The 2021 Raleigh Meet-Up Weekend!

It’s been two weeks, but I’m finally getting to sit down and recap our awesome Raleigh Podcast Meet-up Weekend! It was a smaller group this year, and we definitely missed our friends who weren’t in attendance, but we had a great weekend. I think I may have even gotten a little bit more sleep than usual…maybe? lol

In keeping with tradition, we met up at Casa Carbone on Friday night for dinner. We had the back room to ourselves, which is always nice because even with a group as “small” as 20 people, we tend to get loud, haha. We laughed, we ate, we took pictures, we drank wine. It was great. And in keeping with tradition, Jay and I headed home first while the group got ice cream at Fresh, a local ice cream shop that’s in the same shopping center as the restaurant. It’s pretty delicious. Once everyone finally arrived, we had our Ted Lasso-finale watch party. I had made my final batch of biscuits to serve while we watched it and was super nervous that people wouldn’t like them. Thankfully, everyone did! They polished them off the same night, haha. Hooray! And, of course, I loved the finale (minus the Keely/Roy stuff at the end, which is crap).

I had told everyone that I really wanted to get a good night’s sleep on Friday night, so they had to be out by midnight. The best-laid plans…

Around 11:45 p.m., Jay started a Fireball Island game that turned into several games, and before we knew it, it was after 2 a.m. I think I usually go to sleep around 3 a.m. on Meet-up Fridays, so maybe 2:30 a.m. was a little bit of an improvement? Hahaha. Those of us who were not playing Fireball Island started watching the first season of Ted Lasso with Shandy, who had never seen it.

In keeping with tradition, a group went to First Watch on Saturday for brunch. Jay and I were having a lazy Saturday without kids and didn’t go. I’ll admit that a factor in that for me was that I didn’t want to start drinking at brunch at noon. I know I’d say that I wasn’t going to drink but as soon as I saw someone else’s Bloody Mary, I’d cave, lol. It was originally supposed to rain on Saturday, so a large portion of our group had gotten tickets in advance to see No Time to Die at Alamo Drafthouse that afternoon. Big thanks to Elena for picking us up and driving us over there. 🙂 Kayla cracked me up; when I walked out of the house, she called out, “Get in loser, we’re going shopping!

It was fun to watch the movie as a group! Those who opted not to go to the movie went to Gizmo Brewery, which is a few miles from my house. We all met back up at my house around 6:30-7 p.m. Amanda (via Zoom), Shandy, and I had to do a live Broadcast that night. Another huge thank you to Elena for picking up the pizza we ordered and a massive, ginormous thank you to Jay for helping us set up and figure out the technical aspect of doing a live show through two computers; one that had a Zoom camera on our audience and one where we could see who was joining through Zoom and record through. I know it was an annoying task that took over an hour to do and that I was minimal help and you had much better ways to spend that hour. Thank you, Smoopsys.

The show itself went great! I always enjoy doing live shows. It’s fun to have in-person audience interaction and everyone is so damn funny! Thanks to everyone who watched, both in-person and over Zoom. 🙂

After the live episode of The Broadcast was finished, Fireball Island began. Two boards were out and two groups were playing. The top two winners from each board would move onto a championship round. It ended up being Kayla, Maggie, Dan/Gott, and Jay in the championship round, with the winner being Maggie the Magnificent! Members of the losing group joined me for some more Ted Lasso season 1. I ended up falling asleep while sitting up around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday night, haha. Jay helped me get into bed while those who were left cleaned up. Thank you all for cleaning up!

On Sunday morning, I joined Michael, Erin, Jamie, and Jon for a run at Umstead Park. We did 6-miles on the moderately-hilly Multi-Use Trail. It felt good to incorporate some exercise into an otherwise normally gluttonous weekend. The whole gang reconvened at my house around 3 p.m. for some fun group games, including The Game of Things, Telestrations, and Cards Against Humanity.

And this is the part of the weekend where history was made. I never win any of the games we play and I’ve only ever won like four, maybe five rounds of CAH ever in the history of us playing. I think Jana may have won one for me when she played in my place when I was nursing Alex during the ’18 meet-up, lol. Anyways, not to bury the lede or anything, but I WON The Game of Things and was co-winner of Cards Against Humanity!!! I’ll fully take credit for TGOT and be honest that all of our winning points came from my co-queen, Kayla. Thank you for letting me ride your coat-tails! Woo-hoo!

But winning was not the highlight of the evening! Dan, Matt, and Jana made us all dinner and it was AMAZING. Dan made chicken and beef enchiladas, Jana made two different types of mac & cheese, and Matt made Texas caviar. It was all so, so, so delicious. Omg, I can’t praise the food enough. Since the kids had gone to New York on Saturday afternoon, I ate leftovers of all three for at least 5 of the next 7 or 8 days, haha. SO GOOD. Thank you, Dan, Jana, and Matt!!

After dinner and CAH, we headed outside to sit by the firepit. Drake the Firemaster lit and maintained an awesome fire that we all hung out at for a while. I hope we do the firepit in future years because it was really nice. Thank you so much, Drake!!

Our final act of the weekend was to watch The Muppets Haunted Mansion together. I’d give a review here, but you can listen to us talk about it (and more “Halloween” type movies) on this week’s episode of The Broadcast ;). Unlike on Friday night, everyone did leave before midnight on Sunday, and, friends, I am grateful for that, haha.

It really was a great weekend! I had such a great time. Thank you to those who came to town this year. I am so happy we could all see each other again. It’s been way too long and I missed my friends. To our friends who couldn’t make it this year, I completely understand. I miss you all and really hope we can all safely convene again in mid-May 2022.

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