Unlike most of my cohorts at this lovely shindig, I did not bring any firearms with me. Mainly because I didn't own any. So I had no problems with declaring firearms at the airport, or dealing with TSA over it.
An uneventful flight, with me downing glasses of wine (free drinks thanks to flying first class, courtesy of OldNFO. Thanks, dude!) to keep myself calm. I am a very nervous flyer. Or flier. However it's spelled. Got on the ground, and oh my word, that airport is big. As soon as I powered my phone back on, I shot a text to FarmGirl, who was my ride to and from the place with the big metal birds. Made it down to baggage claim and started looking around for her, only to find her very scrawny self hidden over in a corner. About that time, my phone buzzed, letting me know I had a text message, telling me she was over in that corner. Imagine that!
Grabbed my duffel bag and hoofed it out to FarmGirl's car, and then we were off on the five hour drive to her town. (Note to self: Take LawDog up on his offer of a convoy. Fly into Amarillo and ride with him up to the next one. Way closer.) We got away from the airports, and I could see the Rockies lining one side of the town, and oh they were a sight to see. I wish I had been able to get to my camera, but it was in my bag and I couldn't reach it.
The drive was made in relative silence, with a few bits of small talk here and there, but to me, it wasn't a tense, awkward silence, so I was happy. I got an eyeful of the beautiful scenery as we drove, and all was well.
The sun had just set in a spectacular display of pinks, golds, reds, and purples over the horizon, with dark settling over the countryside as we pulled into FarmGirl's town. And what a tiny town it was! So homey, but I loved it. Everyone was delightfully friendly.
We pulled up outside of Mamaw's house and went in, leaving my stuff in the car. I'd be rooming with Christina this weekend, and she hadn't yet made it into town, so there was no need to pull my stuff out just yet. Inside we went, to get introduced to FarmGirl's family and get some food in our bellies.
We were greeted by AepilotJim and NFO, and many hugs were had, and then I was introduced to Mamaw and her companion, FarmMom, and FarmDad, who were excited to have more bloggers arrive. Thankfully, the boys had already finished the hard work of slicing brisket for dinner that night. The food was delicious: brisket, ham and beans, cornbread, and then cornbread with bacon and cheese in it! Oh, such a happy camper was I.
Shortly afterwards, Christina and Gay Cynic arrived, and more hugs were had all around. Christina and I were both on cloud nine with excitement oozing out of every pore. All these awesome bloggers that we both read every day, and we were getting to meet them, hang out with them, spend all weekend shooting guns with them. There was so much concentrated awesome in that house by the time the weekend was over, that it should have been illegal. It was that cool.
We were all sitting around eating and bullshitting, and FarmGirl asked her parents if anyone had heard from the Nerds and the rest of their contingent and no one had. About that time, two trucks pulled up, and up the driveway sauntered the coolest people on earth, ya'll.
Breda! Alan! Labrat and Stingray! ZOMG!
The party was in full swing now, because along with awesome companions, the Nerds brought atomic beer, brewed and bottled at the Nerd Ranch. I, being the loser that I am, did not drink any; I'm not one for the taste of any beer, apparently. I sampled, and I drank a grand total of one bottle all weekend.
We all settled down in a circle in the garage, eating, drinking, and being merry, though we did not die the next day. And then the geekery came out: all who had laptops or iPhones broke them out, and half of us there were in IRC talking to one another through text instead of voice in person.
Yeah. We're that bad.
The night wore on, and then it was time to boogie to our respective motels to check in for the night. Christina's car was packed nigh to overflowing, so I shoved my bag into the trunk and declared I would walk. It wasn't that far. Hell, I walk that same distance every day to get to class. I met her at the motel, and the unloading shuffle began. By the time we both crawled into bed, my stuff was piled in a neat little corner, whereas Christina's belongings had exploded over two-thirds of the room.
Everyone had agreed to meet for breakfast the next morning at a little steakhouse-cafe across the street, so alarms were set, and then we slept, dreaming of the unmeasurable amounts of fun that would be had in the coming days.