Day two started off early as I awoke about 6:00am and took the bike for a spin around Hot Springs. It was pretty sweet flying through this otherwise traffic-clogged little burg with hardly anyone around. I did meet a cop who informed me that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks as I cut across in front of the bathhouses. I only did about 8 miles, but they were a far cry from a little jaunt in Houston. The onlyelevation changes in Houston are the overpasses – here, even the areas that look flat are really long slow climbs.
After I got back, I hooked up with the Rich, Andrea and the Doelle clan for breakfast. (Thanks, Rich) We loaded up Julie’s Yukon and headed out to Wal-Mart to process the photos from the day before. They planned to surprise everyone by giving out pictures from day 1 during our dinner. With pictures in hand we headed back downtown after only a couple side trips. Tim and I managed to run by and pick up a geocache while Julie and Sandra were doing some shopping.
Back at the hotel, it was time to gather for lunch and despite the good-natured ribbing about ham sandwhiches again, it was nice not to have to go out to eat. The goal of the reunion is to see people you haven’t seen in awhile – this allows us more time to hang out and reconnect.
After lunch, several bunches headed out to various activities such as the alligator farm, the winery, the bath houses and more. I used the time to catch up on some business. By the time I was finished, I had scheduled a video shoot and photography session for Saturday as well as a client visit Monday. Dave seemed to have things well in hand despite the fact that he was dealing with a flat tire when I called.
Tim, Sandra and Julie returned from The Winery about that time and invited me to go along as they did some shopping downtown along the strip outside the hotel. As there is nothing I hate more in the world than shopping, I naturaly said “sure” and took off. It was pretty painless and in fact, entertaining.
We got back in time to cool down a bit and change clothes for the evening banquet. The centerpiece was a bunch of flowers surrounded by the framed pictures from day 1. The gang did a smashup job decorating the banquet room with enough candles to qualify as a three-alarm fire. Despite the fire-hazard, they pulled it off well.
Prior to the actual meal, we held a chinese auction… it was a lot of fun as usual. The meal was another chance to chat with the extended family. After the meal, the kids went swimming and the rest of the gang headed out on the patio to toss back a few and shoot the shizzle. We were regaled with many of the old stories and one or two new ones, but the cool thing was how easily everyone fell back into old comfort levels. A lot of us have not spoken, written, or hardly thought of the others since our last reunion, four years ago, but you couldn’t tell it by the cacophony of laughter.
After awhile, the girls (Andrea and Cheyenne) wanted to go ride go-karts and asked if I would join. One of the above-mentioned old stories by Tim involved me wanting to ride a go-kart just because Troy wanted to… I remember it differently, but in Tim’s defense – it did make me want to ride some right then. Richard, Cheyenne, Andrea and I headed off to the go-kart track and had a really good time.
1 – Chinese auction
2 – Chinese auction
3 – Chinese auction
4 – Chinese auction
5 – Chinese auction
6 – Chow time!
7 – Dan & Ann
8 – Rich
9 – Mom & Julie
10 – Mom & Carol
11 – Ann & Dan
12 – Avis, Mom & Carol
The reason we are all here…