Tuesday, 1 November 2011

And so the Bull bids farewell to his early 30's...


Pay no attention to the man boobs...I repeat:
Pay no attention to the man boobs...
And a good evening to you all from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  So first off, ANNOUNCEMENT -  there will be NO BLOG until Tuesday, 8 November (yes, yes, I know - let's keep the laughter and jokes about the vacation policy to a minimum, shall we?).  Team Taylor is heading out for their FINAL (yes, you heard it - FINAL) trip in Southeast Asia - a 5 day romp around Railay Beach in Thailand (yes, the same spot JT just returned from with Cuz and Elizabeth).  Now I realize that the posts have been spotty (or non-existent) at best lately, but fret not - come 8 November, the Bull isn't leaving the island again until his repatriation flight (now officially on the calendar!), meaning that nightly posts will again become a staple.  During that time, we'll roll through Cambodia, Chiang Mai, and Railay, with the goal of getting back to even by 1 December (when Muffin Puffin returns from Down Under).

So today is a big milestone in the life of Master Samwise - I hit the big 3-4.  Technically, I will hit it at 2:58 AM local time in Thailand (corresponding to 3:58 PM on the clock at St. Mary's in Knoxville), but , well, I'm applying "International Date Line" standards and claiming it right now.  Hard to believe, honestly, but I am now officially, inescapably, in my mid-thirties.  All I can say it - LET'S GET AMONGST IT! 

I can assure you I was just posing and not actually
SCREAMING in that gal's ear...
I always tend to get "introspective" and (dare I say) a wee bit quieter around my birthday and New Year's, and this one's no exception.  All I can think about is how truly blessed mine and Jenny's lives have been since meeting each other and how blessed I've been my entire life.  My amazing parents (and step parents), terrific siblings (of the step and half variety :-)), wonderful friends who've been with me from the days of Russellville, to the Granville Six, to a work family that I definitely consider friends first and colleagues second.  Honestly, who could ask for anything more.  I'll cut with the sappy quick (don't want Miller using this as an excuse to make me a charter member of the Fijian Golfer's Association), but for everyone who's shared not only the journey of the last 2.5 years but all the time before that with me - I love you all and thank you so much for being who you are.

Last night was the pre-birthday celebration dinner, and it was an absolute blast.  Muffin Puffin made reservations at Brewerkz (we do what werkz), and they even surprised me with an AWESOME slice of chocolate cake (complete with a candle and a Happy Birthday pin on top, for the record) - thanks, Perfect Pumpkin!  We rolled through some AMAZING Golden Ale (springing for the 4 liter tower this time) and enjoyed the company of Money, Dan, Sergeant Sarah Smith, her friend Martine (I'm sure that's misspelled, so Sarah, please pass along my apologies), and......(drum roll please)......back from her restaurant opening in St. Alban's - Lily!  That's right, sports fans, the Angels (Far East Division) were back in action again - the last charge of Wyatt Earp and his immortals. :-)

It was SUCH a great night - plenty of laughs, good travel stories, and some INSANE GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy mid-30's cheekies) burgers.  Nobody in Sing Sing cooks 'em like Brewerkz.  But, as always, it all passed too quickly, and Lily took off about 11 (she had a 1:25 AM flight back to London - OUCH), with the rest of us following shortly thereafter.  We sacked out about 1, and I was back up at 7:30 this morning to chat with Mom & Dad before heading out for birthday brekkie at (where else?) BOOMERANG!!!!!  Nothing like some Eggs Benedict to grease the arteries and kick off the 34th year properly, eh?

We're now finishing packing (and by "we" I mean "Muffin Puffin," who is a force of nature on the packing front and doing everything for her lazy husband), and in 30 we're hopping a cab to the Budget Terminal for the last outbound flight on a discount carrier (Tiger - don't fail us now!).

Lisa's eyes aren't closed - she's just winking at the hot waiter
taking the photo - watch your girl, Brother Waldek...but at
least you had the sense to guard the beer tower with you life...
Lastly, to Mom and Dad - don't ask me why, but for whatever reason, all I could think about last night was my 20th birthday when you both came to Chapel Hill for the weekend.  I remember eating WAAAAAAY too much at Outback (as well as every other restaurant I could drag you guys to) and having a great time, but the memory that sticks out most is being at that local state park and dad holding that empty trash bag up, amazed by how he was in the midst of some type of wind tunnel and the bag constantly full in the breeze.  Funny what you remember, eh?  I love you guys.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print.  Bear with the Bull and Striker and our travels - we'll be back online come 8 November, ready for the final push over the try line!  Chat soon!


(The now older and wiser) Sam and (still smokin' hot because I'm a cradle robber) Jenny

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