Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chasing Sunsets (part 1)

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  So much so, it's nice to be at home alone with nothing to do but hang pictures on the wall.  Of course, when that's done I'll be bored and ready to go again.  A brief summary: New apartment, saga of the new bed, BoSox game with Jersey, caught a cold, weekend in Hilton Head with many of my favorite people, Matt and Val's wedding, "Icing" in Savannah with my accomplice Joe, back to the ATL for Monday with Maggie, Tuesday afternoon with G-Ho and AXL, Tuesday evening with Yinyer and Jimmy Buffett, Woodford with Yinyer, Oaks with Yinyer and all you can drink seats, Derby with Yinyer and all you can get rained on seats, Off to Maui on a Monday, Arrive in Maui on a Tuesday...  beaches and sun, day tripping to Waikiki, back home.

Any questions? What??  You'd like some elaboration???  Well I'd be happy to:

My last posting was about the move into a new place.  It still feels like it's 90% there.  Though I do have new "art" on the walls, which consists of canvas prints I had made from pictures I've taken on various continents.   The biggest issue was getting a bed delivered.  It took almost 2 weeks to get it to my place.  Mainly because the discount place, American Freight Furniture, doesn't seem to be able to handle logistics.  Keep that in mind if you are looking for a good deal.  But finally arriving just in time for Derby weekend.  Luckily I didn't have to sleep on the couch.

But now for fun stuff, finally made it to see Jersey in Boston.  Unfortunately Spring weather had yet to arrive to meet Jersey in Boston and I spent the day meandering around the city (from Irish pub to Irish pub) in the rain.  Then it was off to Fenway (woohoo!!) for a Red Sox game in the rain and cold, but at least we had covered seats.  I was able to get a cold beer and a Fenway frank and watch the Red Sox thoroughly blow it against the A's.  I've never seen a balk called live at a game, but now I have... twice... in the same inning.. with 2 errors.... and 8 runs scored.  But hey, at least I was at Fenway (woohoo!!).
Fenway, circa 2013 (or 1913?)
The next day I woke up and discovered on the climb out from Boston I had caught a cold.  Nothing like flying with a head cold and the feeling of ice picks being jabbed into your ears during the pressurizing of the cabin.  Arriving back at home for a couple days I commenced to medicating heavily and overdosing on vitamin C, having to be back on my game for the coming weekend.  Unfortunately i picked up a persistent cough.  I got bronchitis... ain't nobody got time for that!

So, Friday morning rolled around and it was time again to fly.  I still had the cold going but at least this time I wasn't in agonizing pain on the flight to ATL.  I just felt like I was underwater for a day or so.  I arrived  early and enjoyd some lovely airport appreciation time before being fetched by TanJoe for the road trip to HHI.  Way back in the day, not too long after I had purchased my Accord in the late 90's, I was having trouble sleeping (as I worked nights then too) and decided to road trip it to Tybee for sunrise.  Seemed reasonable at the time.  While down there I drove to Hilton Head... and got a speeding ticket in a small speed trap known as Bluffton, SC.  I got a lecture from the small town sheriff about how people come speeding through his town (probably because the speed limit drops from 45 to 25 in distance of about 5 yards) and nearly run over a kid last week (to which i wanted to respond they should teach their kids not to play in the damn road... but i didn't).  But that's ancient history.

Back to present day, Hilton Head reminds me of Stepford by the beach.  I don't think I could live there, mainly due to a lack of financial resources or golfing interest.  But it was a nice place to visit.  It became a great place to visit once all the friends arrived and set up in our various "villas".  And there's a beach.  Unfortunately spring has barely arrived in South Carolina and it was a bit cool.  During check in, the front desk lady was running through the rules when she added, almost as an after thought, that we should not feed the alligators.  Now, the three of us (TanJoe and myself) were all kind of half listening to the rules until she said that... when we all 3 both were suddenly attentive and simultaneously went "What?? Alligators?!".  No where on the resorts website did it mention the possibility of death by gator.
The villa's Ocean View
The rest of the weekend passed in a relaxing haze of beer and laughter.  There was a short meeting of the board of the Black Sheep Brewery and Maple Syrup company.. where we sampled more products from competitors to get an idea what direction we wanted to brew in.  At some point during the getting dressed process for the wedding, some one thought it was a good idea to let Jamie be incharge of the two little ones in our midst.  For a period of 20 minutes or so, AXL and Gabe (both about 1 year old) enjoyed pressing every button on the 90's era boombox and combo DVD/VCR that were part of our rental unit.  Of course, they both felt the need to whack the electronics as hard as they could.  It's not our crap, so I just let them go at it.  In the drinking contest that followed, Gabe took first in the beer chugging event but AXL totally dominated the shots portion.  Then we settled in to watch some porn... until a real adult came and took charge of the children.  After that we were off to the most entertaining wedding ceremony in history (Marwaige.... Marwaige is what bwings us togewher) and a fun reception that followed.  It was great to see Matt and Val again after so long, and hope to see them more frequently in the future.

After the nights of hanging around with all the fun people, we bid adieu to Gracethon, AXL, the Berardii, and the rest of the clan Sunday morning for a day in Savannah.... since we were in the neighborhood.  Tanjoe, Adri, Michael, and I were spending the night there but were joined for lunch by Charity and Glenn  (Glarity anyone?) to celebrate Charity's birthday on the riverfront.  After wards, we checked in, and some of the less tired of us (ie Joe and I) decided to go back to River street and enjoy the lack of open container laws.  We were quickly recruited by our first bartender to go an "ice" his buddy who was tending bar a couple doors down.  "Icing" involves purchasing a Smirnoff Ice for another person, and then that person is required by some law to sink to their knees and chug the entire thing.  Well, it didn't go as planned, the second bar was no longer carrying Smirnoff Ice (due to a high incidence of "icing" amongst the local bartender community).  We came clean to our plan to the second bartender (who informed us he had been "iced" earlier that day by the first bartender), and he decided we should return to the first establishment to "ice" the other bartender.  Being down to do anything for a free beer, we accepted.  A quick trip to a gas station yielded us the required 22oz bottle of Sour Apple Smirnoff.  Back to the first pub, we informed the bartender there of our unsuccessful mission and returned his $5 ordered another round.  While pouring our two Black Smith's, I placed the Ice in front of us which elicited a serious of explicatives when the bartender turned back around.  By this time Tanya had found us and decreed that Joe was never to hang out with me alone again... it's not my fault we had scored 2 beers and a shot a piece for our activities.  The bartender did his ice, we took the picture and texted it to his friend, and enjoyed anohter beverage before heading down the street... drinks in hand.
Vinnie the Bartender getting "Iced".. I almost feel bad for having him drink such a vile beverage
That evening we found dinner with Adri and Michael and Tanya's local cousin Kara.  Followed by some more boozing down river street and a slight altercation with some shop owners (they shouldn't cry over spilt beer).  Monday, we bid adieu to Adri and Michael as they flew back to Boston (and made $250 in bumped passenger compensation plus an upgrade in seats...  NICE!) and Tanjoe, Kara, and I met for coffee then a trip to Ft Pulaski.  We toured the fort in the style of people in an episode of House Hunters.  I'm seriously considering putting an offer in, even thought he property is a real fixer-upper, but it's contingent on installing a "lazy river" in the moat. 
Dinner in Savannah
That afternoon we made it back to ATL, and I was able to spend the evening with the CEO and CFO of MaggieJack, Inc, (as the minority shareholder I occasionally get to spend some time with the executives consulting on fiduciary and operational issues for the organization) and we put to good use the bottle of wine pilfered from the wedding reception leftovers table. 

The following day found me stopping in for a visit to the Lewii to go over strategies with AXL for her next drinking contest.  Then I was off to attempt to locate some Oaks/Derby wear.  Mission accomplished at the JC Penney Outlet in Forest Park.  I got a fabulous tan suit and hat for under $50.  Score!!!

That evening I met up with Yinyer and we were off to St. Somwhere with Jimmy Buffett.  Unlike the last Buffett concert I went to, I made a point to remain lucid and ale to remember the entire concert.  Mission Accomplished.  I enjoy Buffett for his promotion of the beach lifestyle, and giving me ideas for my retirement.  We enjoyed the drunk people watching and hula skirts aplenty, and the general funness of the atmosphere.  The next morning I awoke to head back to KY for the second act of the vacation.
Lakewood is renamed St Somewhere
I suppose I should break this up, and this seems like a good place to stop the carnival for a moment.  Part deux to follow shortly.

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