A quick weekend trip to hang with Drew, George, Duncan, and Jon in Seattle. My friend Jesse was in town by happenstance too. We got into all sorts of fun but there was an obvious standout from the trip.
Over the years, our friend Drew has mastered the art of surprise, and frankly, generosity. He’d planned something specific for us all to do together for Saturday, but kept it under wraps. When it was go-time, he announced our ride was out front and we headed out the door to find… a stretch limo waiting for us. A classy move if I’d ever seen one. Still none of us knew where we were going or what we were getting into, but drinks were flowing and we were cruising in a limo. Morale was through the roof and I would’ve been set if that was the extent of our night. It wasn’t.
By now, we’d been driving a while, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Tractors, corn, and cows were the only things flying by our jet black windows. Traffic eventually stacked up and came to a crawl. Wherever we were, we had arrived. Didn’t take us too long to realize, we were at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Yep, and Bad Company was opening. The confederate flags, were the giveaway. I’m not sure I could’ve imagined a more ridiculous thing for us to do with our night. Needless to say, we were the only stretch-limo in sight. Just about everyone we passed in the lot squinted and smiled at our impenetrable tinted windows. Pretty sure they thought we were the band.
I was big Skynyrd fan back in high school, around the time I was learning to play guitar, obviously. Turns out I still know all the words. Anyone who was standing within 100 feet of me can attest to that. Don’t think the guys particularly cared much for the them, but that’s not really the point though, is it. Fun was had and memories were made.
First comes love, then comes marriage they say, but there’s usually a bachelor party somewhere in between there. From left to right, Drew, Ryan, Giov, Michael, Jesse, Duncan, Jon Kim, Giancarlo, me, Mike, Levi, Ricky (George and Charlie not pictured here). We were a pretty big group. Fourteen strong, coming from all over the country. We chose to party in Denver, Colorado. Most of us hadn’t been before, and It was pretty close to meeting in the middle geographically. It felt right.
We did a lot over 4 days and 3 nights. Usually it’s your best man who puts these things together. My best man was my brother, but planning really isn’t in his wheelhouse. My friend Drew offered to take up reins and get it all figured. He’s a good guy to know to say the least.
Our first night we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see The Head and the Heart, and Group Love. Don’t even know how to write about this one. Seeing a band you really care about in a place like this… It’s the kinda thing that holds a spot on a lot of people’s bucket list. I drank, I sang at the top of my lungs, I stood shoulder to shoulder with my friends and looked out at the Earth as far as the eye can see. I can happily cross this one off my list, and I look forward to adding a few tally marks next to it.
That first night had me up and drinking till about five in the morning. You can imagine day two was a little slow out of the gate. We revived ourselves floating around for few hours in our hotel’s rooftop pool. A little hair of the dog helped clear a path for the rest of the night. The plan was to get some barbecue, board a party bus and drive around to different bars, eventually ending up at a casino. We almost made good on that exact plan, but the inhabitants of the bus had spoken and pointed us in the direction of a gentlemen’s club instead of the casino. It’s a funny thing they call it a gentlemen’s club, you won’t find a single one in there. Not a lot of pictures from this night. Probably for the best. It was the drunkest of them all.
The next day we played some paintball. It was my first time, and hell was it fun. If you get hit anywhere, you’re out. Pretty straight forward rules, but because I was the bachelor, the ref made a new one. I had to be hit directly on my face mask to be taken out, nothing else counted. Friends being friends, they aimed for everywhere on me except my face mask. Gotta say, those paintballs have some bite to them. No idea my body was capable of making such colorful bruises.
We had dinner that night at a bar-restaurant-game room-bowling alley. it was all the right ingredients. We bowled a few games and George got a turkey to beat Drew in the home stretch, it was a whole scene. It wasn’t long before last call crept up on us and we moved the party back to the hotel for a nightcap.
To delight of our bodies, we reached the last day of our trip. Everyone was on their own timeline for travel. I still had enough time to catch one last beer and play the most bizarre form of beer pong I’ve ever seen with Mike, Levi and Ricky. Then the four of us headed back on the same flight to Los Angeles together. Won’t even get into my experience at the Denver airport. In short, what started with a belt left behind at security, ended with me in an all out sprint across what seemed like the entire airport.
And that was that. My bachelor party was everything I could’ve hoped for. Just to shoot the breeze with so many of my friends in the same room at the same time, would’ve been more than enough. Truly. But I’ve got friends like these.
If I’m being honest, I was on the fence about even having a bachelor party to begin with. It’s a tough thing asking people to put their life on pause, to spend their time, their energy, and their money on you. I’ve always struggled with that. But then you remember, that these aren’t just people, these are your friends, and they want to be there. In the end, I’m so glad we did it.
To the only group of gentlemen in the gentlemen’s club, thank you. Especially for all the doughnuts, and of course the shirts.