Tuesday, November 18, 2008


TMI can be found below...

So very many stories to tell. You get alot of time to think while waiting in airports, on planes, on the highways. Of course, do you think I can remember all of them now? Ha! So we'll see how I do. I'll leave the airline thoughts and the Peyton Manning worship for a later post. If you're interested in a good recap, check out Dana's post for her take on things.

Woke up before 4AM so I could drive to Billings (3.5 hours away) to catch my flight to Indy. Why would someone do that? To save hundreds of dollars on plane fare! I don't pretend to understand geo-political economic state of aviation, but I know that saving money is a good thing! God bless Priceline! I opted for a rental car, as I didn't want to get surprised by car trouble. I do like a car that implies that it could be/should be driven at 140 MPH!

When getting a cheap ticket from Priceline, you are sometimes subject to bizarre travel routes/layovers that make no sense at all. In this case, luck was on my side, and I was able to contact a particular HNTer whom we all know, and talked her into meeting me for a quick lunch date during my layover! She is opting to remain anonymous, but I had to take a picture of us together. Let me say that she was everything I expected, and more. Charming, witty, and sort of leaning towards the cute side! And I imagine that most of you would have enjoyed the chance to spend a little time with her! This is the best picture I could get her to pose for. Thanks for a brief, but wonderful time!

I landed in Indy at their brand spankin' new terminal about 10 minutes ahead of time, but glitches in the brand spankin' new terminal kept me in the plane, on the ground, for about 45 minutes. Ah, well. The extra time helped M perfect the huge fanfare and celebration awaiting me at baggage claim. She did wonderfully! She and I head to the hotel, and I get in touch with NY Diva (who lives in Indy). She met us at the hotel, and we went to a little beer place nearby for dinner. We then headed to the Rock Bottom Brewery for a couple of more beers. And lots of conversation. It was good to get a sense of who we were going to be spending the weekend with! I came to the realization that I was the only one with a camera, but pictures of us drinking beers is sort of boring. Since it was my camera, you get them, and not me! We kept it a relatively early night (well, for this guy from the Mountain time zone). Sorry, M. This picture doesn't quite capture your loveliness...

Dana drove down the next morning, and the three of us went to the airport to pick up Another Suburban Mom, who flew in from the east coast. We immediately headed to Five Guys Burgers. I might have had the best burger I've ever had. I certainly know that if I wasn't in public, I'd have scarfed down another two of them, and not really care about how messy I was! We met up with NY Diva and P. & S. (and their son E.!). They weren't able to get a babysitter, so this was the only chance to meet everyone. E, of course, used his cuteness to charm the ladies. I didn't have a chance.

The evening found us in the Broad Ripple area of Indy. Very college-like area. We went to dinner at the Broad Ripple Brewpub. British pub-like atmosphere, darts in the back, great food! Living Diary and Flyboy met us there. Many beers were consumed (one person, in particular, or so I'm told). And great food. Cameras came out and pictures were taken (which you might find on some of the other sites).

While I was content to drink beer and eat British desserts, the ladies wanted to check out a bar we'd noticed while looking for the brewpub. The Wild Beaver Saloon. You can probably see where this will go... ASM and M decided to try the Beaver Juice (you had the option of 3 different colors), Dana started in on the Patron--I believe Flyboy and I were the only ones to stick with the beer. It was loud, smoky, and full of college aged kids. As old geezers, I'm impressed with our ability to stick it out! But the geezerness of some of us (no, not me!) made us realize that many of us had to travel the next day, and we also had a brunch date to make in the morning. But a fun night was had by all!

Fortunately, we all were able to roll out of bed the next morning and meet up with American Honey and Yummy (her honey) for brunch at Le Peep. It was a quick trip to town for them, but I think they liked it. We certainly did! Then it was time to start thinking about heading home. Dana headed out, M took ASM to the airport, and NYD volunteered to babysit me until it was time to go to the airport (late afternoon). She took me downtown to see the sights (what a great town!), including the new football stadium and the Speedway. While driving around, M texted to let us know she hadn't left yet, as she was waiting for her daughter, so we met up with her to kill some time at a Barnes & Noble. It was obvious that the weekend had taken its toll on all of us. M's daughter called, so she left, and NYD and I went to the airport to have a little dinner, and then we said our goodbyes. I was able to catch up on some football from the monitors in the concourses. Nothing really exciting for the rest of the night. Oh, I did talk with Moose for as long as I had cell service. It's good to have her in a far western time zone! I got back to Billings at 11PM, drove back to Helena and got home around 3AM, and was wired enough to not go to bed until after 5. Certainly too tired to do this post!

A great weekend. Good people. There was alot of hesitation from the others going into this, as only a couple of them had experience meeting other bloggers. All that apprehension seemed to disappear quickly with every new meeting, and it was great to put flesh and bones to the people we see on the on the screen. Gossip was rampant, no one pissed anyone off, M almost killed 4 bloggers in one fell swoop, and there were no public half-nekkidness incidents (other than Dana and ASM--go see Dana's site for evidence!). And I'm definitely looking forward to the next gathering, whenever/wherever it may be!

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