I've always had a major clean-up after every event but, with the crazy late night, the impromptu sleepover, the mom-in-law staying the week following and life in general, I couldn't seem to catch-up.
I've cleaned the family room but, in the spirit of keeping it real, I still haven't picked up all of the party decor items in the basement. Goodness, maybe this weekend we'll take care of it but... eh, whatevs.
I was still playing catch-up when Mommy reminded me of the trip to Georgia in celebration of PawPaw's 80th birthday. We planned to leave Thursday night, arrive Friday morning and leave Sunday [early]afternoon to return Sunday night. We have a very ritualistic approach to our visit to Columbus, GA. It typically consists of sitting in each family member's home sharing a meal with some ladies-only shopping sprinkled between house visits. I wanted to shake it up by researching and trying some activities.
I found the Brushes and Beverages website and sent it to the fam. All of the ladies were on board but the guys were... less than interested. We arrived Friday around 10:30 a.m. We went for breakfast then most of the group went to the hotel to rest. Mommy, however, gets this burst of energy and has the motto that she can sleep when she returns home. That's my roll dawg so you know I was game to ride along. We went to Joey's Thrift Mall and ran a few errands to include finding the Brushes and Beverages storefront (nothing worse than being lost with a group of less-than-enthused guys, right?).
While we were out, the guys headed to a cigar shop across the street from the hotel and made friends with the staff. They watched soccer, enjoyed some quality cigars and talked about life. Apparently, it was just what the doctor ordered! They were more relaxed but still skeptical of the whole painting thing when we got together that evening.
In the next photo, you can see Dad and Mike carrying the box of wine and beer for the night.
There were flyers for upcoming classes outside:
I wasn't sure how it was going to work BUT I was pleasantly surprised. The walls were filled with paintings.
After purchasing your canvas ($25), you choose the artwork you want to duplicate and they provide the paints and walk you through the steps. I called in advance to reserve a table for our fam and we all got settled with aprons and easels:
I planned to share painting with Munch but my dad paid for her canvas because he wanted to see what she would do on her own.
She was one of the first in our party to decide on her painting project - the butterfly. The staff stenciled the outline, mixed her colors of choice:
... and she was off:
I mentioned the guys were skeptical, right? Well, my brother, Mike, found his painting first and decided to paint his cock.
Yes. His cock. We all were kinda shocked when he said the word too... then, he pointed to what he wanted to paint and we laughed.
It became the running joke. Women would pass by and compliment his painting, "ooo, that is SUCH a good job!"
He would make eye contact with someone in our group and thank the stranger or say something totally inappropriate (like, "o, yea, EVERYONE tells me that!"). Islanders, you can imagine where that joke went within our group, lol.
Hubbs decided to do his own thing and, really? Once I saw his inspiration photo, I wasn't surprised, lol:
The last one to choose his painting and the least willing to participate? The polar bear, Daddy.
We were all painting and plugging away while he debated. UNhappily. UNwillingly. He was just determined this would be Beverages and Bull Crap. Finally, he decided on the painting. He sipped a little. He started to loosen up. We all got really into our works:
I tried to get a pic of my parents but just as I clicked, paint fell from Dad's brush onto mom's cute outfit:
About 15 minutes in, Dad was all in! He was having a blast!
We were laughing and enjoying time with each other... Something we, quite simply, don't do often enough. It was as if the paint splatters on canvas were works of ART while the time we shared was a work of heART. Not going to get too sappy, just check out our works of art:
My brother's cock. HAHA.
Daddy's fall branch.
Ryan's fall forest
My blond zebra.
Wait. What do you mean you haven't seen a blond zebra?! Check out my inspiration:
An amazing creature, right?!
We were all very impressed with Munch's painting. She nailed it AND she had one lady copy her idea of adding polka dots to the butterfly's wings:
While we waited on Hubbs' painting to dry, Dad was SO impressed with the experience that he couldn't contain it. He spoke with the owner for a good while complimenting her on the business model and the great service. She even offered him (or anyone he knows) the opportunity to partner in the DC-area. Everyone was pleasantly surprised with our fun time that evening... Of course, we took the signature group shot:
We left at close to 10:00 p.m. Our next stop? The local deli (it was a college town so the deli was open until 3 a.m.). After filling our bellies, Mommy and Munch dropped the rest of us off at a local cigar bar. It had all the elements of a great time - live music, great atmosphere, good drinks and... well, family.
My uncle was there. It was my aunt's sister's birthday - she was turning 40-something. We partied hard! I loved having the opportunity to party with my family - my dad, my uncle, my aunt, my brother, my sister-in-law... we ALL had a blast and when it was over, Mommy was our ride back to the hotel.
We woke Saturday with plans for a busy day! First stop? PawPaw's house. We met up with my aunt and cousins... it's crazy to see my cousins (who used to be on my hip) having babies.
We spent an hour or so there planning our evening. I love LOVING up on my PawPaw even if it's admiring his frikkin' face from across the room. I have to admit I was slightly distracted. Yo, everywhere I looked I saw roosters. I thought it was me... ya know, after our "cock" experience with Mike the night before... My PawPaw's wife called me into the kitchen to chat and there were rooster statues, paintings, wall hangings, clocks, pot holders, towels, curtains... I had to confirm that I wasn't seeing things and she was SO excited to tell me she LOVES roosters and chicken decor.
O. OK. I showed her Michael's painting and she wanted it to hang in her kitchen... She squealed, "O MY! That is SO pretty! I would LOVE to have it!" IN MY MIND, all I heard was Mike saying in a creep voice, " yea... that's what she said." I just smiled and nodded but... uh... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
It was time to say bye until later that afternoon so we headed outside towards the car. Mommy came hurrying outside and said, " WAIT. Tabby, take my pic and send it to Mike!" Click:
It became another activity for all of us!
Only Ryan can look cute holding a
My auntie, 'Nae (Renee...I'm named after her):
O and I got in on the fun:
My PawPaw's wife said we could keep the rooster. It's officially become the family's INTERNATIONAL cock. It will go on road trips with us from here on out, lol.
We headed to Gina's Junk for shopping and I got a few items but, because I've adopted a new requirement that I must have a place for everything, I didn't buy everything I loved. Stay tuned for those fabulous finds :)
After the ladies did some shopping, we picked up the guys from their morning cigar shop visit with their new friends. One of the staff members invited them back for coffee and cigars that morning. The breakfast visit turned to a brunch and then to a lunch visit. They were having a blast and my theory was confirmed when [a tipsy] Hubbs exited the shop and loudly greeted my PawPaw with a good ol' southern, "HEEEEEEEEYYYYY, PawPaw!!! How old are you now? 45?!"
We all giggled because Hubbs is usually much quieter than that, lol.
With our entire party present, we headed to the neighborhood reunion.
My family had a tent and it was awesome seeing my PawPaw get the greeting of a family celebrity :)
He took his reserved seat in the shade and caught up with family for awhile.
There was a DJ providing all the family reunion hits and live music.
My mom was able to catch-up with friends she hasn't seen since high school.
It was fun... but it was HOT. A very humid 103 degrees to be exact. It was cray-cray hot. After two hours, we escaped the heat to take PawPaw to his restaurant of choice, Ryan's.
My aunts, uncles and cousins all came to shower PawPaw with love... Before they arrived, however, there was a very funny moment.
While the waitress was arranging tables for our large group, Hubbs was standing beside me rubbing my back... his hand traveled to my waist and then my hind parts. BEFORE it could go any further I blurted out,
"Get yo' hand outta my butt! My grand-daddy is RIGHT there."
Hubbs: "O, my bad... He's so tall I didn't realize he was there."
It was a great time with family and, while the food settled on our tummies, Munch enjoyed pool time with her auntie and uncle.
There was a hand-stand contest between Munch and Mike:
I caught up on some reading while she played until the sun went down. We got dressed for a night on the town then returned to hear our new favorite band at the cigar bar.
Talk about an awesome night!
This was the perfect trip to bring our family closer and to see Mommy's hometown in a new light. We turned our typical visit into a getaway and it was amazing.
My Dad said it best at the cigar bar,
"Vacation isn't about the number of days you take, it's about how quickly the weight of stress in your life is lifted so you can really enjoy the company of each other."
You couldn't tell me a weekend getaway with 20+ hours of it spent driving would be relaxing but this, by far, was the BEST pound-for-pound vacation I've ever had :)
How'd you end your summer?