One thing I can say about my family is that we are not boring. Our holidays and family gatherings never fail to generate a story or two that will be told for at least a few years. Last Saturday's Father's Day celebration was no different.
Since my family is spread out all across NC, we gathered in the center of the state. We all gathered at the hotel my parents were staying at and swam. It was so good seeing all the kids playing and laughing and splashing with each other. Gabe was loud enough every time a family member came into the pol area that I think he could have doubled as a disaster alert siren but, luckily for us, the other patrons seemed more amused by his voice reverberating through the room than disturbed by it. After we swam for a couple of hours, we planned to hit the hotel's nacho bar/happy hour to get some snacks into everyone because we had no doubt we were in for a long wait for a table at Kanki (damn their no reservations policy). The kids all loaded up on nachos and sodas from the soda fountain and a few of the adults had a glass of wine or a mixed drink with their nachos. We talked and noshed and generally had a good time. At some point, Gabe and Joey decided to go explore the waterfall and the cool staircase and Joey came back to report that their were tables with more food only one story up. Most of the kids (and, ok, I admit a few of the adults) decided to continue with the nachos but my dad and my youngest niece decided to go check out the food upstairs. A few minutes later my niece came down and said it was a wedding reception so she didn't get anything. We expected my dad to be right behind her...silly us. When 5 minutes passed and he hadn't shown back up, we all started joking about my dad crashing the wedding. See, my dad can and will talk to anyone. People frequently tell him their life story and he is always willing to spill his in return (or sometimes first). We figured he started talking and the person assumed he belonged there. Shortly, he came down the stairs with a plate loaded with fruits and snacks and all kinds of delicious looking stuff. Some one and I don't remember who said "You know that was a wedding reception, right?" My dad just grinned, shrugged his shoulders as if to say so what, and held up the plate in a look what I have gesture. That's my dad...the wedding crasher.
Well, with all the nachos the kids had downed, they were thirsty. I had the bright idea to see if the happy hour bar would make them Shirley Temples...that classic kid drink of Seven-Up and grenadine.. It's pink and bubbly and makes the kids feel like they are getting something special. The kids all slurped them down. My mom walked the kids over when they were ready for round 2 and she came back cracking up. When Gabe got over there, he saw an older kid getting a bubbly brown drink and, when it was time to order, he told the bartender he wanted a Shirley Temple but he wanted it brown. The bartender said it wouldn't be a problem, that a lot of the boys didn't want a pink drink so they would make it with coke and it was called a Roy Rogers. The whole time this exchange is going on, Gabe is studying the bottles on the shelves behind the bar. When he heard the bartender mention coke, he got this look on his face. This look has become well known in the Cruz and O'Donnell households. This look signals that Gabe is going to make a pronouncement of some sort...usually something he finds critically important to the situation at hand...and that pronouncement is just as likely to be totally outrageous as it is to be relevant. Gabe then said "Well, coke might be ok, but THAT is brown too" and he pointed right at the bottle of Kentucky bourbon. That's right folks. My 5 yr old was trying to talk the bartender out of an order of Kentucky bourbon because damn it, it's brown. From that moment forth, Gabe had officially earned the nickname of the Kentucky Bourbon Kid.
Surely, that's enough excitement for any one family gathering. Surely things were calm and quiet from that moment on. I'd hate to disappoint but, in my family, things are never calm and quiet. We finished out Father's Day celebration with a wind and rain storm that knocked out the whole power grid for the Kanki restaurant we were going to eat at which meant a trip across town to the other Kanki. Thank God for the snack we had consumed because it was after 8:30 at night when we finally sat down for dinner. Our evening didn't wrap up until well after 10 pm and, despite all that, Gabe was still wide ass awake after the 25 minute ride home.
Now that I've finished relaying the story of the Wedding Crasher and the Kentucky Bourbon Kid, I want to hear about some funny family story that happened to you. Come on and spill it!