Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Opossums, Carbs and Spooning

Our journey continues.

Off to the hotels we go.  I needed to take P-funk to her hotel which was also the host hotel.  She is such a big spender and quiet the socialite.  I thought for a second she was going to ask us to carry her bags into the hotel.

After kicking P-funk to the curb, The Caribbean One and I headed to our hotel.  We were staying at the Ramada Inn which was a block, or as TCO said, .2 miles from the host hotel.  The first thing I noticed about the hotel is that it is directly behind a Krystals.  The running Gods were with me now.

I also see that four tour buses are parked in the lot.  There are signs in the front windows with the University of Nebraska N on them and each bus was for the football team.  Nebraska was in town to play Georgia in the Gator Bowl on January 1.  I told TCO that the bus drivers were staying at the hotel and not the team.  He said, "you don't know." I told him I did know because the hotel wasn't big enough and it was a Ramada Inn for Christ sakes.

TCO checked us in while I emptied out the car.  He came back out to the car and the first thing he said was, "screw you Walt."  I asked him what that was all about.  He told me he hated it when I was right.  The first thing he asked the clerk at check in was about the buses.  The clerk said the drivers are staying here.  I told him that it's not about being right or wrong, it's just basic math.

We got our bags and went inside to our room.  We were standing outside our door and Steve was trying to get the card key ready when two young women walked by.  He asks them if they are doing the race and they said yes.  He wished them luck.  He then inserts the card key in the slot several times but it is not unlocking the door.  On his third attempt, an older guy walks by us.  As the guy is right behind us, I lean over an loudly say to TCO, "I can't wait to get you in this room so hurry up baby."  The guy picks up his pace and the two girls can't seem to get in their room quick enough. "Damn you Walt."

Once I was in the room I was surprised to see that we had two queen beds.  I thought for sure after our trip to  Londontown, TCO would have booked a...well never mind.  Two queen beds would do. I won't bore you with how we decided on which bed to sleep in.  Just trivial information at this point.

Well now what.  Do we sit in the room and eventually start our spoonfest or head to the hotel lounge.  You guessed it.  We headed to the lounge.  But before we got there, TCO had to run a few laps in the parking lot wearing his new shoes.  He just wanted to make sure they felt nice. I got my coach's whistle from the car and played for reals.

We made it to the lounge.  The bartender's name was Yai and she is from the Dominican Republic.  Oh great, another Islander.  This should make for great conversation.  Thing is, she didn't sound like TCO.  She said she lost her accent about 20 years ago.  TCO told her we were in town to do the race.  He said he was doing the marathon and I was his coach.  I told her I was also his translator.  She asked me why I was only doing the half.  I told her the coach doesn't always have to try and show up his students.  I have been there before and have nothing to prove.  Plus he wasn't paying me so why bother.

Somehow we ended up talking about food.  TCO was telling Yai about a big piece of cow liver sitting in a bowl of milk in his fridge.  She talked about fish head soup.  I then asked her if she has ever eaten opossum.  She said no.  I then told her she is going to love the story of how TCO caught opossum when he was little lad in the homeland. Let's just say a dead donkey, burlap sack and stick were involved.

Time got in the way so we headed back to the room to change for dinner.  A group of us from the BRA were meeting at the host hotel to caravan/carpool to dinner.  We then headed out to McDonald's.  Yeah right.  Just goes to show you that I didn't pick the location.  We were actually headed to a semi-ritzy Italian joint.  The restaurant manager told our coordinator we were not to wear cycling shorts or running clothes. Good luck. Group outings are always a time to see who might own clothes that are not designed to be worn during a race or workout.  I am not sure if some people either want strangers to think they finished a race or the only time they add to their wardrobe is when they pick up their race shirt. If you already know ahead of time where you are eating then dress accordingly. Just that simple.  Now I am not saying anyone in the BRA does this. Or do they?  Anyways, I am just venting a little for no reason.  Look, I am the one that wears overalls but is not a farmer. Or am I?

Made it to the restaurant in no time.  I will give credit where credit is due.  The restaurant was a great choice.  Nice atmosphere, cheap drinks and great food. The service was excellent considering our party of about 20.  Kudos to Stephanie 508 for finding this place and setting up the reservation.

It is hard to socialize with such a big group.  It was nice to see everyone having a good time with their own little conversations going. You could also see which of the runners were all worked up about their impending race. Also, the non-BRA members, Little Big Dave's Peter and Big 13, seemed to be fitting right in.

TCO and myself sat at the bar while our food was being prepared.  TCO wanted to watch the football game but I also think he was afraid of catching the head cold that the unnamed person he was sitting next to had.  She didn't look like she was feeling good. You can't do anything about the weather but you can somewhat control the contaminates.

TCO must have had about eight glasses of water.  He kept saying he needed to pee clear.  Not sure if that was reference a drug test or some type of hydration requirement.  I never question an Islander when it comes to drug tests.

Food was served and I shall say again that the food was great.  TCO ordered plain spaghetti. No oil, sauce or milk on it.  Just cooked spaghetti. When he put his fork in it to pick up a bite, the whole damn ball of spaghetti came out of the bowl.  It was like he was taking bites off a ball of yellowish yarn. Yummy.

We all finished and headed out to go back to our rooms. Some for the night and others for the fun.  There was also a group pic taken outside the restaurant. Or so I heard.

P-funk, TCO, The Injured Runner and myself headed back.  We drove by an establishment that caused quiet the commotion in the car.  I can't say if we visited that establishment but if you check my status on a particular date you will get your answer.

We eventually made it back to P-funk's drop off spot.  I pulled up to the front doors, as demanded, to drop her off.  There were several people standing by the front door talking and a couple of others walking towards the lobby doors.  As she got out of the car, someone in the car yelled, "next time you tell us it is $100, it better only cost us $100. Now get out."  A woman always wants to turn heads doesn't she. And turn heads she did.

Having dropped off our date, we then headed to Publix to get liquids and some food for the morning.  All three of us went inside.  I finished first and went back out to the car.  I was parked right in front and could see inside the store.  I could see TCO and The Injured Runner sitting near the front doors facing the isles.  They thought I was still inside.  You know if TCO had a phone I could have called him.  I just sat there waiting to see how long it would be before they either look outside or start checking the isles. What a fun game of hide and go seek this was.

Having been found, they loaded up and we went back to the Ramada. TCO and I were now in our room for the night.  I know you're getting anxious but give it time.  I have to set the mood first.

I turn the TV on to HGTV. I turn off all the lights but for the bedside lamp. Now I know of only two people that wear a button up long sleeve top and pants matching set of pajamas.  That is my 83 year old father-in-law and TCO.  TCO's this fine evening were light blue and made of thin cotton.

Prior to laying in bed, he drank another two glasses of water.  He went to the bathroom and yelled that he is now peeing clear. Yippee for all.

He hopped in bed.  I thought it only fitting to read him a bed time story.  It just so happened I found a 5k race recap that had been recently posted on the BRA groups page.  No sooner did I finish the story, TCO was already fast asleep.

I did my best not to disturb him while reaching over to turn the light out.  Now I know many want to know the juicy details about spooning.  I have respect for my roomies and would never kiss and tell.  If I did, how could I ever have a roomie again.  Any roomie.

Up next: The Weatherman Lied...Well Sort Of 

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