This past weekend Mrs March and I hosted a "smaller" BBQ for some long time friends, old co-workers etc. When we did the guest list we ended up with there possibly being 14+ kids under 8. Little March, being 8, was probably going to be the oldest kid at the party.
I kept my eye on the weather, since of course that # of kids meant we HAD to be outside. We have a smaller inflatable pool, sandbox, swing set and fenced in yard so we'd be good..as long as the weather was good.
Thank god it was.
The kids were good..really good. Even though they were not over 8 years old, and 2 were still not walking, the kids are pretty close in age. They played well and for the first time in ages, as most parents agreed, they could sit on the patio and sort of police their kids from a distance. Barring a few issues with sharing, or running in to one other while playing tag the kids were TERRIFIC!
The hardest part of the BBQ was what to buy for booze. None of our friends have issues with drinking. Meaning, all are social drinkers, BUT all have kids so they needed to drive and be responsible otherwise. I went to the store to get booze and figured I'd play it safe..but offer some diversity. I had a few left overs from the 4th..but the booze list looked like this:
1 - 12 pack Corona
1 - 6 pack Bud
1 - 6 pack Newcastle Brown Ale
1 - 6 pack mikes hard lemonade
4 Rolling Rock
5 Mic. Light
2 Red Stripe
3 Guinness Pub Draft Cans
6 or so Mikes Cranberry whatever....
When I was cleaning up...2 Guinness cans and 5 Mikes left..that's IT!
Who invited the drunks??!
Kidding..everyone seemed fine and seemed to have had a good time.
During the party a buddy of mine that I have known for 30+ years started talking to Mrs.March about me going ocean fishing Sunday. Next thing I know across the patio I get this:
Big Tall Steve (we had a few friends named Steve when Mrs.March and I were dating so it was easier to say "Steve the big tall one..that rolled to Big Tall Steve etc") - Hey march..you are all set for tomorrow.
me - set for what?
Big Tall - fishing
Easy(friend#2) - AWWW YEAH!
Me - really?
Big Tall - yeah your wife is cool with it.
Me - umm okay what is the story?
Easy - yeah..when do we leave?
Big Tall - meet me at Target tomorrow at 5am
Easy/March collectively - whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttt???!!!
Big Tall - ***insert boat talk/fishing lingo/tides etc***
Me - ummm really..i need to be up that early?
Easy - I'll pick you up at 4:30.
HO-LEE-CRAP what did I say yes to?!
The party ends (not late mind you, again kids...) but somehow Little March sweet talks Mrs March in to sitting outside. At 10:30 we decide its late enough and head in. Little March is "NOT TIRED" but I need to get to bed. She can read and put her light out "whenever".
Mrs March turns on her bed light and wants to read. Its now 11ish..i need to sleep for this big trip. We get talking about the party...11:30 I think the light goes out.
midnight..i am awake..my calves hurt. damn crocs no support.
12:15 - Littlest March continues his "every other night nightmare" scream.
12:30 - still awake..calves hurt..should I get up and take something?
12:45..still awake..I begin the "if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW I'll have 3hrs and change of sleep"
12:55 - nightmare scream again...go comfort him.
1:20 am. awoken to (hey I fell asleep!) the sound of our cat retching...not on the floor...but ON OUR BED!!!! Mrs March and I sit up..I grab the trash can to get the cat to barf there....
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHUCKKKKKKKKKKK the cat barfs a massive..massive stinky brownish liquid on our bed.
Mrs March says "I'll deal...(she knows I have had issues with this cat..but the cat has been in her life longer than I have). I head to the couch.
I doze...1:40ish..Mrs March said "the bed is clean if you want to come back up".
I get in bed..and the clock rolls past 2am. Again I do the "If I fall asleep right now I can have 2 hrs of sleep".
The alarm goes off at 4:15am. I get my stuff together and Easy arrives on cue in my driveway.
We meet Big Tall and head towards cape cod to launch the boat. I am surprisingly alert and don't feel too tired which is amazing.
We get the boat in the water which is a trick since low tide is looming but its a very low tide due to the moon. The 2 boats before us got "stuck" for a few minutes until they got out. With some quick work Big Tall has the "Sea Saw" in the water. We load up and off we go.
I am impressed with his skill and knowledge of the water/boat. We shoot out to the "Fingers" which is 2-3 miles off shore. Its windy and the waves are big (hell they are all big to a land lubber..or is it land lover??) like me. He suggests we put on life jackets just in case.
We get a few quick lessons and we start fishing. No luck.
We then go trolling, which is where you cast..let the bait go out 50 or so yards behind the boat (away from the engine noise) and just "wait".
Easy got a strike first...he lost it about 40 yards behind the boat. It was awesome. I have never been salt water fishing and a big fish to me might be a 2-3 pound bass. This bad boy on the hook launches out of the water..crashes down and spits the hook. expletives abound..but we are all jazzed.
My turn..pretty much the same for me. I see mine jump and Big Tall says "You got a real big one!" (thank you). My arms are killing me..whoa this is a fight...but one huge jump and POP out comes the hook again. DAMN IT!!
We get frustrated but a little while passes and I get another hit. This one works out better. I land a 27 inch Bluefish. Big Tall decides its a keeper so he puts it in the cooler.
Easy snags a 25 inch bluefish about 10 minutes later. We decide to head back towards shore, do a little more fishing then head home.
I have no luck but Easy snags 2 more smallish bass. They are big to me..but legally they need to be something like 32 inches to "keep".
We had enough and headed back to shore. Load up..off we go.
I suddenly hit a wall. I want to sleep..badly. We get some grub and that helps.
I got home about 230pm and the kids ask about my trip. I wish I had a picture (there is a horrible cell phone video of me reeling the fish in). I could have kept the fish to eat but I am not a fish person, nor is Mrs or the kids. So Easy and the Captain kept my fish for dinner.
Good times indeed.
Bed time for me last night...8:20pm. Man I needed that!