"I have never been a millionaire, but I have enjoyed a great meal, a crackling fire, a glorious sunset, a walk with a friend, a hug from a child, a cup of soup, a kiss behind the ear. There are plenty of life's tiny delights for all of us."
-- Jack Anthony
It was a series of tiny delights and big laughs through the hours of degneracy that many bloggers took part of in this past weekend. No one walked, limped, or stumbled away from Greenville, SC that attended Mastodon Weekend without a story of fine dining, a quiet heart-to-heart talk, or losing a prop bet to the many gamblers that flew into this little-big town to awaken startled barkeeps with their penchant for good drink.
For myself, it was awakening taste buds to things never before tried like sushi at Azia (very good, and love the three rolls that found their way to my mouth), the deep fried shrimp with lime at Sharkey's Pub, and a crab cake (I needed a strategically placed cloth napkin after trying this delight at the beautiful Rick Erwin's West End Grill). Of course you need something to wash down the culinary delights, and Greenville's beer selection knocked me, well, not sideways but definitely tipped my tall frame less than perpendicular to the ground. The each bar visted had several beers beyond the Budweiser/Coors Light staples that sedated the beer snob in me. First prize however goes to Barley's Taproom. The sheer amount of Tripels and Quads in bottles and on tap was staggering as I was after hitting up a few of my favorites like the Koningshoeven Quad and Unibroue La Fin du Monde. While I didn't try the food, the beer helped fuel a few bar prop bets that apparently I won since Sunday morning there were several cringled bills in my right pocket.
While the food and drink accented things it was the people who made the weekend one of those that make every meeting of these generous friends memorable. The local organizers consisting of Otis, Badblood, The Mark, and G-Rob turned Greenville into a non-stop weekend party. The standing ovation count for The Mark's business connections nearly hit double digits as our private poker party on Friday night sponsored by the good people at Bustout Poker which included the lovely Nikki (who I will admit looked even better in person). The tournament was run professionally (my play could only be described as "putrid" but at least the Good Doctor and the actual Doctor kept me company while I folded an endless stream of 73o), and cash game that immediately followed with again the talented Greenville dealers and very attractive waitstaff that my eyes may have glanced at once than once. Or maybe they were looking at my shirt (photo credit to Pauly).
Saturday morning we got to do this:
GRob hosted this side trip to Timmons Park and was completely correct as to my non-Frolfing skillz. If you like money, find a way to get the idiot writing here to put a wager down on throwing pieces of plastic into chain coifed buckets. Although if hitting water, thorny bushes, or trees was the game I'm the next Nikko Locastro (that's a real Disc Golf champion BG). Now this isn't to be confused with hitting pool balls with a cue or throwing barroom shuffleboard, those games I'll gladly accept most challenges. But, outside the air and weather was a perfect backdrop to the upcoming bar crawl later that evening.
Hole 1: Blue Ridge Brewing
Hole 2: Smiley’s Acoustic Café (111 Augusta Street) 4:35-5:35pm
Hole 3: Chicora Alley (608 S. Main Street) 5:45-6:20pm
Hole 4: Oysters on the West End (11 W. Camperdown Way)6:30-7:30pm
Hole 5: The Gathering Spot (103 N. Main Street) 8:00-8:30pm
Hole 6: Meat Heads (109 N. Main Street Street) 8:30-9:40pm
Hole 7: Wild Wing Café (15 W. Washington Street) 9:45-10:45pm
Hole 8. Muraski (4 S. Main Street) 10:45-11:15pm
Hole 9: Connolly’s Irish Pub (24 E. Court Street) 11:30—Close
That was the original list but we were swarming so many bars I'd lost track, mainly due to women challenging me to drinking prop bets (which I let down my gender and lost EVEN AT SLAMMING A CAPTAIN AND COKE thus ripping my manhood from my gray BVDs!!!1111). But each place had a separate vibe, no chain bars here as I loved each one for it's originalty. The night and the party does have to end and as we closed down Connolly's for the third consecutive night there were the bloggers continuing to kick this party until the ugly lights were forced upon us at 2am. Rumors of air guitar being played in the side streets at 2:30am and certain near deaf bloggers actually having meaningful conversations in crowded bar are highly spectulative.
Once again I find myself here writing, knowing it will be awhile before getting to enjoy their company again, no amount of cash money that I have or will make can ever compare to what they have given me (you know who you are whether you'd like to admit it or not). Some more than others but all important, and if you'll excuse me it's getting dusty in here and there's some reading I need do catch up on.