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The 40 Year Old Broken Down Piece of Meat…

Posted Jul 27 2009 12:00am

 Oh man, this is the most delinquent post of all time…….  there’s just been so much going on between travel, the wedding and my job winding up at the end of next month.  No excuses here though, I’m a slacker and I’m just a broken down piece of meat and I don’t want you to hate me.

Despite the job drama, things are pretty good around here and I’m getting the house ready for my wife to permanently relocate here in a couple of weeks.  We had some great vacation time in Richmond and the road trip to Savannah and wedding couldn’t have gone better. We had a total of 13 people down there with us and there was zero drama, everything went smoothly…..and now I’m a married man.

We took off for Savannah a couple of days before the wedding so that we could get our bearings, file for the marriage license, check out the square, meet the minister, etc.  I haven’t spent much time in the south at all, much less drive for seven hours through three states.  I have to say, other than the four hillbilly ass-rapings I got in the Carolinas, the roadtrip went smoothly. There are some real (caution: literary reference alert) chiffarobe bustin’ up motherfuckers down south…….every house next to the highway has a mandatory rusted tricycle and car up on blocks in the front yard, and you are constantly challenged by two extremes of redneck….they want to know if you have a Pantera tattoo OR if you have a Tennessee Ernie Ford tattoo.  And no offense to anyone who lives in this particular town, but damn, Fayetteville, North Carolina SUCKS.  Finding the Comfort Inn or whatever hotel it was where we spent the night on the trip down was a fiasco. We almost hit a guy who was literally walking up the middle of the street, and then literally got panhandled in front of the hotel.  But all of that aside, the next morning we took off to one of the greatest places to ever exist on the planet…..SOUTH OF THE BORDER!

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I guess at some point in the 50’s or 60’s, South of the Border was THE place to be.  And if you are me, it is STILL the place to be.  Honestly, I cannot think of a more run down, seedier place to spend time.  If David Lynch and John Waters did a movie together, it would be filmed in and around the dozens of buildings, shops, rides, creepy concrete statues, lookout tower and hotel that comprise this miracle of the open highway.  In fact, we WERE going to stay at the hotel overnight on the way back, but I guarantee there are serial killings taking place on an hourly basis.

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Perhaps the creepiest, er I mean GREATEST thing about South of the Border is the fact that the dozen-ish different shops and restaurants were ALL open at 10:30am, BUT there were maybe three cars full of people walking around, including us.  Here you can see Pedro’s disembodied head, his “Reality Ride”….whatever the fuck that is….I’m guessing it hurts in the butt region.  And of course, his Leather Shop…….I didn’t have the money to spend on the blade contraption highlighted in the movie Seven, or I would have stopped in there.

Overall, you won’t find a better place to stop and spend time than South of the Border.  Next time I’m going to make sure I have my sidearm and I’m staying in the motel.  You can get their deluxe king room for a mere fifty six bucks, and I guarantee it will still be safer than where we stayed in Fayetteville.

It is worth mentioning that the road between Richmond and Savannah has more porn/strip club billboards than I’ve ever seen in my life….and I’m someone who has travelled I-70 between KC and St. Louis.  Once my hepatitis shots are up to date I’m going to visit Cafe Risque in South Carolina.  I’ve never seen a strip club with a giant sign that says “GOOD FOOD” on the front of the building, so it deserves investigating.  Anyway, after South of the Border we were on the road down to Savannah.  And after crossing the scariest bridge of all time, we found the hotel and settled in.  Since we got there before everyone else we had a date night at Cha Bella, and walked across the historic district for the best meal of the trip.  If you’re visiting the city, I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who loves fresh, seasonal ingredients in an upscale casual environment. 

Here’s a view from our hotel room at the Hilton, right across from the City Market, and a view of the river from the balcony at Fiddler’s Crab House where we had lunch.  Man, what a mediocre to poor place to eat……but we were tired from the trip and the view made up for it.  Great to have sweet tea available at literally every place you go…..

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Wednesday night was the first time the whole gang was going to be together, and we scoured the web just the right place for a dinner the night before the wedding.  My wife called Toucan Cafe, and even though it was pretty far away from where everyone was staying, the owner was so nice on the phone that we went with it. Thankfully, the food was great and it is another place we highly recommend. It has kind of a combo of Jamaican, Moroccan and Middle Eastern food, and everyone loved it. The service was fantastic for such a large group.  And here is one guy with a broken heart now that I’m married….

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On Wednesday before the big dinner, we went to check out our square with the in-laws and meet the minister to review the ceremony.  For the money, you honestly cannot beat the gazebo at Whitefield Square.  It is a gorgeous setting, and would be ideal no matter the weather with the big gazebo and plenty of tree cover.

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So the big day finally arrived…..I was about to give up bachelor life forever, and there was no getting out of it!  Seriously, it went so fast that I can’t believe it, and it was perfect.  I never really got nervous about it because it just felt right. The biggest pain was just the little details we kept stressing over, like transportation and the marriage license.  But all of that worked itself out just fine, no worries. 

So here you have the major players…..my beautiful wife, me giving some kind of orders before she arrived at the gazebo, and Reverend Schulte.

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The ceremony itself……yes, it was just as precious as it looks…..

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And shenanigans galore!  That Reverend was such a card……..

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And of course, assorted in-laws, the best man and maid of honor……

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After the wedding, we went back to the hotel to chill for a minute and change clothes before walking down to Vic’s on the River for lunch.  This was another place I obsessed over for about a month…..it is VERY hard to find a place down in the tourist corridor that will accomodate a big group well and not strap you with a generic group menu or in the case of Paula Deen’s…..jack up the price and only let you eat the buffet.  Vic’s was great to deal with on the phone, the menu looked great, and it was super close to the hotel.  First of all the bartender was a champ.  She was working the service bar, the lunch crowd in the lounge, and then we descended on the place and everyone ordered stuff like mojitos….which are a pain in the ass to make when you’re busy.  The drinks were fantastic, and the food was too.  The Oysters Rockefeller were probably the best I’ve had, insane pan fried chicken livers with country ham, shrimp and grits…..again, a winner that everyone loved. The special bonus was that they let us bring in our own cake and provided the serviceware.  And yeah, we really did use this cake topper…..

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Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect destination wedding.  The city and weather were beautiful, and the people down there were the kind of friendly that freaked me out a little bit.  So the blog has pretty much come full circle……from DC with the C.H.U.D. last year to getting married this year.  I know it has to be breaking some hearts out there, but I’m officially off the market.

But the party did not end!  We spent a couple more days in Richmond before we both came back to KC for my 40th bday.  It’s cool to have a birthday on the 4th of July. It is arguably the best day of the year to celebrate your birth, and I can back that up.  My family got us a room at the Argosy Casino for the weekend, so between the rain shower and plasma TV, watching about twenty five fireworks displays from the top of their parking garage, and a wonderful dinner at my favorite regular restaurant…..Lidia’s (happy gang below) ….. turning 40 could have sucked a lot worse. 

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So again, sorry for taking such a long time to post this, but I wanted to get something out here before someone thought I died or something.  I’m sure I’ll get my job-angst in an uproar again pretty soon, or my therapist will make me watch another Oprah movie, we’ll see…….

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