Monday, 10 January 2011

Catch-up Blog #1 - The return to the QC...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Okay, as promised (though a bit delayed), here's the first of 4 recaps detailing our time at home. These won't come all in a row, but hey - it's better than nothing, right?
Thursday: TIME WARP

So I know that w discussed the flight a bit in the final blog of 2010, but let me go ahead and say it again – THAT IS A LONG ASS FLIGHT. Seriously, since Team Taylor had a) stayed up the night before the flight with the plan of sleeping on the plane and b) actually was NOT able to sleep a WINK on the flight, Sammy the Bull ended up awake for FIFTY STRAIGHT HOURS. Lt me go ahead and tell you – that was less than fun, and I was definitely NOT the brilliant conversationalist upon arrival at Charlotte Douglas (let’s keep the jokes to a minimum, shall we?).

However, we did get home thanks to the Tacy express (read: The Honda Odyssey, complete with a new quart of transmission fluid), where we nibbled a bit and then PASSED OUT early, excited at the prospect of a real bed.

Friday: Big Daddy’s with the crew

So Friday dawned early, but the AOC project team started it off with a bang by securing an Unconditional Go for the upcoming January implementation (FULL MARKS, GANG!). After that it was over to the office, where Team Taylor reunited with some of the blog’s more colorful characters from the past year – Shogun and Old School Cool! So we cranked through some work (Cyborg, the Narvenator, and Schill Dog even made an appearance) before rolling to a long awaited destination – BIG DADDY BURGERS, BABY!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!!

RT had planned this puppy well in advance (and h even treated me, for the record – thanks, man!), and I was treated to the surprise of SERIOUS attendance at this lunch. We are talking a royal cast of characters – OSC, C-Web, Eagle Scout, Brother Townsend, Shogun, the Hitman AND the Hairless Wonder! I mean, can you believe it? That’s a lot of literary and financial starpower under one roof! Get your tickets now (only on pay per view…).

The food was GREAT, especially considering that I got to wash it down with A FAT TIRE, BABY!!!!! That’s right – good times. In my defense, I did try to order a sweet tea, but Hitman and company were having NONE of that. In retrospect, I owe them a huge thank you.

And speaking of food, what did Sammy the Bull polish as his first official meal in the states? Well, I’m glad you asked, as it still warms my heart (and clogs my arteries). The winner was called the “Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids.” Why steroids? Well, let’s recap, shall we?

1. 3 strips of Jalapeno bacon
2. 3 strips of Apple wood smoked bacon
3. 3 strips of sugar cured bacon
4. Baconaise (I didn’t even know this existed)
5. Bacon salt

In 4 words or less: SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies).

That night we chilled with the family, and we passed out early yet again. We were still SO exhausted, and we knew that we needed to rest for a big evening on Saturday. After all, the ONE NIGHT OUT in the QC loomed, and being less than refreshed was simply NOT an option.

Saturday: A festival of shirts – some purple, some 5 sizes to small for the boobs they contained…

So this day was an all out ASSAULT on the Queen City, beginning with a place I might consider my new Mecca – Sam’s Club! Yes, yes, I know – that sounds REALLY lame. But seriously, we were OUT OF CONTROL in there. For starters, we FINALLY bit the bullet and bought an SLR camera (Grimshaw – we went with a Canon – tell Barry not to hate us). That was just the tip of the iceberg, however, as we then ventured from electronics to the clothes. And THAT, dear friends, is where Sammy came unhinged.

Family, I don’t know what happened. Something in me snapped, and I can’t really explain it. All I can tell you is that, for the first time in a DECADE OR MORE, I actually WANTED to shop. And shop I did: 4 pairs of slacks, 5 shirts, a pair of jeans, and some polo shirts. And the weirdest part? ONE OF THE SHIRTS WAS PURPLE AND WHITE STRIPED. I mean, WHAT has happened? SERENITY NOW!!!!! Someone tell the Baron to look out – the only thing left is a flowered purple Brooks Brothers tie and some block Oakley glasses. Oh yes, it’s happening…

After that we raided REI, where we again dropped mad cheddar, but this time Muffin Puffin did the heavy lifting (that being said, I gave her a run for her money). In fact, we tried on so much stuff that, after 4 hours of shopping, we’d only hit 2 stores! The end result is that I now have a COMPLETELY new wardrobe…well, except for the hardened green pit stained t-shirts. After all, a guy’s gotta draw the line somewhere. Oh, and where else did we hit? That's right - BOJANGLE'S, BABY!!!! BRING ON THE CAJUN FILET BISCUIT!

We got home and showered, as the featured event of the evening was still to come – the Taylor Repatriation/Deportation party!

You see, since we only had one night in the QC and wanted to see as many folks as possible, we figured the best course of action was to throw a shindig up town and just chill there. Well, Hitman came through BIG TIME in the clutch, securing us a private room at Fox & Hound, complete with a pool table, 50 wings, 3 pizzas, and our own server! It was EXTRA AWESOME (thanks, man!), and we had a BLAST. It was such a great chance to see so many of our good friends, including Brother Ogas (the Pai Gow master), the Rex Clan, Hairless and his wife Mandy, Hitman and Shantan, Staci Shatsoff, MattPa and Marne, and Brian and Jennifer Ludwick, 2 other friends JT met through work. Oh, and did I mention who hosted us with a Fat Tire and also gave us a place to crash that night? FIZZY!!!! That’s right, folks – Fizzy was back in action, treating us to an evening at her PHAT PAD, which truly does boast the BEST view in uptown Charlotte (from a balcony off which you could launch a space shuttle – just sayin’…).

The highlight of the night was when, after much debate, the girls asked our server whether or not her boobs were real (they weren’t, for the record). This led to a certain member of our group who shall remain nameless (but who was in attendance at our first Beer Festival and used to live in London with us…not that any of that info would give anything away) who actually dressed the part of a server to see how she would look if she pursued a life of bar tending. Luckily we have no video evidence of this…oh, wait…

We ended the night about 2 AM back at Fizzy’s place with a farewell Fat Tire. Then it was off to bed because Sammy had an EARLY flight out the next morning. That, however, is another blog for another time.

Fizzy- thanks SO MUCH for hosting us – we had so much fun – wish it could have been longer! Next time, the Fat Tire is on us.

Hitman – Dude, F & H was OFF THE CHAIN – thank you SO MUCH for hooking that up and making that happen. Next time, the Sam Adams Oktoberfest is on us.

For all of you that made it out to the shindig – it was SO GREAT to see all of you guys. We had a BLAST, and we can’t wait to see all of you again when we’re finally back settled in the CLT.

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (probably stuck in Lancaster in the frozen Tundra of South Carolina) Jenny

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