Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grin and bear it

One of my favourite parts of the holiday was the hiring of a log cabin in the woods for a weekend. Rhianon and Christian left both their daughter and their dog with sitters and came for a weekend of drinking. I’m not one to rant and rave about my drinking exploits, but this was a hilarious weekend and one worth reciting.

Christian keenly packed a huge cool box for the weekend. What would one need for a weekend in the woods? Food? Water? Don’t be absurd. Beer and rum, that’s what.

Gareth and I went up to the mountains a day early to go mountain biking and tobogganing. To summarize, the biking was amazing: serene lakes, blissful sunshine and a lesson in bunny hopping (I was a natural. After that I wasn’t even scared to scale some bumps in the road that were AT LEAST a few inches big). The tobogganing was painfully slow, mosquito ridden, it rained on us and I was stuck within ear shot of the world’s worst family, painfully utilizing the world’s worst parenting skills, parenting the world’s most annoying brats. And it was expensive.

Nevermind, we got to the bottom and decided to make our way to the cabin before dinner so we knew where it was while we still had daylight on our side.

So we drove to the road in question without much ado. As we arrived at Covered Bridge Road, Gareth realised he’d left the instructions behind and we had no phone to contact the woman.

I think it was number 100 and something, he says confidently as we drive along. No, he says as we draw nearer, 400 and something. Definitely. As we approach the 400s, Gareth turns into every – single – driveway and declares that he has found our lodge.

It’s this one, it’s definitely this one, he says, jumping out of the car to go and find the key. The woman had told him she’d left the key under a chair on the porch. Every house in America has a chair on it’s porch, so you can imagine my despair as, in a country full of red necks with guns and a willingness to shoot, Gareth ran up to a dozen different houses and had a good nose about on their front porch.

Even if he found a key it wouldn’t mean we’d found our lodge and I can just picture us settling down to a nice hot cocoa as a surprised Jim Bob and his shotgun return home from a day of killing bears and eating beef jerky.

Luckily, the house we eventually settled upon did not seem to be occupied by a Jim Bob and the next day we were joined by Rhianon and Christian. Christian's got really big guns so I knew that once we were with him he could wrestle Jim Bob to the floor and we'd be declared victors of the lodge.

All too aware of the amount of booze Christian planned to consume, we set about playing an intrinsic drinking game commonly known as Cheat.

Each time you failed, you had to have a shot of Ameretto, until that ran out and we moved on to rum. I’d like to point out at this stage that Gareth and Christian were drinking Michelob LITE on the side of the shots, while Rhianon and I were on the rum.

Cheat came to an end and we tried 21 – a game where you go round in a circle counting up to 21. Sounds simple, until you add a torrent of ridiculous rules and a litre of rum.

Pretty soon, Christian was leaving a little something for the bears by throwing up everything he’d eaten for the last month in the back garden, Gareth was beating his sister up with a shoe and we were planning a walk in the woods to see if we could make the evening a little more memorable by having an encounter with some bears.

Gareth spent all the next day throwing up while Rhianon and I remained triumphant – not only did we drink more than the boys but we kept it down.

The next day we went for a walk in another strange town and found ourselves on a tour of a themed hotel. I desperately wanted to stay in the cinema suite (50ft plasma screen, watchable from a hot tub, private bar, giant bed, private bar, private bar, private bar) until Christian witnessed a guest complaining of getting tics in her neck while staying in the Camping suite and we realised a cheesy themed hotel probably wasn’t the most hygienic place to lay our heads. To be able to actually see all the seamen stains would be, as Gareth put it, a DNA inspector’s field day.

So we took a rain check, as they say over there, and drove home, via, just to make my weekend complete, a thai restaurant. Heaven. Heaven in a thai curry bowl.


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