The house was supposed to sleep 7 people, and we had...18. And a dog. It was awesome. Head count: Ben, Jess, 5 of us from Reston, Ben's sister Gen, her boyfriend, and three of her friends, 4 RPI folks and one of their friends, and Ben's cousin. Ben and Jess's dog Puck, who is the best dog I've ever met, also hung out most of the weekend.
Dan and I flew into Jacksonville, which is about two hours south of Savannah, and landed at about 11 PM. Then we had to get our luggage, pick up our rental car, and you know, drive there, which put us at the rental place at about 1:30 AM.
Apparently, though, it all worked out to plan, as Ben and Jess thought the surprise arrivals had ended a few hours earlier with Ben's cousin Charlie, who came in after dinner. When we pulled up and walked up the steps, it was probably the best Ben face I have ever seen. Totally, completely flabbergasted. And you know, Ben is pretty expressive, so it was great. He ran inside and up the stairs to get Jess, who was getting ready for bed at this point. She was also pretty excited. (See below).
Laura, Franklin and Josh (who had been driving straight since leaving Philadelphia!!! that morning) arrived at about 3 AM, which made for another round of great surprised faces, especially since they came bearing fantastic gifts from South of the Border (which included funny hats, an enormous fly swatter, and sparklers, which Franklin promptly burned himself with). So that night, before all was said and done, we probably got to bed about 6 AM.
Saturday we woke up not nearly as late as you think, and headed to the beach on Tybee Island. Carrie had packed us all some food, we had games to play, and books to read, it was a great day. It's super fun going to the beach with that many people because when everyone gets in the water, it looks like you brought quite a posse with you (which I guess we did). There was always
enough people for bocce ball, and soccer. The weather was perfect, it was just a really good day. Around 6, a wedding started on the beach behind us, so we stuck around to watch, and tried to avoid being in their professional wedding pictures. (Aw, honey look, it's our first kiss! Who is that in the bathing suit behind us?!?)
We had a fantastic BBQ dinner, and then we separated by gender to do the official bachelor and bachelorette party business.
Here we illustrate the differences between "good times" for men and women. The men, after pouring lots of straight liquor into a coke bottle to share, headed to Forsyth Park, and proceeded to get drunk and have a huge water gun fight (serious PVC pipe water guns) and then head to the nearest pool hall. The women got dressed up, went to the local swanky lounge, sat in VIP and drank lots of wine. The contrast provided for lots of entertainment. I should note that Jess was being a fantastic trooper at this point, because she had the death flu that we all had later on, and
was still smiling and even willing to go out.
Anyway, we all eventually met up at the pool hall, shut it down at 3, poured into cabs, got back to the house...and kept drinking. I know for sure we saw the sunrise around 7. I think we all thought we were 18 again.
Sunday morning, a lot of folks had to leave after brunch, but those of us who stayed had a pretty quiet day. Many of us were by now feeling the early symptoms of Jess's illness, and also had only gotten a couple hours of sleep over the past two nights. How Josh drove all the way back to Philly on Sunday morning is beyond my comprehension. Anyway, Ben us showed around Savannah, we rented a movie (Bolt...because we're all under 10), and we had dinner and a movie night. It was very relaxed, as by now, we all felt like great friends even though many of us had just met. But...we had been through quite a bit of drinking, and the aftermath, together. I hope it was entertaining for Ben and Jess to see their worlds colliding together at high speeds.
Coming up: Macon, Montgomery and Mobile. All places I don't need to go again.