We swayed back and forth Friday morning about whether to drive the boat to the bay or join the cattle herd being ferried over on the jet express. Really, my sister’s husband David, the one who would have to play the role of Captain, swayed and the Cadmus sisters used our unstoppable powers of persuasion to gently guide (guilt) him into taking the boat. High winds and chance of storms be damned, we were determined to have a vessel of our own. As warned, winds made for some choppy riding on the way to the island, but my cousin Sam and I still parked it in the back of the boat and sipped on beers between incoming wakes to our faces.

I'm on a boat

The day played out in typical Put-n-Bay fashion. We hit The Goat tavern for lunch… because as most of you know, I love goats. Stopped at the new Mojito Bay for some outdoor swing bar fun. Made fun of all the douche beacons passing by. Peeked our heads in at the Beer Barrel’s longest bar in the world, then headed on to what always becomes home base for us at the Bay, The Roundhouse. Nothing ever changes at the Roundhouse. At 33 , I am pretty sure I was the third youngest one there (my cousins Kris and Sam joined this world a bit after me), because we hit the afternoon drunken blue hair crowd. Drunk people wore buckets on their heads after draining them of beer and Mad Dog was on stage playing covers, cursing like there was no tomorrow and taking shots between every song. In fact, he stopped a few songs to take shots in the middle. Same scene as my first trip to Put-n-Bay 12 years ago.

Swingin

At one point Mad Dog looked out into the crowd and singled out the cute old dude sitting next to us. He was a sweet old man wearing a bucket on his head and peacefully enjoying his surroundings with his lovely wife. Mad Dog pointed to him and said “Why you so sad, little buckethead? Why you so sad?” This would be repeated and mimicked by our group a minimum of 75 times throughout the rest of the evening. Mad Dog also said, “I wasn’t planning to get drunk today, but what the fuck? It’s Christmas!” We all nodded in agreement.

Why you so sad, buckethead?

Another favorite quote from someone in our group ended up being, “The next time I am really gay, I am going to ask him if he is drunk.” If we weren’t sure whether the alcohol was taking effect at this point, there was our sign.

We hung at the Roundhouse for a good long stint. The Roundhouse has a very high ceiling. From which hung many Christmas decorations, including 12 inch sparkly disco balls. One fell directly on cousin Sam’s head from about 30 feet up. She got a free shot out of it and was covered in glitter the rest of the day. No one believed her that she wasn’t intentionally glittered, so she looked like one of those annoying glitter wearing people. That’s ok cuz she fit right in while we finished out the day dancing barefoot to a cover band and doing shots out of plastic syringes.

Look at those poorly secured disco balls

And that’s when the whores come in… no actually, its when the storm came in. Again per David’s predictions, a good ole midwest thunderstorm rolled through. We waited out the first cell with beers and Christmas carols, then drove across the lake for the second. Thanks to my sister’s mad first mate skills, she was able to stand on the bow in mid downpour to guide us in safely to the boat slip. We went to visit Ted at the Yacht Club bar for a few   before heading home to crash. Probably could have done without that last pint glass full of vodka…

Stormy weather

Oddly enough, we were all surprised to not have hangovers the next morning. This is a good thing, because giant African animals headbutting your car cannot be good with a splitting headache. We felt bad for leaving the kids all day on Friday so the following day we decided to check out the “drive through safari” down the road. When I hear drive through anything, I think cheap and stupid… like the drive through dentist. Boy oh boy were we pleasantly (or not so pleasantly, depending on who you ask) surprised.

We expected a few sleeping antelope and a gift shop. What we got was a freaking stampede of exotic animals jockeying for position by our car windows.  There were llamas, and bulls and reindeer and buffalo all wandering willie nille and sticking their heads in the car looking for grub. A bull with horns bigger than my leg scared the crap out of us as he keyed the side of the minivan and about shattered a window. This set Nora off into a fit of terrified madness. Like my mom, I laugh my ass off when I am nervous. I am in the back seat trying to keep Luke from jumping out the window, calming Nora who is screaming at the top of her lungs that  she wants to go home, throwing deer feed out the window and trying to capture it all on video camera while laughing my ass off. This means I was unable to stop the reindeer that stuck his head in and started gnawing on the passenger seat when he realized I was out of food. Luckily, he realized the 27 cars behind us were bound to have some chow. Things calmed down and we even got to feed a giraffe through the sunroof. This place was freaking awesome. Next time we’ll know what to expect and come prepared. We’ll also probably rent a car and get the $12 insurance.

Traumatized by the hungry bulls

Geoffrey

The rest of my Ohio visit was fantabulous. Aunt Jen got some quality time in, teaching the kids things they probably shouldn’t do. We had some fun at the pool. Michelle and I spent a day at Cedar Point (America’s Roller Coast!). What I learned while I was there is that my body has aged a lot in the seven years since I have been there. One of my favorite wooden rollercoasters jerked me around so much my boobs hit me in the face and my brain rattled for a good hour after. We used to stay until they kicked us out of the park. Michelle and I walked out limping at 5pm. It was still a blast though. I’ll just remember to wear a sports bra and a helmet next time.

In the pool with our clothes on

Now, I’m back in Austin. Back to single life. Back to business. Back to reality. Already missing the fact that I could walk into a room and two cute little faces would instantly light up with pure joy. That just doesn’t really happen much around here when I walk into a room. Don’t get me wrong, my friends are, in general, happy to see me but the look of pure joy doesn’t usually happen until I set a drink in front of them…

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