93 Comments

  1. marymforbes
    September 17, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Great memories to hold in your heart forever. 🙂

    Reply

  2. vintagekaren
    September 17, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    What a wonderful tribute to your friend Lara and the enduring gift of friendship. Loved reading about your youthful adventures and zest for life!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

      If I could go back to one point in my life, that would be it. I would be tempted to revisit my wedding, and some other special events… but Texas would win.

      Reply

  3. jestidwell
    September 17, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I love this!! Bestfriends are worth all the hassle to make and the drama to keep 😉

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

      Lara is like my twin from an alternate universe. We can communicate without even speaking… You probably know the feeling!!

      Reply

  4. our heritage home
    September 17, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    A friendship that stands the test of time, great post.

    Reply

  5. Stacey
    September 17, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    HOW SWEET! What a wonderful birthday tribute to a friend who obviously means the world to you.
    The constant laughter is something I remember most about my best friend. EVERYTHING was funny… funny to the point of physical pain. Ahhh, good times!

    It’s so great that you still have all these pictures. The true friendship just shines through. How lucky you both are to have each other and to still be friends to this day. Fun post, Victoria.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

      That kind of laughter seems like a hallmark of close friendships. Paul makes me laugh a lot, but I rarely come close to needing medical assistance…

      By the way? To me, Texas is a magical place where no one has to go to work or deal with anything unpleasant, or do house projects, or have real life intrude on your blissful existence… Lucky you, to live in such a place!!

      Reply

  6. curt
    September 17, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    Dang, Victoria Elizabeth! This is quite the post. It really sums up the essence of what a true friendship is. This is more than a tribute to one treasured friend – it’s a celebration of what friendships can and should be. Thanks for this on a rainy Monday morning.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Curt. It was the sort of experience that kind of defies description… although clearly, I had a lot to say about it!! Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  7. nataliedeyoung
    September 17, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    This. Is. AMAZING. 🙂 What young adulthood SHOULD be like!
    And I’m diggin’ the tie dye and other nineties paraphernalia. Good times.

    Reply

  8. crazyinsuburbia
    September 17, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    Yes, but did you ever steal yard décor? I kid. Amazing blog!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

      Laughing… no I don’t think we ever stole yard décor. But we did fill a hugely-deserving ex-boyfriend’s truck bed with trash. Not garbage, just random, odd stuff. Pretty sure that will gain me admission to your league…

      Reply

  9. Roberta
    September 17, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    I haven’t commented before, but I had to tell you how much I loved thid. The shower curtain scrabook is priceless.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

      I totally agree… priceless.
      Thanks for commenting! Back before I was a blogger, I had NO idea how appreciated comments were, and how I should be leaving them all over the place!!

      Reply

  10. emmawolf
    September 17, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    I love that shower curtain! (And this post generally!)

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

      I wish I’d thought to make a decoder-key to the curtain—some of it is a mystery to me now… I’m like, WHAT were we talking about?

      Reply

  11. Alex @ northofseven
    September 17, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    This is the cutest thing ever! I wish I had a lifelong friendship as such. I’ve come close but a lot has gotten in the way. I do have several similar friends but I don’t think we’d survive a roadtrip together. That shower curtain FYI – is awesome!!! Who got to keep it? 🙂

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 17, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

      I got the shower curtain. She got the microwave. I’m sneaky like that.

      The road trip part was fantastic… But I won’t lie and say there weren’t times when we were finally living together, that we weren’t a little tempted to punch each other.

      Reply

  12. Seat12
    September 17, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this…I have to say that I was relieved to get to the end of your post and find that everything was okay with both of you…no tragedies or anything like that (sometimes these “remembering back” posts can go that route) hopefully the only tragedy was having to get rid of that awesome cool shower curtain!

    I do wonder if things have changed with friendship now that there is the internet and email and there’s no more waiting for the mail to be delivered. I wonder if there is a quality of friendship that is being missed with communications being so instantaneous these days. I wonder if we weren’t much more “connected” back then even without electronic gadgets?

    Thanks for a great post that left me smiling!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 8:03 am

      I never thought of the anticipation-part of waiting for a letter as a good thing. It was agony way back when… but maybe I should value it.

      I’ve gotten back in touch with some people through Facebook, and enjoyed exchanging some really LONG emails. And they’ve really made me miss that kind of long-form communication. But also made me think about how no one really has the time for that kind of intensive writing…

      P.S.- I clearly lack your ability to whittle anything down to only the essentials.

      Reply

  13. RedCandy
    September 17, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    Wowee! How lucky you both are to have each other. I have a friend like that. We became really close when we were 16 although we knew each other before then. We are still inseparable and I’ve been planning retirement since I was 18 because I want to spend every day with him…..my husband.
    I loved reading this…..thanks Victoria.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 7:55 am

      Your comment had it’s own little narrative arc and plot twist… SO sweet! You’re lucky to have found him so young. It’s wonderful to have someone who’s known you so long. And to have someone who shares all your important memories. It’s like having a scrapbook in the form of another person!

      Reply

  14. Karen B.
    September 18, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    Victoria,
    This is such a great tale of friendship and fun and someone that gets you and loves you for who you are. The funny thing is that I just got home from spending 5 glorious days with my best friend and her sister. We became friends at Disneyland during our first jobs after high school and she was in my wedding and I was in her’s. We giggled until we nearly wet ourselves this week and picked up where we left off during our last face to face visit. She lives in Washington now and I live in California…I miss her so but thanks to email we talk almost daily. Thank you for putting into words such a sweet reminder of “true lifelong friendship” and it’s value.
    Happy Birthday to your dear friend.
    Karen
    P.S. You’re really tall! 🙂

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 8:21 am

      Karen,
      That literally made me laugh out loud!!
      Lara and I spend so little time in each other’s physical presence, that when we get together it takes a while to adjust our mental image to reality. For some reason, in my head, Lara is the exact same size as me… and whenever I see her in person, I’m like—geez, why are you so short!! And she’s like, I definitely don’t remember you being a giant…

      Five days of laughing sounds like heaven!! Your trip must have been wonderful! Isn’t it funny how you just pick up where you left off? There are years between times Lara and I see each other, and it never matters.

      Reply

  15. hughmannbeing
    September 18, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Thank you for reminding me hold onto the memories that I have shared with my friends more, and to create more memories for us to hold onto in the future. Stunning post! Thanks for the sharing!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      These really are some of my most precious memories! While I was putting this post together, I was so aware of how much things have changed technology-wise! If we were to take this trip today, we’d have endless digital photos and plenty of video… makes me sad I don’t have that kind of detailed record!

      Reply

  16. the home tome
    September 18, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Awww! I am crying – this is so beautiful – makes me miss my best friend – what a special thing it is to find a girlfriend who “gets” you: your silliness and your fears etc and get to finally spend a bunch of time with her. This is great! My favorite lines: “our vital and unnecessary crap.” And: “Are we in Arkansas?” Ha!! 🙂

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

      Sniff… seriously. Thanks for that. It is absolutely the best, right? To be with another person who is not at all concerned with what state you’re in!

      We did take some genuinely unnecessary and puzzling things… when Lara got to my house and we were packing up my half of the car, I pulled a giant shovel out of her trunk… The kind you would use to dig a big hole. Incase of what, I have no idea. I was like, hey maybe we don’t need this? And she was like, no we’d better take it.

      Reply

      • Lara Croft
        June 28, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

        Actually, the shovel was a must-have for anyone living in NH winters, to shovel your car out of snowbanks. The fact that Texas doesn’t have snowstorms was not something I was thinking about when I said we should take that.

        Reply

  17. Tressie
    September 18, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Mrs. Barnes, You don’t know me and I don’t know you, though after reading this I feel I know you and Laura quite well! The details you remembered about your time of 22 years is better than any video, or photo collage you could ever arrange.The video in your mind couldn’t have been portrayed any better!! I was moved around too often to really keep a best friend for very long but all my best friends know we all had a special friendship. Thank you for bringing these memories back to me! God has blessed you with a wonderful friend and a true blogging ability!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. The feeling of conveying an experience to strangers, and having it be meaningful to them is oddly gratifying. I appreciate you taking the time to write such lovely things!

      Like you, I moved schools a few times. I hated it, and found it overwhelming and intimidating… So Lara’s friendship was that much more important. Finally getting to spend so much time with her felt like we were making up for what we’d missed out on.

      Reply

  18. Karen Foraker
    September 18, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    brought tears to my eyes

    Reply

  19. Gary
    September 18, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    What a tribute! What a friendship! Y’all should take a 2nd trip..using all the modern technology and blog from the road.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

      Best. Idea. Ever. Imagine what I could do with an iPhone. Although blogging about it would probably amount to this: hahahahahahahaha.
      Succinct, but not eloquent.

      Reply

  20. Daniel Morrow
    September 18, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

    A great tale of friendship. Your story made me remember a trip I took from Corpus to Houston with an old friend in a very small car with no air conditioning, a very limited cassette player, and having to stop every thirty miles to keep the vehicle from overheating. We had a great time. Quite often the happiest memories come from the simplest things, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 18, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

      Maybe not everyone thinks a tiny, overheating car, with no ac in Texas sounds like the most fun ever… But I am one of the few who can appreciate the awesomeness of such a trip.

      Reply

  21. Danielle
    September 18, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    Dang… I wish I had done something like this with my best friend! What a gift!! Thank you for sharing a snippet of such a special time. Do you guys get to live near each other now?

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 19, 2012 @ 8:25 am

      No… she’s back in New Hampshire, I’m back outside of Philadelphia. We rarely see each other. Our friendship has been long distance for so long, it seems normal to never see her.

      Two of my neighbors are best friends. The one bought the house next to her friend as soon as it went for sale… I cannot even imagine the luxury!

      Reply

      • Danielle
        September 20, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

        My bestie lives 1200+ miles away, so I totally get what a luxury it would be to have her next door. I saw her last summer, while our husbands were hiking and we just sat and talked for three days straight… like literally non-stop. Having someone like that, near or far, is a precious gift!

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          September 20, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

          Exactly… I see the neighbor women walking into town together with their yoga mats… I’m just like, that must be awesome.

          Reply

  22. patinaandcompany
    September 19, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    What a beautiful post. Memories of course (about keeping friendships alive before technology!), but also this is the stage of life my daughter is at, trying everything, crazy with her friends and far away from home. Such a laugh when you describe how you were the only two girls without pierced ears, t.v., etc.–Oh, how I relate to the gist of that. Sniff. Tear. Thanks for that momentary return to 21

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 20, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

      Digging back into the photos made me so nostalgic!! Plus, kind of jarring… you think everyone still looks exactly the same, until you spend a few hours saying: oh my gosh look HOW YOUNG WE WERE! To me now, we look like little kids driving across the country!

      Reply

      • patinaandcompany
        September 20, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

        How true that is about how little you notice changes in people until you look at the old pictures! Then it’s a bit scary. I saw a school friend (admittedly I’d had a few sips beforehand) a couple of years ago that I hadn’t seen in many years, and when she walked in–I stared at her dumbly for I don’t know how long until she actually had to blurt out that it was she! The worst part was, we were expecting her.

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          September 21, 2012 @ 7:16 am

          Lol… so true. The next time someone tells me—you look exactly the same, I’m going to say, thanks, but no. Here, let me show you a photo.

          Reply

  23. Andrea Kelly
    September 19, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    What a wonderful tribute, and a friendship to treasure forever. Sounds like it was an absolute blast!!

    Reply

  24. The Smile Scavenger
    September 20, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    I *might* have to steal that shower curtain idea! This is one of the best tribute pieces I’ve read. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful friendship! I’ve got to go call some old friends now. 🙂

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 22, 2012 @ 8:51 am

      Steal away. May I recommend you make a decoder key? Even though you *think* you’ll never forget what xyz means… you will.

      Reply

      • The Smile Scavenger
        September 23, 2012 @ 11:13 am

        Thanks for the recommendation! Will make sure to do that too! 🙂

        Reply

  25. Linn @ The Home Project
    September 25, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    I loved this post! What an amazing trip. It seems like you guys had the time of your life. All the perfect ingredients her: youth, adventure, excitement, talking through the night etc… What a lovely friendship and how generous of you to share it!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 26, 2012 @ 9:00 am

      I love how people related to this post. I love how it reminded them of some similar time in their own life…

      I’d had some thoughts that it was such a departure from house-stuff that maybe people would only be politely interested…I’m so happy that wasn’t the case!! Now, if anything I feel like the rest of my posts are boring in comparison!!

      Reply

  26. marcys
    October 2, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    What a wonderful story! I have had a best friend for 50 years, and although the past ten have been problematic, I remember us back then, and can relate to your friendship, especially the talking, talking, talking. I’m glad you appreciate it as you do, because there is nothing like it, and you may never experience it again. Best to both of you! Also you are both just adorable!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 3, 2012 @ 8:32 am

      For me and Lara now, we’ve gotten in the habit of treating our friendship as more-or-less self-sustaining… which means it doesn’t get any kind of priority anymore. I hadn’t even realized how much it had changed until I began writing this post. And it made me made me sad, and nostalgic, and so thankful we spent that time together, when we had it…

      Reply

  27. The Owner
    October 2, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    I read this when you first posted it. Reminds me very much of my friend – it sounds as though your friendship is very similar to mine. When I turned around to my friend and said that I wouldn’t go to his birthday party in Spain because the cost was equivalent to a sash-window he did mind. Although not as long (or with photos) I gave a brief summary in my blog – but the key thing I got was support.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 3, 2012 @ 8:35 am

      You’re a better house-renovator than I am!! I have a hard time prioritizing functional windows, baths, garage doors…over whatever budget-breaking fun is calling my name. Although it’s not usually a trip to Spain, it’s usually an unwieldy, antique garden urn or something…

      Reply

  28. Meghan
    October 5, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    This is absolutely so sweet! Love the collection of photos and OMG that shower curtain. Awesomeness.

    Reply

  29. Lara Laveda Croft
    October 25, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    This is such a beautiful and eloquent walk down memory lane! You captured both our unique humor and the universal nature of friendship. Even though I’m hard-pressed not to scoff at other comments (though they’re lovely) that they can’t possibly relate to just how cool we are, that they can only aspire. Which I’m sure they can also relate to! 🙂 Everyone thinks their best friend is the coolest best friend ever. I’m just the only one that’s right. Love you.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 29, 2012 @ 10:55 am

      I just spent ten minutes trying to find the source for the quote about how people who like their own writing are idiots… or something to that extent.

      But? I just reread this, AND I STILL LOVE IT.

      There was so much I ended up cutting out. Like the disgusting orange soy cheese. And the road not taken. And approaching the throne with confidence. And that Renaissance-themed restaurant in Dallas. And the time we went to Target in a hurricane. And the wall of conquest.

      It made me miss Texas, and you, and that younger version of myself *so* much. Love you!!!

      Reply

  30. Jimaie
    November 21, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    This made me smile so big and just plain warmed my heart! Makes me want to give my own best friend a big huge hug <3 There's just nothing like a best friend is there?? 🙂 Such a fantastic post!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 22, 2012 @ 7:24 am

      *Smile.* Thank you so much… you’re right there is nothing like a best friend. And it’s a good day to remember to be thankful for all the people we love!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Reply

  31. Deb
    March 13, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

    Loved this blog about your girlfriend and the move to Texas! Growing up with 4 sisters I loved very much, I could really relate to the laughter. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Love the shower curtain too.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      March 14, 2013 @ 11:12 am

      I WISH I had four sisters. As much as I love my brothers… I always wanted a sister. Lara does feel like one, but without an official family tie, we’re not “required” to see each other…

      If she was my real sister I’d see her at least at holidays and summer vacation. But we live so far away, it’s easy to let an unbelievable amount of time go by.

      Reply

  32. Kelley
    June 25, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    I just found your blog and of course clicked this post because I live in Texas. Imagine my surprise when you said that you ended up in Ft. Worth. I grew up in Ft. Worth but moved to Arlington when I was 18. I was also 22 in the fall of 1999 (but I was married and had a baby in November that year). I wonder how you got to Ft. Worth, why you decided to stop there, where you lived (not address – but like what section of the city), how long you stayed, why you left, how you got back to PA? I’m full of questions!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 28, 2013 @ 11:28 am

      We lived in an apartment, sort of near the mall? I’m foggy now on the intersections, but near Hulen? We were close to the mall. The apartments were called Hulen Gardens…

      I’m going to do a follow up on this for Lara’s birthday this year… Ft. Worth was truly random. We just drove until we found a place we liked. I do get that it’s sort of odd. But it suited us. And, also the place didn’t really matter, if you know what I mean.

      Reply

  33. BulaBelle
    June 27, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    You truly have a gift and inbetween craigslist shopping should be writing a book. Loved this story, what a sweet sweet tribute!

    Reply

  34. LaurieC
    June 28, 2013 @ 2:48 am

    Your post has this 61 year old lady in tears… for things missed out on in her life. And yet, also joy, to know that there are people one can be friends with who are not all about ‘taking’ from someone. The last sentence is what really hit me… “being with someone who really wants to be with you”… I never really had that… not even during a 30 year marriage that ended in divorce 6 years ago. I’ve often wondered what it would be like, to be able to talk, and talk, and talk… and have someone who wanted to listen. And to be able to laugh extravagantly and freely at anything and everything. To be that happy. I so very much enjoyed the story of that time in your life. I enjoyed learning that those kind of relationships really can exist between people. Thank you so much for sharing it. It blessed my inner child immensely. Hugs to you.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 28, 2013 @ 11:33 am

      I just told Lara to come read your comment, it was so moving. Thank you for sharing… I know that painful times can be very dark, and I HOPE that right around the corner is some thing bright and wonderful!! (And maybe shaped like a kingdom)
      xo, Victoria

      Reply

    • Lara Croft
      June 28, 2013 @ 11:36 am

      LaurieC it’s never too late–I know that V and I are blessed but I think there’s someone out there for you to laugh and talk with. Thank you for reading about us and for commenting, and I hope this is a sign of a turning point for you, before finding a beautiful connection of your own.

      Reply

  35. Christina @ The Murrayed Life
    June 28, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    I don’t know if there has ever been a more loving tribute to a friend. You transported me back to that age and time and my own trip to Texas (Austin… where I still am 5 years later!) even though it was a whole different kind of trek. But the excitement and the open road and the feeling that the world is your oyster? Amazing. And then I moved in with my now husband as roommates, and we had those same fantastic laughing and talking experiences before we realized that it could be more. What fantastic times. Thanks for taking me back. 🙂

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 29, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

      Magic… right? I’d give anything to recapture it.
      Loved your story. Must be something special about TX.
      xo Victoria

      Reply

  36. Mitch Warren
    June 30, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Great to see this…. I know Lara from our local library (Newmarket, NH)- a lovely person!

    Reply

  37. Leah
    July 3, 2013 @ 1:36 am

    I’ve never lived on my own (I’ve lived alone with my son but that doesn’t really count does it?) I’ve never lived with my BFF so I can only close my eyes and picture us in your pictures. A few weeks ago she moved and left me in California and fled to Alabama. I miss her. I loved your tribute to Lara. I also love your blog. I shared it on Facebook with Jackie and she said the 3 of us would totally be BBF’s.

    Reply

  38. Rosemary
    July 8, 2013 @ 7:03 am

    I absolutely LOVED this blog! It made me laugh, smile, tear-up and cherish my best friend even more! Thank you! Can’t wait to read all your posts. Wonderful!!!

    Reply

  39. SSdGJ
    July 10, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    you and your friend are so lucky to have this ‘friendship’

    Reply

  40. jody
    July 10, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    What a darling sweet post! you brought real tears to my eyes, not only laughing at your laughter together but the special friendship communion you had and still have…so so dear..xo jody

    Reply

Leave a Reply