Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is he Chautauquan' to us?!

You know how they say beer laughter is the best medicine? Well after this weekend, that's my new life motto. That and don't microwave plastics.

Last week B and I had been debating driving seven hours up to Lake Chautauqua in New York to join our friends for a long weekend of doing things that friends do. Only on a lake, which always makes things more interesting.

Since I'd been hiding out in a small underground tunnel and only emerging for small pieces of food and to pee for the past few weeks, I wasn't sure if I was up for the trip. But when I got home from work on Friday, B was all pack your bags and get the feck in the car 'cause we out.

Seven hours later I was hugging my closest friends at a lakeside condo in western New York, happy as a clam for the first time in weeks. And I didn't even care that I forgot to pack things like makeup and shirts and jewelry and a comb and even underwear because I was with my friends.

That night we stayed up talking and catching up until the wee hours of the morning when the geriatrics in all the neighboring condos were getting out of beds to start their days.

When we finally pulled ourselves out of bed after a few hours of sleep, the day began with one of Julita's famous breakfasts. And in case you don't know her, let me tell you a little something about Julita. When Julita's around, you always know you're going to be eating well. Especially breakfast.

But besides her kitchen wizardries, Julita is good to have around for many things. Like awkward knee dancing and funny voices and general debaucheries. She's also the perfect friend to have when you need someone with graphic design skills because your own graphic skills don't go any further than writing captions on top of photos in Microsoft paint.

Julita is so good at her graphic design skills that she can have a slightly buzzed friend call her up out of the blue and be all so I want a design but I don't know what I want but I want the color yellow but not a glaring yellow a happy yellow kind of like an orange but not orange and if you could stick an elephant in there somewhere that would be great but not a real elephant just make one up but make it funny but not too funny just happy funny and maybe a little retro but don't make it cheesy, k? and then in like five minutes she hands you the perfect image of everything you just said only better.

Anyway, after breakfast we all piled into cars and headed to the other side of the lake and boy were our arms tired where we rented a pontoon for the afternoon.

And not only has this Jersey Shore diehard never been to a lake, but she's also never been on a pontoon. So this was a very exciting afternoon. A very exciting afternoon made even more exciting by the styrofoam coolers filled with beer that we brought with us.

And out on the lake we went tubing. And hello, everyone mom, have you ever been tubing on a pontoon? Because it was so fun I thought my bladder was going to explode. The fear of slamming my face into the water at high speeds might also have had something to do with that.

But when you have a captain like Doug, you know you're in good hands while out there on that little tube.

Let's get a closer look at what Doug's really looking at while driving that boat, shall we?

When we weren't tubing, we could swim in the warm lake waters, which was an entirely new experience. Because in a lake you can actually taste something besides salt. Which is weird.

But the best part of the day wasn't the pontoon or the tubing or the swimming or the dancing (did I mention there was dancing?) or even the booze. It was being with my friends again.

And that was just day one. Little did I know, but there are tons of things to do in an itty bitty town like Chautauqua when you're with a group of people who like to do things.

On Sunday we went to this place called the Institution. And yes, it is exactly as strange as it sounds. But they had a beach! And that beach had sand! And water! And we were all like OK we'll overlook all these religious signs and creepy clubhouses and eerily smiling people because beach! Sand! Water!

That night there were fireworks in town to celebrate the unofficial end of summer and subsequent emptying of the town when all the families go back home and all the children go back to school and all the parents trudge back to their jobs and we all wait as winter's icy grasp gets one step closer to freezing our fingers and giving us snotsicles when we go out to get the morning paper and we feel like will never be warm again until May.

So to watch the fireworks, we went to a waterside bar called the Casino. And at the Casino there was a live band and dueling pianos and a dock outside where boats can pull right up to watch the fireworks and have a beer or 12.

There was no gambling at the Casino, but we hit the jackpot when we went upstairs to go to the bathroom and we found an empty room with an unattended tap and a stack of cups.

As we ran down the street with bellies filled with stolen beer we were all omg I'm laughing so hard I might pee and Moira was all omg omg omg I think the bouncer is coming after us and we were all stop I'm going to pee and Moira was all omg is he Chautauquan to us?! Because in a town where you can buy everything from a kitchen table to a flock of chickens to a tractor in someone's front yard, you probably don't want to get caught drinking beer from a bar's tap by that bar's bouncer. Or chased down the street by him.

Back at the house we continued celebrating our last night together by emptying the refrigerator of all other beers and food to give us a head start on the next morning's cleaning because we always plan ahead. The rest of the night was filled with rambunctious drinking games and hopping fences to go skinny dipping in the pool and stealing golf carts and driving them around the community and eating and more drinking and laughing pretty quiet.

Of course there was much more that happened over the course of the long weekend. Like eating. And more drinking. And eating. And wine tasting. And eating. And talking until our throats were sore and our heads were bobbing. And so much laughing.

The next day, on our drive back to Philly, B and I couldn't stop smiling. Except for that hour we sat in stand still traffic and the air conditioning suddenly stopped working in B's car and sweat was dripping down my back and I really had to pee and the I could feel the particles of dirtiness on B's car seats seeping into my skin and my hands were all sticky from my fast food frosty and B was all what the feck did I tell you about your dirty ass feet on the windshield? This weekend away with my friends was the perfect remedy to happiness again.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

When I was kid we'd grab some hot dogs from here:http://www.johnnyslunch.com/index.shtml and picnic on Chautauqua Lake. AJ's Texas Hots is also the same thing, but run by a different family member I think. You can get three dogs for $2.74. Sooo tasty!


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