I realized that if I do not write something about this tonight, that I don't think I will ever do it. I was mightily under-slept and over-committed before during and after the weekend and I kept thinking it would get better. It won't.
It starts like this...
A month ago we started making for real plans. I got out of work early and met up with 7 of my local-to-Rochester friends to make the trek to my dad's where other Jn was waiting for us. Somewhere along the journey we found a traffic ticket, a blizzard, some milkshakes and nasty fries. No one in particular slept and we rotated cars enough that everyone got to have a conversation with everyone else. Also no one (not even me!) had to drive the whole way.
We planned to leave at 6 and get in at 10...we left at almost 7 and got in just after midnight. That left us half an hour to get situated and calmed down and 2 hours to sleep before we had to add too many layers and head to Punxy.
The drive was uneventful except for a GPS inspired detour on some crazy dirt road loop. We procured bathrooms, light up hula-hoops and bubbles at the Walmart and made our way to the buses. By the time we had boarded the fireworks were going off so we mostly missed them...although the ones we did see were seen from a warm bus. Since it was only single digits it seemed like a good trade. Unfortunately our late arrival also meant we were in the back of the crowd where it was hard to see and hear. I still don't really know what the inner circle said about the glorious day.
Most (cold) people cleared out almost immediately or at least tried too. We chose to stay long enough to get our pictures taken with the fluffy rodent and though we were at the back of the stack there was still a bus boarding backlog until around the time we hit the stage with cameras in hand. Our wait featured nasty groundhog cookies that were strangely addictive, some line dancing, my friends looking like homeless persons, and some interesting drunks who acquired one of our hoops providing us all with at least half an hour of entertainment.
Pictures taken and bus located we ended up back at Walmart where we met IL the professor who put us up to the Twinkie thing so long ago. We settled on hunkering down in the camping section of Walmart on big coolers to eat our not-so-tasty cakes because really there is no GOOD place to eat a 9 year old Twinkie and we were very cold. Numerous pictures of the proceedings and two videos were taken. I can't figure out how to get the video off of my phone (yet!) and I don't have all of the pictures but they will end up here if ever I can figure it out. We shared our last halves of awful and old "yellow" cake and then each had a fresh one to chase the original. Fresh Twinkies are still gross and they did very little to get the old Twinkie "film" off of our teeth. One of my friends begged a bite and his take was that "It tasted like basement." Everyone in the party got a fresh Twinkie actually because we had enough for sharing thanks to IL who bought a box in a hurry after the company announced it was going belly-up.
Once we had accomplished what we came for IL headed to see his grand kids and we wandered back to Dad's via back roads. Most people snagged naps on the way home but other Jn kept me company while I drove. She had to leave shortly after we got back which was unfortunate as far as I am concerned but the weather was getting nasty and she had a long way to go. The rest of the group variously took naps or learned to shoot a pellet rifle and a shotgun under the tutelage of my father. We shared lunch and half the pack returned to ROC. The remainder spent a long time playing Bang!, pool and ping-pong mostly including Dad. We had a fabulous dinner tucked in there somewhere and most people actually got at least 6 hours of sleep before we piled in my car and turned towards Lake Ontario. I got to spend the better part of the drive curled in the back seat because my car happens to be fun to drive even in snow and a pair of friends know the ins and outs of driving stick.
It was a whirlwind trip but truly spectacular. And thus ends the ten years of the Twinkie.
PS- Below you will find pretty much the only pictures of the event I actually own.