30 hours

While we were in Sicily, I bought a last-minute ticket to Naples to spend a night with a friend I hadn't seen in a few years. Bonnie and her husband Brian minister to American military youth at a naval base in Italy; last time I saw them was three years ago, when they were doing the same thing in Germany. We'd gone to visit them because it was their daughter's first birthday. And their daughter's name is Alece.

Being so close to where they're currently living, we couldn't resist the chance for me to see them again. Little Alece turned four the week before I arrived. She's absolutely beautiful! I couldn't get over how grown up and independent she is. One of my highlights of the whole trip was hearing her belly laugh whenever something really funny happened.

Bonnie and Brian had two more kids since I'd seen them last. They don't any waste time! Bella and Cal are adorable, and I loved every minute with them.

We only spent about 30 hours together, but it was wonderful to catch up with my friend, attend one of their youth events, play with my little namesake, get leg-hugged by a toddler, and hold a cuddly infant.