#1 – The Boutiliers: This one is a no brainier. The Boutiliers were (and still are) the best thing about Orlando, FL. If you were to take a trip to Orlando I would recommend – in order of importance – you do the following:
- Visit the Boutiliers.
- Go to Disneyworld and/or Universal Studios.
- Go to Kennedy Space Center.
- Go on a fanboat ride.
- Visit downtown.
Every single thing we did in Orlando that was fun involved the Boutiliers. Here’s pictures of them our New Year’s celebration:
So you’re probably thinking that they’re maniacal fireworks junkies, and let’s be honest, one year in Orlando will do that to anyone. This was where it all began. As a group we all bought tons of fireworks (during multiple trips) from a group of gypsies in a tent at the local Winn-Dixie. That’s where our lust for fireworks and other explosives began. After getting kicked out of our apartment complex we went over to the Boutilier’s neighborhood where all hell broke loose. For New Years we looked like total noobs because all we bought were sparklers, fountains, and these little tanks that would shoot sparks out of their turrets (pew, pew). By the Fourth of July that year we were throwing all sorts of cash at mortar rockets and other explosive projectiles. It was seriously like the Cold War arms build-up between the US and the Soviets. The only difference was that there was no intention of détente.
Like any group of awesome people we devised a group name. We became the Futiliers. Personally I always liked the Boutertons but I was always proud to be a Futilier! When I think about how to express incredible fun and happiness that the Boutilier’s brought into mo.honey’s and my life I sum it up in the following sentences:
Alison does the greatest Chef Ramsey impression you will ever see. Just thinking about it makes me smile. If you ever, ever, ever! Need to be cheered up you should ask her to do this impression. I bet she could get famous from that impression the same way that people started liking Jay Mohr again when they found out he could do a great Christopher Walken impression.
Kelley has the most spectacularly hetero-man-crush on Patrick Swayze. This embodies everything wonderful about Kelley’s personality. Literally, Kelley’s sense of humor is like Patrick Swayze’s greased up, sweaty pectoral muscles doing Tai Chi in your backyard. You know those are man nipples you’re looking at but man, is it going to be worth it when he starts tearing throats out of people. Does that make sense? Somehow it seems to sum it up completely in my mind.
One last thing. There is a series of pictures of the Futilier’s where we’re all standing in the same order. These are pictures that Alison would take from her iPhone of the group, it started (I think) at a free Tears For Fears concert in Orlando if the origin gives you any idea of how awesome this series of pictures are. The order is as such: Alison holding the iPhone and therefore on the right hand side of the picture, Kelley right next to Alison, mo.honey usually poking out from behind Kelley, and me at the end generally wearing my brown sweater. I choose not to include one of these pictures here because I think it would make a great internet meme that everyone has heard about but has never seen. The great thing about this series of pictures is that it was never intended originally to be a thing, we just took photos that way (it was like the group dynamic was captured on film) until one day someone pointed it out and then we intentionally took photos that way.
Kelley and Alison, you guys are amazing and we’re missing you very much in California!
#2 – Orlando Weather: I think because my family has some history in the Pacific Northwest that somehow cold and rainy weather is in my DNA. That’s one thing I really like about Orlando is that you get the rainy weather with gray skies and it’s usually never too cold to enjoy either!
This picture was taken on a day when it just started pouring buckets of rain. I was going for a morning walk and saw a bunch of gray menacing clouds that looked to be going off into the north away from my house. As I walked home it just looked like there were more and more clear skies and that it wouldn’t rain. Which was a bummer because I wanted to have one last good rain before we left Orlando. A couple hours later, I don’t know what happened, but it just started pouring out of control. Really heavy, thick rain and dark gray clouds. It kept up for about an hour. The picture I took was from outside our apartment where the rain gutters were designed to just dump as much rain as possible so we’d always see these gushes of water shooting out from the gutters.
Hippies have their impromptu drum circles, tech-savvy drama kids from high school have their annoying flash mobs where they show up and start singing, and Orlando has their unspoken eating contests. I am so going to miss this!
#3 – Eating Contests: I’m not sure if you can tell but there are 150 chicken wings on the table in this picture. Since I wasn’t eating that’s 50 chicken wings each for mo.honey, K, and Jim The DM. Now, if you know these people you are aware that 150 chicken wings do not just appear on a table without resulting in an eating competition. K put it best, although nobody agrees to an eating competition, invariably someone at the end of the meal is going to critique the number of wings that the others ate. Each person at this table is thinking this the entire time they’re eating and is therefore trying to eat as much as they can to win the unspoken eating competition.
Earlier in the week K and I did take on the Cheeburger, Cheeburger eating contest which was to eat a 1 lb. burger. We both finished our burgers and now have our picture on the wall. I think K dominated as he was able to eat the burger, and a shake, and onion rings! I ate the burger and a PBR (which is on tap at Cheeburger, Cheeburger). I’m really going to miss Orlando where every meal at a restaurant is an opportunity to abuse your digestive system and claim dominance over the weaker stomachs at the table.
Twenty-two days until mo.honey and I are leaving the Sunshine State and heading towards the Golden State. We’re going to be flying first class which I have never done before so it should be fun (and hopefully relaxing). Harry Belafonte is going to be flying with us as well so that should be interesting. I wonder if he’s going to meow the entire time. It should be good practice for mo.honey and I for when we have a kid and have to travel with him. Here’s number four in my Top 5 – Orlando:
#4 – The Sky: You just don’t get dramatic clouds in San Diego. Usually the skies are either gray and overcast or clear and sunny. In Orlando you get all sorts of amazing cloud formations all the time. There have been times where we’ve seen rainbows appear inside clouds, lightning that will light up an entire bank of clouds, and clouds that block sunlight from the rising/setting sun which results in rays of light exploding from around the edges of the clouds.
This is a picture of some clouds we saw from across the street from the Boutilier’s house when it started to get stormy and windy. I will truly miss this. The great thing is, you almost always get beautiful clouds. In San Diego, not only are the clouds dull and boring but if it’s clear sky in the morning it’s going to be clear sky the rest of the day (and probably the rest of the week and month). There’s something wonderful about a dynamic sky that always amazes you!
With mo.honey and I moving back to San Diego at the end of the month I thought it would be a good idea to use my Project52 posts to do a Top 5 – Orlando. This is the first in a series of five posts about things I’m going to miss about Orlando.
#5 – Our patio: To be honest I spend no time on the patio, in fact we don’t even have any patio furniture. I’m going to miss our patio because our cat Harry Belafonte really enjoys sitting out on the patio. When we adopted our kitten the agency told us we couldn’t let him outside, that he had to be an indoor cat. I think this has to do with pets getting eaten by gators and/or getting stolen in the middle of the night by hillbillies (OK, this second one I think is made up).
It’s the one time he gets to get fresh air, chase after lizards and frogs, and lazy around in the sun. Our patio is completely enclosed by a mesh that is meant to keep out bugs. It’s perfect for him. He loves watching the cars drive by and rolling around in the dust/dirt that collects on the ground. Currently we have no such environment for him at our San Diego home.
mo.honey, Alison & Kelley and I went to Total Wine this week. Total Wine is Florida’s (or East Coast) version of BevMo only I must say, they had a far better selection than I’ve ever seen at BevMo. I got a couple beers there one of which was this Old Speckled Hen which I can never find in bars.
This is an absolutely delicious beer similar in body to something like Guinness or Bodington’s. I highly recommend that if you do see it in a bar that you at least try a pint. In the can it’s not so bad, not as good as coming out of the tap but it will hold you over if you like OSH. I failed to look at how much I was spending on the beer, I was just so excited to have one that I didn’t even notice that I was paying $7.99 for a can of OSH. That’s a crazy price but I would totally do it again!
Hi there! Say, have you ever had sardines? No? Well here’s my recommendation. Don’t bother!
For 34 years I managed to live a life free of sardines and then for some reason I thought, Tyler you need to try sardines. I spent the entire time eating tiny bones and picking spinal chords – that looked like disgusting candy necklaces – out of the fish meat.