I just got home from the annual ParLUGment BBQ...
always nice to see old familiar faces (well some of them anyway) and great to meet some of the new members as well. All my pictures here.
Here is my trip in a nutshell...
On Sunday, I headed to Toronto, (perfect timing like usual, I ended up coming into Toronto in the middle of the celebrations for the World Cup - remind me to never do that again.) I brought a tub of Lego that needed sorted but instead, I hung out with an old friend I don't get to see nearly enough, and stayed the night at my local haunt.
Fairly early (for me) on Monday morning I headed out to the National Capital. (I know, I am a wuss, but driving 9-10 hours straight isn't my idea of a good time). It was pouring out, and I began to have concerns about just how we were going to have a BBQ in torrential rain storms.
Since I hate driving on the 401 anywhere near Toronto, and it was morning rush hour, and the rain made visibility a bit of a joke.... I decided to take an extremely convoluted route to Ottawa which took me directly into the opposite way anyone with a clue would take. My "oh so intelligent choice" probably ended up adding two hours to my trip and was gifted with glorious stop and go traffic and a strange construction route moment. (This crazy dump truck driver decided the pylons set out to direct traffic were just for others and not himself. I quickly applied the brakes as I watched him totally kill 18 innocent pylons as he drove exactly where he wanted to go instead of the "suggested path".)
Anyhow, later that day the rain stopped and the sun was just starting to dry everything up as I arrived at deborah's beautiful home and was given the royal treatment... (this means not only did I get towels, but a big girl bed too!) The tour quickly ended up in her build room... where I got to check out her latest finished project, construction on her new project, as well as the chance to check out her parts, wink!
Since she was already ready for the party, we spent the rest of the day, chatting and hanging out waiting upon the other guests. Jude was the first to arrive, and wow, what a shock, dude, I miss the long hair!!! Shortly after... Paul arrive (seems like ages since I have seen him), since I had forgot to pack my best friend Crown Royal, Paul got suckered... errr I mean, volunteered to take me to the LCBO. By the time we got back many other members had shown up.
Before long the backyard was filled with ALES... and the BBQ was fired up and the Lego talk began... before I knew it, dinner was ready (Paul to the rescue again) and served.
Few moments stick out in my head... for example, I wish I could explain, what it is about Jude that makes me laugh uncontrollably... even when nothing at all is funny, but for some reason, anytime I am near him, my funny bone is extra sensitive, just as I hope his arm was, after I used him as a punching bag.
I was very touched by a little gift that Steve A brought me from Steve B... thank you so much, I miss you too... and I love the fact that not only did you think of me, but it was such a nice gesture.
After dinner ppl swapped, traded, and settled up Lego orders and purchases... and a few of the displayed mocs were admired. (Sadly I brought only one small moc which I left behind by mistake. I am trusting deborah with the job of taking it to Jason so he can actually build it better, than I can take the credit for it, next time its displayed, since I am such a poser!)
Then ~OF COURSE~ (it goes without saying), we did the secret cult handshake and song and dance. (I would love to tell you all about it... but you know, some things are better off left unsaid. Wink. - "Wow, tough room!")
It started to get dark, and the skeeters began to bite, so we headed inside, just before it started to pour. Most of the misc items still left outside were rescued before they were ruined... if I could only say that about the bowl of chips. (Later when Jude kept me company during a smoke break we were greeted by a bowl of chip soup, OMG, some things look soooooo gross wet!) After much more Lego chatting, guest started to leave, and before I knew it, it was Jude, Jason, deborah, and I sitting around to the wee hours of the morning with our hands in bricks and our conversations wandering wherever convos go at odd hours of the morn.
Eventually we got rid of, errr I mean, eventually Jason and Jude went home, and we (well deborah) tidied up, and headed off to bed.
When I finally dragged myself out of bed the next day and managed a shower, deborah and I sat out in the sun, drinking coffee, smoking (well me, not her) and did ton more chatting. Eventually we did some late day shopping, and then headed off to the "ballet" (yes that's an in-joke, and no, I wont explain it!) Apparently there are some important cool buildings and historical sites in Ottawa??? Who knew?
Another late night, of too many giggles, too much gossip, and way too much fun.
Apparently building a Lego set can be too challenging for adult builders!!! The should have a warning on the package or something!
A super late start on Wednesday meant that there was no way in hell I was ever going to make it home before it was dark. So I played the record in reverse, and while I didn't hear any satanic voices telling me "Paul is dead" I did end up back to the same hotel. Tried hooking up with Derek, but he had other plans (he probably just didn't want to get stuck eating dinner with me, nor sorting any of my Lego) so I spent a few hours sorting Lego in my hotel, and sadly my Internet connection didn't work, so I decided that it was just silly to spend the night alone, and cajoled the same friend from the first night to come over and keep me company.
Spent this morning driving around, looking for important things like... chocolate, Lego, and other misc items, and eventually left the city around dinner time and headed home. Picked up a hitchhiker just on my way out, on Airport road, who kept me awake until highway 89, (as he was heading to Collingwood, from Wistler BC, for his fathers funeral.)
Finally got home around 9ish, more tired than I should be, hauling in more Lego in need of sorting, thrilled to see my boys, pleased that I bothered making the trip, and not so happy to have a crap load of work waiting in my inbox. Oh well, life is full of compromises... and sometimes it's more than worth the drive to Acton... errrr Ottawa. In other words, sometimes your "Real Friends" are also your "Lego Friends".
(Oh my god, I must be tired, I think I'm getting sappy!)
Thanks guys for such a fun trip, and special thanks to deborah and Marc who were amazing hosts. Thank you so much for having me!
P.S. Jude, Jason, and deborah.... Can't wait to see you next month and... oh yeah...
"MOM!!! DAD!!! Jude is on my side!!!!
He is LOOKING at me...
HE took my gun!!!
He is ~looking~ at me again!
OMG, he is such a DINK!!!!"
(Starts packing all my "girly" accessories now, and no, it wont be an extra red fingernail!!!)