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The Better Than Boston Meet Thread


boomana
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Looks nicer than the Auld Sod.

Hell, this looks nicer than the Auld Sod! Sorry to have missed ball brewing and such with the Fla crew but I had plenty of fun in Boston as a consolation prize. Gotta work on keeping Stetch and Nate and the other locals from bugging out before we can get our drink on after the meet, however. Of course, Fla excels at that aspect of meets, so I am a bit spoiled. ;)

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Hell, this looks nicer than the Auld Sod! Sorry to have missed ball brewing and such with the Fla crew but I had plenty of fun in Boston as a consolation prize. Gotta work on keeping Stetch and Nate and the other locals from bugging out before we can get our drink on after the meet, however. Of course, Fla excels at that aspect of meets, so I am a bit spoiled. ;)
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It took longer than expected to get from Jacksonville to Tampa for this Beerfest thing but man it was worth it. First, a recap of the weekend events:

Thursday 3/4: my travel day out to FL. Picked up my rental car and went to the hotel (did not stay at the Axpona hotel or even within walking distance of it), which turned out to be literally right next to a movie theater. Since I had time I went over there and saw Shutter Island. Not a bad flick but I hated the ending. With a passion. :basement: (I would've vastly preferred it going the other way.)

Friday 3/5: Went to Axpona and hung out there from roughly 2 PM to 7 PM. More to come on Axpona later. Also explored the surrounding area a bit (the hotel was right next to the St. Johns river and there was a long riverwalk that had to be at least a couple miles).

Saturday 3/6: Woke up a little too late to get an early start down to Tampa for a super-leisurely drive so I ended up scrambling down there. On the way down Hwy 95, I decided I had to see Daytona Beach so I took the exit and instantly regretted it - there were craploads of motorbikers crawling all over the place which brought traffic to a near standstill. It took forever to finally escape the traffic. (Turned out all the people were there for something called Daytona Bike Week.) I kept seeing signs for "Beach Access" on my way out of town and was wondering wtf what it was all about so I decided I had to look. Because who doesn't want to see the beach, right? ;) As that turned out, apparently you can drive your car on the beach in Daytona! (During low tide, of course.) So here I was, kinda blown away and thinking it was really cool, driving on the beach while watching the waves lap up practically right next to me. And then it was that I drove into a sand trap and got completely stuck. :palm: Tried gunning the engine which did nothing, then I tried the ole Neutral-and-push but my feet could not get traction on the sand. Then I started to panic. I next tried to dig out the sand with my bare hands....but that did nothing either, the car was completely stuck! I started walking back to the beach access entry and had just barely started out when a jeep of 4 guys was approaching me. They were all big and tough-looking which was sort of intimidating and I prepared for the worst - but they were all really nice and offered to help me out. One of them got in the driver's seat and the other 3 got behind the car to push it and voila, the car was out! Needless to say, I did not stay around much longer and headed back up to the road.

By the time I finally made it to Ybor City it was around 4 PM and the beer was flowing! Matt and I went over to eat some Alaskan fish tacos which were really tasty. I then proceeded to drink around 7 or 8 glasses of beer (lost count so I'm not sure) and by that point I was still feeling fine but couldn't drink anymore. (I think the glasses were about 8-10 oz, not sure tho.)

We assembled the crew that included Mike, Gene, Vicki, Jeff (VPI), and Raffy and went out to dinner at a cool place that was also pretty tasty. I had 1 more beer there that completely and totally knocked me out, to the point where everything turned into a blur, I had to sit down, and I was even shivering! :o (It was totally scary too, have never experienced anything like it and I thought I was going to either pass out or die.) But eating some food and drinking some water seemed to help because within an hour I was amazingly back to normal and was able to drive to my hotel.

Sunday 3/7: Woke up late again which was not good and I had to scramble even more to catch my flight back up in Jacksonville. I took a pretty risky gamble and decided to catch a view of the Courtney Campbell Causeway (across Tampa Bay) which was really nice. Then I headed back up to the airport and on the way saw something called Whataburger which reminded me of a conversation at the recent NorCal meet about the merits of In-N-Out vs 5 Guys vs Whataburger, so I decided I had to try it, and I have to say it was pretty dang good, definitely one of the best ones I've had when it comes to fast-service burgers.

I finally got to the airport with literally like half an hour to spare after going through security (got there about an hour before boarding time). In other words, way too close for comfort, but that said, all the racing against the clock was pretty exciting.

So the weekend went by in a blur (some of it literally) but overall it was a blast and the highlight for me was definitely the beer, and getting my rental car stuck in the sand at Daytona Beach. :P It was fun to hang out with the Florida crew again even if that last beer did knock me out good and I sorta lost track of what exactly was going on. Matt saw me getting wasted though so it was all good.

Pics to come later and I've got stuff from Axpona too.

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self-pic on Daytona Beach

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rental car on Daytona Beach (after being pushed out of sand trap)

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Raffy's choice of beer at Ella's

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Raffy, Jeff, & Gene

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Mike, Vicki, & Matt

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up-close with Matt

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Jeff & Gene

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Whataburger really exists?! (it does in Starke, FL)

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