Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weetacon 8 (Infiity) – Green Bay, WI (Day 1)

Once a year a group of insane and socially-challenged blog writers get together in Green Bay for Weetacon. We call it a writers conference only because it’s easier to explain to people in a single sentence. If we had to explain everything, it would take forever and would probably confuse people more than it’s worth. Weetacon is the brainchild of Weetabix – a person, in this case, not a boring brown cereal.

Before I even made it into my hotel room at the lovely St. Brendan's Inn in downtown Green Bay, I ended up acquiring a lot of loot from the welcome bag, and from the charity bake sale. Sometimes this happens.I got a couple of magnets, a liquid bottle (I won't call it a water bottle since we filled it with ...uh ... non-water), bacon chocolate chip cookies, a caramel samoa cupcake, squeaky cheese curds, meat sticks, bacon rice crispy treats, Jameson cookies, strong cheese, and U.P. Heroin (it's an addictive meat and vegetable seasoning that won't likely get past the TSA since it's packaged in dime bags for distribution).

We start with morning announcements and pre-event ceremonies. There is some touchy feely stuff about smiling and having a good time, but honestly, it isn’t corny. It truly IS easier to make someone smile than to frown – it’s very true. Also, if you’re older it’s easier to make someone smile, which I’m sure was what Weetabix was trying to prove. Weetabix makes everything fun.This weekend is about friends, food, drink, and fun. She reminds people to make sure to hydrate (they never say what to hydrate WITH) and then we head outside for a group photo.

After a quick lunch and some photos, we headed to what was being called “gym class”. This year, we went to the Rola-Rock roller skating rink. While we waited for the owner to open up early for our special party (“special” is the operative word), we got a driving tour of the Green Bay Packers campus while the bus driver cracked wise about the Vikings and Bears. While skating, a couple people went down hard, but despite the fact I haven’t skated in more than 20 years (I’m not kidding), it was like riding a bike. …A bike with a bent wheel and the chain keeps grabbing your pantleg.

After skating, we headed out to Rock K Ranch for a hay rack ride pulled by a team of horses. I know this sounds rustic, but we all were packing serious amounts of alcohol. Just swig and pass the bottle - and intersperse with pulls from whomever brought a flask (or three) (that would be me).
We went back inside the lodge to eat an amazing dinner made entirely by Esteban’s folks. Booyah is highly prized in Wisconsin, for good reason – it is like the most delicious chicken stew and it takes 5 days to make.They also made pineapple fluff, as in 10 pounds of it. That’s serious. For dessert, they made East End bars, which our resident Canadian kept yelling “They’re Nanaimo Bars!!!” whenever anyone would call them East End Bars. Canadians clearly can't get the metric conversion of BAC in America correct. You double it and add thirty. Come on!

With food in our guts, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before Karaoke insanity began. And when it did, it began in force. People at Weetacon seem to lose their shyness after a few dozen drinks. They do their writing behind closed doors, but its’ clear many of them also sing a lot behind closed doors.
Sometimes the costumes come out...Adele, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Sir Mix A Lot, Styx, and ton of other ones you’d recognize. The drinks were flowing freely and things wound down at bar close. The folks running karaoke have worked for our group before, so they had a hotel room reserved – they knew what would happen. That allowed them to have as good of a time as us, so at the end of the night, we closed the doors to our small party room and decided to grab the karaoke equipment in the morning (which it already was). None of us were in any shape to be carrying expensive electronics down any flights of stairs in the dark.
It was a long day of awesomeness, which is why I slept REALLY late.

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