Friday, August 01, 2008

Guest Blogger: Sue Jochens

As our last Honorary Guest Blogger this week, I’d like everyone to welcome Sue Jochens. Sue has been a lurker for a while, but I know her email address now, so I better start seeing some comments! Let’s start this weekend right with a teeter totter (or your drink of choice) and some lovely reminiscents about the good times we have with our girlfriends. (Sniff, sniff… I sure miss the Playfriends!!)

Don’t forget, one lucky commenter will win a book and surprise goody from the Playfriends. Check in tomorrow to see if you won!

Sue, take it away!!!

My name is Sue Jochens (no names have been changed to protect the guilty) and I am a 57 year old (for the next two months, anyway) woman living on the outskirts of Shawnee, in east, central Kansas. I am married with a son. I am also mother to 32,789 dust bunnies, all of whom have been with me long enough to have names. When not being a frustrated wannabe writer and photographer, I am an oxymoron, aka accountant for USDA. I’ve been lying….uhm….writing and telling stories, ever since I was old enough to grasp the green Crayonex crayon in my chubby little fist and make a scrawl. I wrote an account of my 2004 girlfriend getaway, and won $250 worth of books in a contest from Elaine Viets. Check it out at (Scroll down to the August 17, 2007 entry.)

My hobbies are taking photos, reading, deck sitting, listening to music, and writing funny things to amuse my friends. If you want to be my friend, this is important to remember: don’t touch my cheeseburger, chocolate, or Absolut Peppar unless invited (but think twice even then.)

This is me….and I hate it. I look like a dumplin’ that’s been overpowered by the chicken:


FAMILY VACATION: Several days (or more) trapped in a car, plane, or small hotel room, with some of the people who caused you to need to get away in the first place.

GIRLFRIEND GETAWAY: Several days (or more) trapped in a car, plane, or small hotel room with people who aren’t obligated to like you, but do, no matter how bitchy you can be. In fact, when you do get on a major bitch, it’s the girlfriends who urge you to bitch away. I’d like to see the husband or child that would willingly offer that little service.

Hi. My name is Sue and I take at least one girlfriend getaway a year. Being a late bloomer, I didn’t take my first one until 2002. It was so much fun, that this past year I took two, and if it wasn’t for work interfering, come October, it would be three. I’m a greedy little sucker. Just got back from one, and it was so much fun, I actually liked the family for a few days afterwards.

Things…occurrences….happenings, which would completely send a family vacation down the toilet have been the makings of some of our best times ever. Take 2004. Crossville, Tennessee, and an inn that hadn’t been fixed up since Sherman marched to the sea. Chiggers, ticks, a small lake with so much scum on it you could walk across and stay dry, and a lawn with so many holes we spilled more liquor than we drank, didn’t stop us. We had fun with a capital F.

The next year we took a couple of cabins in Branson, Missouri and hardly left the deck of the biggest cabin. Ten women together in tight quarters for 4 days, and blood was not shed. We cooked, laughed until our faces hurt for a week, watched poker on TV, imbibed a few adult drinks, played Trivial Pursuit, and went to an outdoor deli with a fabulous view and an accordion player who took requests. That was a complete hoot.

The view from our cabin…who wouldn’t relax?:


We’ve been lost on the University of Georgia campus trying to find the theater where King Lear was playing. We’ve had a blowout fixed by the courtliest little fellow who ever lived under a troll bridge. (I defy you to have a rollicking good time being lost on a family vacation and having a tire blow on top of it.) While out of town with the girls, I’ve even had my credit card company call me about a large purchase made at a liquor store in Dalton, Georgia (one of my proudest moments as an independent woman.)

This year we chose a tiny town in Tennessee for our destination, because it was having a production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” featuring a few people we know.

Several of us drove to Bell Buckle, unloaded, and headed to the Nashville airport to pick up those flying in. Less than ten minutes on the highway, traffic stopped. I don’t mean got slower – I mean turn off your engine, open the windows, get out of the car and wander around stop. For two hours. Had I been with the family, not only would the highway patrol have been investigating a hit and run, they’d be investigating a murder, or at least a serious maiming. Fortunately I was with girlfriends. We called back and forth between cars and those waiting at the airport. We sang Aretha songs. We watched a huge, beefy trucker climb down out of his big rig and walk his itty bitty Chihuahua. Several hours later, when we finally got there, were those waiting even a wee bit cranky? Nope. They too were with girlfriends and had been having a blast.

Two days later, the good times kept rolling during a torrential storm that trapped us in a large tent where we were supposed to be watching a play. It was a Noah’s Ark type rain that flooded the tent to ankle deep, and wind hefty enough to fell a tree on the road to the highway. They eventually called off the show, so we took our wet selves back to the inn, played guitar hero, ate cheese dip, drank margaritas, and recreated the hysterical Pyramus/Thisbe death scene that we had seen the night before during good weather.

I defy you to endure those sorts of conditions and have fun with the family. Can’t be done. Someone’s gonna die and I can bet it won’t be me or you. Girlfriends rock!

Trying to figure out what essentials to take on a girlfriend trip:


Got a girls-have-more-fun getaway story of your own to tell us? Spill it!


PM's Mother said...

Hi, Sue!
Being on the east coast usually allows me to be the first blogger of the morning. I'm off today for a week-end FGT (Family get-together. While it may not be as exciting as your Girl Friend Trips, my brother, 8 cousins (their spouses and many of their offspring) and I have a great time eating good ol' North Carolina Barbecue Pork and all the fixin's and catching up on the previous year's family events. Of course I get to brag about my great-granddaughter. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame with your interesting blog today.

Terry said...

And if you think Miss Sue is a hoot simply by way of reading her blog, you should try actually being on one of those trips with her. The woman is NOT exaggerating. And that blow-out happened in my Ram truck. Geez louise, 4 broads, standing on the side of a highway, hundreds of miles away from home. Needless to say, that's when I learned you NEVER get between Sue and her Absolut Peppar.

Until I met up with Sue and her co-horts I was a greenie to weekend get-aways. Now, it's a matter of just getting through the year until the next one rolls around. I've seen more countryside in the last 4 years than I have in the whole of my 48 years. Geez, at the stuff I've learned from these women. And they DON'T teach what I've learned from these broads in any school. 'Mama' left a few things out during my learning years.

And if I haven't said it before... Thanks Sue! The memories alone provide gales and gales of giggles.

MaryF said...

Hi Sue!
You sound like a blast!!! I wish I could go on a trip with you-- it sounds like hysterical fun. :)

My first gals getaway was the writer's retreat with HOD (I know, I know..I'm a late bloomer) There, I talked, learned the fine art of extortion-from a murder mystery, and laughed!

I need to do more. Like you Sue, its work that gets in the way! Dratted work.

Have a great day! (speaking of, I better get to work, I'm late!)

Shari C said...

I 'love' girl trips; it is rather like the saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...same for our girl trips...right. We just have a terrific time no matter where we go or what we decide to do...I wonder if that is because of the amount of liquor we have consumed...hmmm. (not as much as in your photo though...ha,ha). We are a small group of women who used to work together and still enjoy getting together for luncheons, parties, and trips whenever possible. We all love our families...but need these 'away times' if we want to continue to love them...ha,ha.

Angel said...

Good morning, everyone!!! And welcome Sue. I can tell y'all this lady is a hoot just from emailing back and forth with her and reading her blog.

That's one great thing about having our readers guest blog! I've gotten to meet some new friends and learn more about one's I alreayd knew. It's been so much fun.

I've spoken with several of the Playfriends while they've been gone and they appear to be having a great time. Some fun sight-seeing and productive meetings. Tonight will be the big party and I'm going to miss dancing with my friends. Speaking of learning, Terry, I'd never danced in public until these girls! They've definitely brought this introvert out of her shell.

Most of my girlfriend trips have been with the Playfriends. We'll use any excuse to leave the significant others and kiddios at home. And we always have a great time, even if we only pile up in a hotel room and talk the night away. I also enjoy going places with my Mom and scrapbooking with my sister. Though there isn't as much booze involved. :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue!
Back in October of 1995, when I was pregnant with my second child, I went on a Girlfriend Trip to New Orleans via train out of Memphis with two of my closest friends at the time. Though we didn't have a flat tire to contend with, we had to go underwear shopping because one of my cohorts forgot to pack hers! Not to mention all the fun drinks I couldn't have because of the bun in the oven. In light of my condition, one guy was sweet enough to make me a marvelous smoothie with extra strawberries! It was quite fabulous, I must say.
Have fun today,
Crystal Lee

Liza said...

Welcome Sue!

My friends and I have big get-aways on all of our big birthdays. For our 30th we all went to New Orleans for one group of birthdays and Chicago for another. We are doing Vegas for our 40th, New York for 45, and Italy for our 50th. There are 7 of us and we are all so lucky to live close to each other. We even get together every month for dinner.

KansasSue said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

pm's mother - barbequed pork piled high with slaw - one of life's necessities.

Terry - darlin' friend o' mine. I ran across our tire savior's 'business' cards the other day. We need to start planning the 2009 party.

maryf - fine art of extortion? I think we could use you....

shari c - that was just from the wine cabinet. You didn't get to see the photo of the liquor cabinet, or thr drinks lined up on the restaurant table.

angel - we'd all get together more often, but we're spread out all over. I think that's what makes our outings so much fun - we can't get together for lunch or an evening.

Crystal Lee - You had me spewing water all over the keyboard. One of you forgot to pack underwear? That's too funny!

liza - you get together big! Italy? Our vacations have one stipulation...I have to be able to drive there. I don't fly well. Takes a whole lotta benedryl to get me near an airport.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Sue. I have never been on a girl friend getaway. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue!
My get-togethers usually involve my brothers (2) and sisters (3). We usually go on what we call "ding-ding" trips (gambling). We either make a run for Montgomery, Greentrack or really adventurous - Mississippi. We have a blast even though we may come back broke. Sometimes the trips are planned in advance and then sometimes you may have a 1 hour timeframe to get with it. Whatever the case maybe we go with the intention of having some fun and cutting loose. We all pitch in to buy gas so it's not so hard on the driver. Some of the best memories are made this way.

Sherry W. said...

Hi Sue! It's great to meet you.

You girls know how to do things right! I haven't been on a girlfriend's getaway since BC (before children). But..that will change soon. I'll be going to my first retreat with all the playfriends and I can't wait! No one asking me where their jeans, socks, underwear, keys, etc. are. And no one will ask the daily dreaded question, "What's for dinner?"
My family will probably go naked and hungry until I get back. (LOL)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Sue, one of us forgot to pack underwear. I had never considered it possible for a woman to do such a thing--a man, yes, but a woman, no--but she did. Nope, wasn't me, I am proud to say. BTW, I loved the picture of the beverage lineup. Many, many possibilities for liquid pleasure there! Yum!
Crystal Lee

Barb said...

Having been one of the gals stuck in traffic on I-24, standing in ankle deep rain under a tent fearing a lightning strike, and involved in the infamous tire blowout, I can honestly say that all the mishaps have not impeded the fun and laughter one bit. The girlfriend trips are the highlight of my year, and the ladies involved are the funniest I've ever met. I'm so proud that our trips are providing Sue with the material to start her writing career. ;-)

Terry said...

Dude!!! Giving her fodder like this with which to entertain the masses... we might want to change our names to protect the innocent.

Cheri2628 said...

This was a fun post to read! It sounds like you have had many fun, interesting, and memorable times with your girlfriends. I haven't really done the girlfriend trip thing since I left college, but it sounds like I am missing out on something special.

barb said...

" Terry said...
we might want to change our names to protect the innocent."

Innoncent? Do we know any of those?

KansasSue said...

Innocents? (bats eyeslashes furiously at Barb and Terry) Why, I do believe y'all might be talkin' 'bout moi, because I know darn well, it ain't either of you.

Crystalgb, honey, you must grabs some girlfriends and getaway. There's nothing better for the soul.

Robertsonreads, even with family, those spur of the moment trips sound like fun.

Sherry W., the question you'll probably ask each other is "Have we eaten today? I don't remember." And the family? They'll have fun with frozen Tontino's and not a vegetable in sight. Trust me. I have experience with it.

Cheri2628, we do have the best times ever. Like I told Crystalgb, you need to grabs some friends and run away for a couple of days.

Ro said...

*falls down laughing*

there are no innocents among us!

Yeah, I'm another of the "ladies" *snickers* that travel with Sue. It doesn't matter where we go or what we do, we have the best time EVAH!

I think Branson is upon my favorites - even though I was sick as a dog and had no voice. Sue (and most others) didn't know that I and another friend were going to be there and the look on her face and the scream that emitted from her when we pulled up, were priceless!

This wonderful group of women that I travel with are so very special to me - I wouldn't trade them for anything - not even the last drop of Dr. Pepper on earth (and you know I LOVE my DP!) - you bitches RAWK!

Angel said...

I've just booked a mini-getaway with my sister for Monday. We're heading up to Nashville for the launch party for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron! Should be lots of fun.

You girls are too funny. That's exactly how my girlfriends are when we get together! And we have to invoke a "bubble of silence", kind of like what happens in vegas... No one is allowed to tell the secrets, because we must protect the (not so) innocent.


Jane said...

Hi Sue,
I've heard a Blood Mary made with Absolut Peppar is the best. Our favorite girls only getaway was a cruise. We all went to Miami early to party and hopped on the liner the next morning. We just relaxed and tanned on the deck and at night we hung out in the casino and the disco.

Terry said...

Okay, now there's an idea we need to look into, Miss Sue. A cruise.

And lookee here... right on cue, there's that Ro-ster. Talk about a go getter. You know, you gotta have a go-getter in any group of girlfriends. In our group we have 'The Jokester', Miss Frou-Frou, the go-getter, Little Bit, Single digit and me... 'The Innocent'.

Liza said...

Angel, I'll be at the party on Monday too. I'm so excited about Acheron! I will be so tired at work on Tuesday, but it will be so worth it!

Angel said...

Liza, you have to find me and say hi!!! You can find my picture in the pictures section of the Playground main site and I'll be there times 2. My sister and I are twins, but she has blond hair. :)


KansasSue said...

Jane, look what you've started - now they want to take me out to sea and toss me overboard in an "oops' moment. A Bloody Mary with Peppar is to die for. Let me know what you think when you have one.

Ro, Terry, Barb....I love you guys to death. Thanks for coming to play today.

Thanks to Angel and the rest of the Playfriends for this opportunity - it's been a blast. Y'all have a fabulous weekend, AND GO PLAN A GIRLS ONLY TRIP NOW!

Liza said...

Angel, I'll look for you and your sister. See you on Monday night.

catslady said...

My best friend and I have recently discovered the casinos. If you play (lose) enough they offer you incentives such as free rooms and dinners. Usually we make it a day trip but staying over night was a blast. I wish I could say we were winners but maybe next time!