Why do these things even surprise me anymore? (Coincidence be thy name)

A couple of years ago on a football weekend, Fred and I went to dinner a bit early so we could beat the huge crowds.  This town gets very crazy on those weekends, and frankly we often forget until we are trying to find a parking spot near a restaurant. However, we love the hustle and bustle and never know who we might meet on those nights. 

We did manage to get a table at our favorite restaurant. Then, as is our M.O. we swung by a local watering hole for an after-dinner nightcap before we went home.  This time we chose Toftrees Resort, one we don’t normally visit, to see their new menu and their newly renovated restaurant/bar. 

It was packed. 

We wandered through the very busy tables and frantic waiters and waitresses and found ourselves seated at the very end of a long and extremely busy bar. It took a while for any of the bartenders to find the time to serve us, and we understood. Not only were all the seats filled, there were people standing behind each of those seats laughing, visiting and waiting for their own drinks.  

We found ourselves beside a family that was obviously having a great time.  The parents were strikingly handsome and beautiful, and the young people standing with them were equally good looking and obviously good natured.  They were all laughing and speaking (Spanish AND English) at the same time, and enjoying this football-frenzied environment.  We managed to introduce ourselves and found out that they were from the country of Colombia. He was a physician and their son was a student at Penn State. They were there for the game, and had brought their other children and a few cousins along. We shared stories back and forth and were quite at ease with this friendly family.

We had a wonderful time visiting and laughing, and were reminded of how remarkable it can be when you are open to meeting new people.  

Two weeks ago we were fortunate enough to go on a 10 day river cruise on the Rhine river. We flew from Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., to Amsterdam and then on to Basel, Switzerland.  We boarded the ship around noon, and shoved off about 4:00 in the afternoon.  After a nap (it was a long, long travel day) we cleaned up and left our room to make our way down to the dining room. 

We dressed casually that first night and Fred, of course, wore one of  his trademark Penn State golf shirts.  As we walked slowly down the hall we heard someone yell, “We are!!!!”.

We laughed and turned around, responding, “Penn State!”  We smiled as they approached us, and noticed right away their Spanish accents.  “Our son went to Penn State!  He graduated last year and is in medical school!” 

I looked at them.  They were strikingly handsome and beautiful! “Oh my God,” I said, “Are you from Colombia?” 

“Yes!” they both said smiling.  And then they, too, remembered. 

We all shouted at the same time, “We met you at Toftrees!”  We laughed, made our way to the dining room, and enjoyed spending time with this lovely and fun couple for the next 8 days.  Who would have thought that one chance meeting two years ago in a small town in Pennsylvania would lead to another chance meeting on the Rhine River? I will never doubt that we are all connected.  Never for a minute.   

And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story.