I said I needed to unpack my car, to which he replied....
(Welll, you knew I was going to drag it out further, didn't you?! Part VI soon, I promise!)