Photographed at Monarch Bistro in the Hotel Zaza, Saturday afternoon, around 1 p.m.
Saturday morning, I woke up to a message my girl Laura had sent me around 4:30 a.m. Laura lives in Austin, so I was surprised when I read the message: "I'm on my way to Houston," it said. I checked the time -- 8:45 a.m. So I dialed her cell, and she immediately picked up.
"Hi!" she said. "I'm in your city!"
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm speaking on a panel at Hotel Zaza.*"
"We should do something."
"What time are you done?"
"Umm ... I think the panel is over at 12:15 p.m."
"Awesome. I'll meet you there for lunch."
And so I did.
Laura is one of those friends that I include in my "starting line-up" -- girlfriends who I know will be there through thick-and-thin. She used to live in Houston, and when she did we were in the habit of having frequent lunches; so needless to say, being with her on Saturday was like old times. I miss her living just down the road from me, but with our leisurely meal on Saturday (complete with a glass of champagne to celebrate our catching up), I feel like I've been "topped up" enough that I can last until the next time we see each other again.
It was really lovely.
* Yeah, I have no idea what "Zaza" is either, but the sign at the exit as you leave the hotel grounds exhorts you to "drive safely, and stay zaza!" so I'm assuming it's a good thing.