Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kyna's 30th Birthday Extravaganza:Pt 1~Beer Pressure

For my 30th birthday celebration, we decided to take a trip down to Florida.

When I mentioned going to Florida, I got two different reactions from my Canadian and American friends.

My Canadian friends thought it was awesome. "Have a great time!" they said, or "Wish I was there with you!"

My American friends were like, "Why? Because you feel the need to go somewhere even hotter?" or "Why? Florida's filled with old people," and "Ok. Um. Have fun with that."

The reason I chose Florida, my friends, is that all my in-laws live there. They've been down here a couple of times, but we haven't been down there to see them since November of 2005. Chuck hadn't seen his dad since then.

What was that? Why would I want to visit my in-laws for my birthday??

Am I crazy???

Nah. They're awesome, that's why. I really lucked out in the in-law department.

Aaaaand...who doesn't love palm trees (enough to hug them and squeeze them and call them George)??? I wanted to turn 30 among the swaying palms.

Anyway, we set the alarm for 3:30AM Friday morning to get ready for the 8 hour trip. We wanted to get there early enough to do something on Friday afternoon/evening. We took off about 5AM.

There was a snafu with the rental car we had tried to get, and ended up having to take my 15-year-old Toyota.

I love my old car. It's very good on gas and it gets me to where I want to go. But I was worried about taking it on a 16 hour+ round trip.

...In the intense heat. With an oil leak. No shocks. And slightly saggy roof upholstery.

But we had to take my car, or not go. We chose to take it and bring along a lot of tools just in case. I don't think Chuck could have handled the intense disappointment (ie:crying) on my part if we'd had to stay home. I'd planned this for months.

I love road trips. You get to see a lot of things you wouldn't otherwise see from a plane window. I'm notorious for taking pictures of roadside signs and billboards.

Crossing the Georgia line

I've been through Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina,South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virgina. I added Georgia to the list this time. I grew up only a few hours from the border of the northern states and haven't been to any of them, just Southern ones (and Indiana, but we were just barely over the border of Kentucky so it doesn't count).

Anyway, the worst part of the trip was the drive through South Carolina on Hwy 95.

Booooooooooriiiiiing. Felt SO long. And there was no scenery, just a closed in wall of tall forest on either side of us for 200 miles.

Wait, I forgot. There was some scenery. If you call tourist trap destinations 'scenery'.

South Carolina is one of the few states that any old individual can purchase fireworks and set them off legally. So these eyesores are everywhere along the highway.

I'm sure parts of South Carolina are very lovely, if you were taking a less popular route. But I-95 blows some serious goats.

Georgia was really nice to drive through. And it was 100 miles shorter.

The crazy thing about the drive were all the freakin' police that were out that day. It was Memorial Day holiday weekend, the traditional start to the tourist season in the South.

We expected a lot of police on the roads, but this was nuts! I've never seen so many on one drive before.

At every little hiding place possible along the highway sat a police car waiting to chase after someone. We saw large speed traps. Blue lights everyhere. We even saw one cop speed past us and chase someone down over the Georgia-Florida state line, which we didn't think they were allowed to do.

We weren't speeding of course.

We couldn't!

My old car was labouring as it was. In fact, we rode down most of the way to Florida with the air conditioning off. In 95F/35C+ degree heat. We saved an assload in gas money by doing this. And the engine smoked a lot less.

However, having the windows down on the highway created a new problem (besides sweating profusely).

In case you're not sure what is going on in this picture, that is my sagging roof upholstery. Before the trip, it was only slightly saggy.

After an hour or two of the wind whipping up underneath it, it was sagging lower than an 80-year-old man's ballsack.

It was nearly resting on Chuck's head as he was driving (The roof covering, not an 80-year-old man's ballsack. I know you're disappointed. That would have made a more interesting story...)

When we crossed the Florida line, we knew we were going to make it to Jacksonville. That was a huge relief, I'll tell ya. I gave my car an appreciative pat and a treat.

We stayed at my sister-in-law Laura's house in Jax Beach.

Laura's backyard

Laura is an awesome person. She gave us her bed for the weekend, she always made sure we had anything we might want or need. Mention you're hungry and she has a sandwich in your hand before you can even say 'sandwich'. She can talk the hind leg off a mule, but I mean that as a compliment because I can do the same thing. Takes one to know one.

When we got there, she mentioned that she'd made arrangements for all of us to go out to a pub downtown called 'Kickbacks'. She had invited a bunch of her friends out, as well as my brother-in-law Steve and his wife Joan. Rented a chauffeured 16 passenger van to take us all down there and back.

That was a wild ride. In Florida, if the person driving such a vehicle has their chauffeur's license, people can drink in the vehicle. The dude sitting behind me popped open a bottle of champagne unexpectedly, and I just about had to change my pants.

Because I'm such a loud, boisterous person, I think Laura thought I'd fit right in with her friends. They were a loud proud crowd.

They were really nice and friendly people, but I'm completely at a loss when I'm the quietest person in the room. That never happens. When there are 15 other people around me that are louder and crazier than I am...well, I just don't know how to act! I'm sure they thought I was a mousy little wallflower. Which, as you all know, I am definitely not.

We almost got in a horrific accident on the way to the place. The driver of the van merged into a lane and I guess had a major blind spot, because she almost sideswiped a car. You've never seen a dirtier look given than the one the driver of that car gave our chauffeur. Like laser-beams from the woman's eyes. I don't blame her. I had my own angry laser-eyes on the back of our driver's head. Second time in a row I just about had to change my pants.

The driving (if you can call it that) is crazy down in Florida. People don't use their cars to get around, so much as they use them as weapons.

Chuck wants to move down there eventually, but I don't know if I could ever learn to drive that aggresively. And I lived in a busy city for 24 years!

'Kickbacks' is a microbrewery sort of bar. They had a thick book sitting on every table called the 'Beer Bible'. They served a ridiculous amount of beers there. 665 bottled beers, and 80 beers on tap.

You feel like a huge loser if you order a Bud Light. So of course I didn't. Peer (beer) pressure works in mysterious ways.

Chuck's brother Steve and his wife Joan had come seperately, so they were already seated when we got there. When I spotted them, I made a beeline for the seat across from them. Steve is like my brotha from anotha motha. I tell Chuck that he's lucky I didn't meet Steve online first. But then Joan would've had to give me a black eye.

We all had a great time.

Laura's the blonde to the left, and Steve is to the left of her on the edge. My right boob is to the right of the frame

Both my boobs made it into this picture

Laura's date

For some reason, one of the quirks of the place was putting mannequin heads saying 'Reserved' on tables that were called for ahead of time. Laura thought they were hilarious. She kept poking Steve with the one from our table.

Steve finally had enough and scared the shit out of her with it. She yelled and scared the shit out of everyone in the bar. It was hilarious. THIRD time of the night I almost had to change my pants.

Note to self: Bring extra pants when on a night out with the in-laws.

Hanging out with the three siblings is always a great time. They all love to tease the hell out of each other. I'm going to talk about them a little more in my next post.


The Idiot Gardener said...

Sounds great thus far. An 80 year old man's ballsack? Have you been peeping?

I'm keeping the picture with the right boobage. I'm going to tell people it's me, wearing my new hat! In America. At a gay bar. For fuck's sake, how can that be a beer place if there's no bastard leaning on the bar shouting "I farkin lorve you mate!" And what's with the neon? That just confuses pissheads!

Ah, bollocks, flu medicine and beer has made me run out of things to say, well type, you know what I mean.

Nice tits, by the by!

Kyna said...

Well, that's what I'd IMAGINE an 80-year-old man's ballsack would look like. It's not like I see them every day.

Who says there was no one yelling "I farkin lorve you mate!"? That's sort of a universal bar event, isn't it? You just can't hear it over the loudness of the neon.

The ol' breasticles have still got it. For a little while.

The Idiot Gardener said...

They'll be on the floor by Christmas!

Alison said...

Great picture of you and your boobs on your birthday. You look happy. Glad you get along so well with your in-laws, that's so awesome.

When we lived in Massachusetts we used to make this trip to Florida about every three years or so. It is so cool driving through the country like that.

Is that Pedro's sombrero in your picture? Tell me you stopped at Pedro's...We loved that place. It's so tasteless. Just our style.

The 80-year old man's ball sack on Chuck's head not only would have made a better story, it would have made a better picture too. JK, not really.

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Glad to hear you had a great birthday!

I'm loving the 80 yr old's ballsack, if I'd had coffee in my mouth at the time I would've been snorting it through my nose.

Bub said...

So you did indeed make it to the other side of 30 - it's not so bad is it?!

You think drivers in Florida are bad? You want to try driving round parts of London - it's not pleasant. Scares the crap out of me.

I'm glad you had such a great birthday and got to celebrate it with awesome in-laws.

Loved the post, however I could have done without the mental image of an 80-year-old man's ballsack drooping over Chuck's head ;D

Rainforest Gardener said...

People DO drive like retards on speed in Florida! With regards to the comments about the elderly by all those naysayers, yes, there are a bunch of cranky old people here. But you can go tropical plants! If you were to go to central or south Florida, the scene is a bit livelier, with more bars, boutiques, etc. than you could shake a walker at. By the way, my sister practically lives at Kickbacks. She was probably there and you had no idea!

Kyna said...

IG: Maybe I can pin some poinsettias on them and use them as a festive mat.

Alison: Yes that was Pedro's, but no we didn't stop :D We just drove straight on down to Jacksonville with 5 minute pit-stops once in awhile. I think all the bright colours of Pedro's practically seared out my retinas as we drove past lol.

Unfortunately the only (nearly) 80 year old man we encountered this last weekend was Chuck's dad. And I think Chuck would have needed therapy if he'd even considered the photo op. O_O

Liz: I'm glad I didn't cause you to have to clean up your computer screen lol

Bub: I bet. I wouldn't want to drive in London in a million years. Not only with the crazy driving, but also there's that little 'we drive on the left side of the road' thing. I'm sure I'd cause an accident right off.

Chuck only has 31 more years to go and he'll have his OWN 80-year-old ballsack. I'm sure it'll be stretchy enough by then to put on his forehead. I shouldn't laugh though. According to IG, my boobs'll be the same.

RG: My eyes were peeled for all sorts of tropical plants while I was down there. We were constantly on the go, so I didn't get much opportunity to appreciate it. I noticed all along roadsides there were these crazy mini palm-like things. My BIL Steve said they were palmettos or something, and they were like weeds.

The last time I was in Florida was 2005, and back then I didn't give a shit about gardening. This time I really paid attention to all the vegetation lol.

Yeah, we were planning on being at the bar by 7ish, but we ended up there after 8 and stayed a couple of hours. We didn't stay late, because we were really tired from being up at 3:30am. It was a good time though :)

Tatiana said...

Love the post - love the boobs, love the ballsack and the extra pants :) You've covered all the basics of an epic b-day road trip. And ahem, you ARE a loser if you order Bud lite.

Jayne said...

This could be a movie "Kyna and Chuck's Awesome Adventure..."

Glad you made it safely down there and had a great night out with the in-laws.