Sunday, June 20, 2010

Starting the Summer Off Right!

This weekend featured the first official day of summer - June 21. Understandably enough, my half birthday went by unnoticed until my mom mentioned it me in excitement today...Needless to say my summer started off right not because I was celebrating a silly half birthday but because lots of people passed through Charlotte this weekend - seven to be exact.

Things started to get exciting on Thursday night when Garrett, being the typical guy, did not think to tell me earlier than 930pm that night that four - not one - guys were staying at my uptown condo the next night. I have a small condo. I somehow had to find a way to fit four minor league baseball players ranging anywhere from 190-250 pounds in my living room, which is approximately 372 square feet of wood floor. Fortunately enough, Danielle came to my rescue and let me borrow her blow up mattress, so I had beds for all the guys to sleep in, including my pull out mattress in my couch.

Garrett and I arranged for the entourage to meet me immediately at Hawthorne's pizza. Between five guys and me, they ate three huge 18" pizzas. Garrett pretty much ate our entire pizza, minus the slice that I nibbled at. The conversation was great because we had such an eclectic mix of people: Angel, a Dominican who could barely speak English; Andrea, a 20 year old Italian who taught himself both English and Spanish in a couple of months' time so that he could communicate with his teammates; Travis Smink, a Steelers fan from PA who also happens to be Garrett's roommate and who I think rocks; Phil, a south Florida resident and UNF grad who is trying Garrett's healthy diet for a week to see if he can do it.

After pizza, we went back to my place to play some baseball on the Wii. Since Andrea had decided he loved Charlotte, we all wanted to go out so he could experience the city. There is only one 18 and up bar in Charlotte that I know of, so we walked the .75 mile to BAR Charlotte in the ninety degree heat at 1030pm...I purposely did not tell these guys that this bar is not frequented by any friends of mine for the very reason that it showcases 18 year olds and a mechanical bull. Once we got there, the bouncer would not accept Andrea's license from Italy, so we had to turn around and walk right back home. I don't think any of us were really too disappointed because the guys had just driven for nine hours straight, and I had just run 11 miles that morning. Of course, we had to take a picture of the hostess with her guests:
I also needed a picture to capture the bromance between Garrett and Travis since they are roommates and have that whole male bonding thing going on after living in a hotel room together for four months...
Once we got back to the house, I got all the beds ready and everyone slept pretty decent. I just had to take them to Zada Jane's,which is one of the best breakfast joints in Charlotte that happens to be a mile from my house. While we waited for a table we played corn hole and shuffle board where Angel dominated over all the Americans. The food was delicious and all of us got the special - strawberry pancakes. Those pancakes and the biscuits sure did hit the spot for all of us!

Just as quickly as the boys got to my house, they were gone. Very grateful, they said their thanks to me, and hopped back into the two different cars to make their way to Greeneville, Tennessee, where Travis Smink was featured on their website:
Less than 20 minutes later, Garrett's sister and cousin, Elyse and Barbara, arrived so that we could go to Carowinds with our free tickets that my good friend Jay gave me. We rode the newest coaster - the intimidator - which was great! However, we made the mistake of riding a horrible old ride that probably knocked our brains around a little too much. We felt pretty sick after that and rode about three more roller coasters. After two bottles of water, four mullet sightings, three hours in the 95 degree heat, and a ride on a wooden roller coaster, we waved farewell to Carowinds and said hello to the air conditioning in my car. I guess when you get a free ticket, you don't feel the pressure to make the most of the trip to an amusement park.

The rest of their visit can be summarized with a lot of girl talk, a trip to IKEA, and bad run-in with a HORRIBLE waiter at a delicious restaurant in Charlotte . When we asked him for a water, he said "Ughhhh"...when I ordered three sides, he said "So you just mixed all the sides together...?"....When he asked how everything was, I responded "It's great...can I get some salsa?" and the waiter responded exasperated "Besides the SALSA"...Needless to say, you can tell that we got a horrible waiter, but it didn't matter because we still got our food.

On Sunday, I woke up at 6am to run over 16 miles with a great group of guys - Bill Shires, Stephen Spada, and Jason Martin. It was nice and easy in the humidity and heat, but thoroughly enjoyable considering the company.

Overall, I can say that I welcomed the first day of summer with open arms and it rewarded me in turn with a great weekend spent with people who mean a lot to me. In just three days time I get to go back home to Carbondale, where I'll be with my family!!!


Stephen Spada said...

Great to share some miles with you...thanks!

Matt said...

glad to hear you were able to see some good mullets!

Post a Comment