This was one of the longest weekends on record. By the time we got home Sunday night, I felt like I'd been put through the wringer and was ready for sleep. It all started Friday afternoon. I rushed home from work to try and get some more work on the house done. I managed to get the mantle attached to the wall and all of the extra random spare pieces reattached to the thing. The few things left that need to be done are for me to attach to top to the base, fill the nail holes, sand it, prime it, paint it, and then tile around it. Having typed all of that out, I now feel further behind. Heh.
Friday night was something that I'd been looking forward to. A group of old high school friends (many of whom I'd lost track of) got together for dinner. We got together for dinner as a local restaurant. It is funny how things don't really change that much. When I looked around the table, I saw the same people that I remember from school. Older? Yes. Wiser? Probably. More mature? Probably not. It was really nice looking around the table and seeing the same group of guys I remember from 15 years ago hadn't become something completely different. The one big difference? We headed home at 10. If the 18 year olds that we were could see the 33 year olds we'd become, they'd laugh at how early we turned in. As an 18 year old, the night began at 10 and not ended. We got together the next day for a bbq. Riley was center of attention and I got to talk with Bob (whom I've known since the first grade) for a while. It was great and I can't wait until we do it again.
After the bbq we left for St. Louis. It would have been a nice little drive if not for an accident on I70 that got us stuck in traffic for over an hour. If it hadn't been for the accident, I think we'd have made it to St. Louis before dinner, but the accident turned a 3 and a half hour trip into a 6 hour trip. Once we got to the hotel in St. Louis we headed straight for the pool. The promise of the pool was one of the things that we used to keep Riley placated. After the pool we headed for the room and then pretty much straight to bed. We were all pretty beat. The next morning Riley and I went back to the pool and swam some more. I think he had a little more fun that time. There was no one else in the pool at the time. I actually managed to coax him out into the middle of the pool at one point. The night before he was so tentative. He wouldn't let go of the side of the pool unless he had a death grip on my arms or shoulders. I think I might have a bald spot on my back where he ripped the hair out. After our second swim we got showered and headed for breakfast. The breakfast area was a madhouse. There were kids and families running everywhere. I think it was the Johnson family reunion.
After breakfast we checked out and headed to Jennifer's Grandmother's house. A couple of hours there and then we went to a shower for her and little fetus Lola ;). The shower was held at her cousins' (Meredith and Raphi) restaurant Coco Bongo. If you love Cuban food and are ever in Alton Illinois or St. Louis for that matter, you should stop in. They brought out a plater full of empanadas and I had to control myself. I question the sanity of anyone who doesn't love these flaky pockets of meaty goodness. Before that they served plantain chips. I was a little nervous. I've never eaten plantains. They look too much like bananas for my liking. I decided to man up. They'd put cheese on them and anything that you can eat with cheese is ok in my book. These were fabulous. Next was some coconut encrusted grouper. I was in heaven. After I walked (rolled) out of there I thought I might die (or explode). Like I said, if you are ever in town, look them up. The shower itself was great too. We got a lot of really nice stuff that we needed. We left the shower around five and headed for home. We made it back to the hood around nine and called it a night. Once again we were all tired.