Great Mattchelor Weekend!

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Howdy gang! It’s taken me a little while to get around to writing this post, but what else is new, right? Believe me, I’m acutely aware of my obligations when running this little corner of the webosphere . You see, I’m a firm believer in timely information sharing, so whenever I’m late on post, it really gets under my skin. So without further ado, allow me to fill you in on a recent fun weekend that I spent in the Westport (Rideau Lakes) region. Of all the reasons for me heading that way, it was exclusively for the purpose of celebrating Matt’s final couple weeks of bachelorhood. Yup, as most of you are aware, Alix and Matt are tying the knot on the 21st of this month, so a little partying was required. Now, in the past, there would have been a strict limit to the amount of photographic evidence of such an event, but in today’s hyper-connected world, I couldn’t help but document some of the fun. So, if you’re interested, check out this set from me, as well as this set from Darcy. There’s probably more pictures out there (Foo? Dave?), but that’s all I’ve got for you for now. Once you’re done checking all those out, come on back and read on for the whole story.

The lead up to this event was pretty exciting. As the date got closer and closer, I really couldn’t wait to get it underway. Normally, most of our bachelor parties have revolved basically around drinking with the guys, and ending up in the market, or at a house party. I decided to stay with that general theme, but sort of take it on the road and turn it up a notch. As such, I had organized a whole weekend out of Ottawa by booking a cottage at Devil Lake near Westport . We had a huge cottage to ourselves, complete with all the comforts of home, as well as a deep-water dock to dive from, and a fishing boat and canoe. Perfect place to get things rolling. The cottage was just the start of the plans though.

At a high level the plan for the weekend looked something like this: Friday would be the arrival, and a tasty BBQ supper, followed by plenty of drinks, and a Mattchelor charity poker night. Half the money went straight to Matt to pay for anything he wanted to do for the rest of the weekend. We also had video games lined up for the weekend, with a PS2 and Guitar Hero and Rock Band ready for all. Not to mention tunes to rock out to. Saturday, the plan was to start by a big round of Disc Golf close to Kingston, then a day of relaxing at the cottage, including fishing, swimming, drinking, eating, etc. etc. Then at 8pm, I had arranged for a 15 passenger van to haul us around for the evening. The destinations? Basically, the Ganonoque Charity Casino and then downtown Kingston for some barhopping.

I’d get into a lot of details into everything, but that would likely violate several Internet decency standards, so I’d better just broad brushstroke the remainder of my tale 😉 First off, let me just say that I’m pretty sure that Matt was both surprised by all the stuff lined up, and that he had a good time. As such, that’s the only thing that mattered, so I’ll consider it ‘mission accomplished’. Next, there are the inevitable questions around who may have had the most to drink and who may have made the biggest an ass of themselves. While the answer to both may be indeed simple to answer and be one name, I won’t name any names, but it wasn’t me! Poker night was a rousing success with several people buying back in and contributing to the pot. We had a great turnout with about 16 people coming out at various points throughout the weekend, some for one night, some for two nights. The video games were a big hit, as it let everyone have things to do whenever they wanted, regardless of time or weather.

Early Saturday morning, Rob and Matt hit the boat to squeeze in a bit of fishing, but had no luck with the little buggers. Darcy and I followed them around for a bit in the kayaks, for something to do. After that, we car-pooled to get to the disc golf course, with everyone except Darcy and Ian coming out for the round. They were nice enough to start some of the cleanup for us. Turns out they probably had a more relaxing time then us, as with the strong winds and long grass, our game was pretty challenging to say the least 🙂 However, the sun was shining strong and bright, and there was lots of sun tiredness going around by the end. Back at the cottage, we were all more than happy to strip down and hang out at the waterfront. Good times, just shooting the breeze with all the gang, while enjoying chilled beverages.

Before too long, it was time to get grilling again and get ready for the night out. On grill duty this time was Greg and John, who did an amazing job of firing up the bbq and cooking the delicious pork loins for everyone. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that cooking duties were amicably split, with people graciously doing the cooking for each meal. Ian was on burgers at lunch, and the night before I think it was Adam on the sausages. Brilliant job guys! Thanks. But back to Saturday. The driver was supposed to show up at 8pm, but he was there by 7:30, so we invited him to join us in the meal, seeing as we had a lot to eat. Gerry Alcorn was our driver, and he did an absolutely great, and professional job for us. It was a great idea to hire a ‘real’ driver for once. He was very accommodating, and knew a lot of funny things to tell us.

The rest of the nights activities were awesome, as it was a lot like the old days of Engineering trips, where you pile into a bus and go somewhere to drink. In this case, it was first to the casino, where we ran into a few snags in our plan. They were not too keen on letting a large group of possibly intoxicated males into their casino to gamble. Methinks they’re a bit more uptight up here than in Vegas. In fact, the ‘eyes in the sky’ were on us the whole time we were there, with very strict instructions to us. If nothing else, it made for pretty funny story telling. When we finally broke free from the grip of the almighty dollar (Andy was on a poker table, and unfortunately we had to pull him away, even though he was up!), we were off to Kingston.

First stop in Kingston was a brew pub where we enjoyed delicious micro-brewed beer for a while as we discussed our options. Now, most of you would assume we’d end up at a strip club, but as a group, we decided that wasn’t what we really needed to do, and instead, opted to hit and Irish bar for more rowdy fun as just a group of guys out on a night out. I think only one person in the whole group was a bit disappointed in that, but the majority ruled, and really didn’t care one way or another. Of course, one person didn’t really have a vote, as by then, he had made his way back to our van and passed out. Once again, thanks to Gerry for looking after that bit for us. I’m also proud to report we didn’t lose anyone at all in our group! I was sure we’d be short a couple guys on the return trip.

When we’d had our fill of the good times drinking, we all piled back into our well-filled van for the 45 minute drive back to the lake. With only two brief stops, we were back at party HQ, and some of us proceeded to head out for a quick dip, while others played some vids , and others tried getting a fire going. Total damage inflicted? None! Can you believe that? I guess my stern warnings about staying in the good books of the cottage owner must have worked out.

After a good nights rest, it was time to get up and face the music. Or rather, time to get up, clean up the cottage, and get back to the real, less thrilling world of home and work. We all pulled together to do a good cleanup, to guarantee that I’d get my damage deposit back (which I did, including a 1% interest on it!!). Once the cleanup was done, and we refilled the propane and boat fuel, as well as getting rid of all the garbage, we chilled out a while on the front deck, reliving some of the best moments of the weekend, and wishing we could stay. This is definitely a place I’d like to go back to. There was even a ton of food left, which was distributed amongst the remaining coolers for people to take home. Lucky me, I ended up with some potato salad 😉

Well, I guess that’s about it for me on this subject. Probably not all that exciting to read about all this, but I assure you that the weekend was indeed fantastic, and if you could just picture for one moment a perfect camping weekend at a cottage, this would probably be it. Well, apart from the fact that we were spending it without our significant others, which believe me, we’re all hearing about it I’m sure.Hee hee . Hence the next booking. Now, it was time to get ready for my first race of the season, which was only one week away. Till I write about that, stay cool, summer’s here!

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