Lauren in Ontario

In the second half of July, my good friend Lauren came to visit us in London.

Lauren and I have been friends since about fifth grade, and I'm sad to say that I don't have a scanner to show you some awesomely bad pictures from back then, because there are TONS: show choir, jazz band, our 8th grade trip to Gettysburg when I got the stomach flu and threw up all over the hotel bed we were sharing. Lauren and all the other girls in our room eventually got sick, too. Those were good times.

We stayed friends during college, even though she went to Pur-don't. Now she lives in Chicago and works for a health science company that does research on things like whether or not formaldehyde in wrinkle-free shirts can hurt you. Or how bad hair products are for your body. That kind of thing. Lauren is one of about 2 friends I have who "do science" instead of music, and I like to ask her sciency questions. For some reason I think it's like having the Discovery Channel on hand, though Lauren constantly reminded me that she doesn't automatically know everything about science just because she majored in it.

Home of the "chipnut": a peanut coated in potato, then fried and seasoned. Not as amazing as I hoped, but I'm glad I sampled them.

During her visit we did all the typical London things. You know - playing with sparklers on our porch. Then we headed down to Port Stanley, ON and stopped at Picard's Peanuts along the way. Picard's has most kinds of nuts you can think of, plus their chocolate-coated varieties, candy, jams, etc. It's a place that "has Abby's dad written all over it," as John said.

Then we drove into Port Stanley itself. We stopped at Sweet Beach, a new cafe run by two of our good Canadian friends, but it deserves its own post here. Next we walked around Port Stanley, something I've never actually done. Lauren and I stood next to this monument to take a picture, and then proved that we cannot stand still and take a normal picture without me laughing hysterically first.

John has the opposite problem. He can sit still for about 1 picture, and then he has to let off some steam being funny.

It was SO FUN to have Lauren come visit us. Plus we got to learn where the Amtrak station is in Detroit! She's the kind of friend who I can go a long time without speaking to, but then we talk again and no time has gone by. Plus, Lauren is easy to entertain. We are both excited to see her in Chicago in August!

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