I've said it before and I'll say it again -- trying to round up Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodgers is like herding cats on horseback... with broomsticks. It's a next to impossible task. To those who I managed to miss in the pix below, my apologies. To all of those who managed to miss me in theirs, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'd rather be behind the lens than in front of it any time!
So how did things unfold, you ask?
Events started Thursday evening when I had to work late, and I didn't make it back to the Omnibus Depot until after 10:00 p.m. Laundry and housework awaited, including cleaning the cat box. A 3:00 a.m. trip to 7/11 when I realized that I had no litter with which to refill said box. Urk. With a 6:30 a.m. flight, there was little to no time to sleep before tossing stuff into my suitcase and heading off to O'Hare airport. Thanks a million to Erica, who shared my dilemma and kept me going all night with a gazillion text messages and a lot of encouragement.
Friday morning found me both bleary-eyed and on an adrenaline high when I was met at the airport by both Erica and Elisson, who treated us both to a wonderful Southern-style breakfast, then wisked us off to Chez Ellison where we met the lovely Matata.
Matata leaves feline greetings for The Divine Miss Marilyn on my bag.
Erica chilling out in the newly-renovated kitchen d'SWMBO and Big E. We didn't rest long however; Ellison had lists upon lists of things to complete before the school bell rang and we could pick up the most lovely SWMBO. We packed up the E-Mobile and took a little jaunt to the Local Bagel and Smoked Fish Emporium, then headed off to the party shop for punch bowl, ladle and other beverage service necessary for service of the Chatham Artillery Punch. Tasks complete, we swept up SWMBO and headed north for Helen.
A quick stop for smokables and potables just outside of Helen brought the first big, big laugh of the day. Last year I brought a gift for a friend, based on his documented fear of all things zomboid. Little did we know that we'd meet his biggest nightmare in the North Georgia Mountains:
And where can you find this handsome fellow and more like him? Right here.
Our new zombie pal took off for his daunting, haunting day job, and the E-Mobile was once again pointed towards our home-away-from-home, the Chalet Kristy in Helen, where the mayhem had already begun in the parking lot.
Jimbo of the great farookin' hair greeted us with Chocolate Vodka and Shiner Bocks. Which led to...
Key Monroe feeling that Velociman could not possibly get into the spirit of Blogtoberfest without the proper costuming.
As you can see, he obliged her with nary a yodel of protest.
Key, V-Man, Georgia and Recondo32 tailgating in the parking lot.
Rick, Barbie, Jimbo, Erica, the infamous Catfish and Ken the Bodyguard swapped travel tales. Sammy, Zeejus, RSM (who put in an all-too-brief visit) and Denny managed to evade my lens, as did the lovely Joan of Arggh! and her swain, the Legendary Jolly Roger, Holder and Richard and newcomer (and closet blodger) Michelle.
Growling stomachs and restaurants with spotty service due to the incredible influx of touristy types compelled us to split up in search of dinner. When really bad music forced us back into the night and back the the Kristy, we met up with a few more of our favorite reprobates and took over Erica's room for a full-blown(eyed) bash:
Dax and Joan played backup...
... while Denny got us pretty effed up.
GuyK, Catfish and Dax chewed the fat...
... while SWMBO, Erica and Georgia put the Jolly in Roger. (And that's all you're getting out of me about Friday night.)
Shortly afterward, I toddled off to the Land of Nod. (36+ hours without sleep will do that to even the heartiest of Blown-Eyes.)
I don't claim to have any knowledge of Saturday morning, as I indulged in more than a little make-up sleep. When I finally peeled back the blackout curtains, it was to find an incredibly beautiful sunny day, and Blown-Eyeds hanging out down by the Chattahoochee.
Joan, Rick, Sam, Jimbo and Jolly Roger enjoyed the sunshine, fresh air and more Shiners.
Catfish, Rick and Dax told tales, as blodgers are wont to do.
We were also joined by GuyK, Sweetthing, and Sweetthing's brother. Sorry, no pix. Sure do wish they could have stayed longer!,
We were then greeted by a big treat -- John Cox, of Cox and Forkum fame, brave camper he, joined the riverfront festivities.
Ellison checked out John's latest sketchbook.
Soon afterwards, tummies rumbled again, and Zonker, Ellison, Richard, SWMBO and I set out on the Bataan... er... Bavarian Death March in search of the best barbeque in the North Georgia Mountains.
On the return march, Dax, Richard and I stopped by the local Rescue Station to pick up one of my favorite healthful elixirs. (None of that Chatham Artillery Guaranteed Hangover In A Punchbowl for this chiquita!)
Thus fortified, we returned to the scene of the ongoing crime:
Catfish and Bodyguard Ken were deep in conversation, but Eric and Fiona arrived shortly thereafter, and it was determined to be half-rubber time.
Undeterred that our usual half-rubber pitch was covered in vehicles due to the overload of cash-laden tourists with no other place to park, we retired to the grassy spot twixt the cabin du Richard and Holder and the Chattahoochee River.
Eric fielded while V-Man did pitching honors.
Holder said, "That was a close one!"
John joined into the fray, and impressed us all with his pitching abilities.
Erica knocked more than one pitch right into next week!
Half-rubber requires more than one catcher. Erica, Key and Michelle obliged.
On the sidelines, SWMBO, Michelle, Denny and Richard.
Sometimes, 'tis better to be spectator than sportsman. Key, SWMBO and Denny.
Zonker (a/k/a Zeejus*) and Key.
As the shadows grew longer, RSM made a return visit, and quickly changed from chammos to civvies. Blown-Eyed borborigmi rumbled loud across the pitch, and dining plans were hatched. While some of the Blown-Eyes opted for local dining pleasures, a big group of us (at Barbie's urging) decided to make good use of the barbeque grills provided by the good folks at the Kristy, so we headed off to Betty's Country Store for a grocery foray. Imagine Barbie and yours truly trying to wrangle Ellison, Sam, RSM, John, Dax, Eric and more in a tiny country store with two foot wide aisles and shelves crammed to the rafters. You'll have to imagine it, as only a Keystone Cops video would come close to the hilarity that ensued.
We returned to the Cottage du Holder and Richard, and proceeded to massacre a mountain of ribeye steaks and veg.
The Grill Master shows off the steaks.
RSM hoisted the veg.
A veritabobble feast, to quote Ellison.
After dinner, we were joined by Kelly and the Senior Chief, and I found myself with a shiny new Blog Son. (I spawn some handsome blog children, I do have to say.)
So what else did you miss? Lots more music by the Elderly Brothers, Robert Service, ghost stories, defamation by cartoon, an inflatable ewe, flying monkeys, a headless rooster and more of that Chatham Artillery horse swill. A veritable Ripley's Believe It Or Not of a blogmeet.
I'll tell you no more... but will give Richard the last word on how to survive a Jawja Blow-Eyed Blogmeet.
*If you found my Zeejus shirt, please give me a shout. I'm happy to pay the postage to get it back. And no. I'm not telling you how I lost it.