Sunday, October 30, 2011

Castle McCulloch Halloween Disappointment - All About Profit?

Saturday night, a crew of eight of us went to Castle McCulloch's Beer and Fear in Jamestown, North Carolina. I have blogged about Castle McCulloch before and have given them rave reviews. The party is usually amazing. You can see one of my blogs about Castle McCulloch HERE.

This year, Castle McCulloch hosted their first Halloween Party, "Beer and Fear". There were rumors of them being sold out two weeks before the party according to their Facebook page. The Castle promptly made a statement that they, in fact, were not sold out. My feeling is that they really should have re-thought what "sold out" was.

We started out on a great note! Before going to the Castle, Stump, Bear, Sage, Brandon, Susannah, Josh, Melody, and I went for burgers and beer at Shooters Sports Bar and Billiards in Greensboro, North Carolina, just minutes away from Castle McCulloch. We ordered food and actual PITCHERS of jello shooters!

 (Son's girlfriend, Susannah, my son, Brandon, and Sage)

 (Stump, Melody, Josh, and Bear)

 (Me and Stump)

 (Bear "pours" jello shooter cups from a pitcher)

 (Welcome to Shooters" sign at bar)

 (A Pitcher of Jello shooters waits to be enjoyed by our table)

The pitchers of Jello shooters was a great deal at $12 each! We bought three pitchers!

 (Melody and Josh eating, drinking, and being merry)

 (Sage loving his Jello shot)

 (Stump thought Melody's pigtails resembled handle bars. He even made sound effects)

 (The aftermath)

 (Melody changed into her School Girl Costume)

 (Susannah playing Corn Hole with the group)

 (Sage and son Brandon both wore leather trench coats)

(Sage would rather juggle the corn hole bags than actually play)

We left Shooters and headed over to Castle McCulloch. After being in traffic for more than a half hour and finding a parking spot, we ended up in The Line of Death. I have been to the parties at Castle McCulloch many times and have never seen a line this long.

 (The line ran at least 100 yards from the main gate, deep into the parking lot, and looped around)

 (Me and Sage doing the "extended arm photo shoot")

 (Inside the first bar was so crowded it took 10 minutes to just get to the line at the bar)

 (In the Zombie bar, people danced on stage. There was barely room to walk, let alone dance on the floor)

 (I catch a glimpse of husband, Stump, off in the distance)

 (Josh in a leather hood)

 (True brothers)

 (This was one of the most creative costumes I saw)

 (We even saw people from Danville while we were there)

 (Cool organ display outside the castle)

 (Castle entrance)

 (Dancer inside castle in spider webs)

 (Moving from the entrance to the back wall of the castle was insane)

 (People were packed in tighter than sardines in a can. One could only take inch long steps)

 (Son Brandon having a beer)

 (We made our way outside to avoid some of the crowd and decide what we wanted to do)

 (We did manage to see fire dancers before leaving)

The castle was way over-crowded. We only managed to walk into two tents and through the castle before deciding that we were all miserable. The place was just too tight to move anywhere and no one was enjoying the party. We had only been there an hour.
I have to wonder if Castle McCulloch has decided that their parties are all about profit rather than fun. They did "sell out" some time before 9:30 PM. I must say though, that I think "Sold out" should have happened at about half of the actual attendance. It seems to have become about how much profit the castle can pull in by squeezing as many $20 per head sardines in a can as possible. Our whole group has decided that we will not be back to the Castle unless they can figure out where to draw the line as far as crowds.

After leaving Castle McCulloch, we drove to the fairgrounds in Eden, NC for a bit.

 (Son Brandon and his girlfriend, Susannah enjoy the warmth of the fire)

 (Me, Brandon, Susannah, and Sage)

 (Stump enjoys the fire and a beer)

(Melody warms her knickers by the fire)

We all did enjoy each others company, and had a good time for the most part. We will just think twice before going to Castle McCulloch again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fly the Friendly Skies

On Sunday, family came in to town from New Jersey. Bonnie and John were driving down just for a visit. That visit quickly turned into a mini-reunion. 

 Cousin Bonnie at Mom's house

 Bonnie's hubby John at mom's studying the Harbor Freight sales

Another pic of Bonnie

On hearing that cousin Bonnie and her husband John were coming to town, cousin Toni D quickly made arrangements for a get-together at General Aviation at the airport in Danville, VA. Why the airport? Toni's father, Paul Rembold, founded General Aviation in 1948 and was the owner until he passed in 1988. His son Mike Rembold owns and operates the corporation now. Airports mean conference rooms. This was the perfect venue to host a family get-together.

Late Uncle Paul Rembold

Cousins Toni D and Mike - These guys made it all happen!

We arrived at 2:00 at General Aviation in Danville, VA.

Sister, Adrienne, walking to the building

We were here!!!

Cousin Toni D greets us as we arrive
We came in to find wonderful treats, complete with hot apple cider. Toni D did a wonderful job!

I loved this Halloween themed centerpiece!

Cousins Beverly and Melissa
(Beverly had to one-up my broken elbow and broke her ankle - we're so competitive)

Husband Stump with cousin Toni H

Uncle Calvin and Aunt Vilma

Cousins sitting around sharing stories

Me and my baby sister... Meet Adrienne

While all of the festivities were going on, Toni D came into the room and made an announcement to all of us. "Mike was sweet enough to offer this to the entire family... Anyone who wants an airplane ride around the city will be taken up for free! Go get in line!", she said.

The room promptly emptied and the family re-grouped on the tarmac. The first flight of the day was taken by cousin Toni H, sister Adrienne, and me.

Cousin Mike, owner of General Aviation, with Cousin Toni H, Me and sister Adrienne

Toni H puts on her headset

Sister Adrienne strikes a sassy pose

That's me up front, playing co-pilot

Oh dear... not so sure I'm the right person for the job.

We were in the capable hands of Wes, our pilot

My sister's earlier sassy pose was short lived. She actually THREW UP mid flight. I'm so thankful that Toni H found a trash bag inside the plane. Toni later revealed the way she found the bag was she was getting ready to SHOVE Adrienne's head into the storage pouch behind the seat. She discovered a lone trash bag when she pulled it open! WAY TO GO TONI !!!

Yes... she really, truely did.

On the way back to the airport, we circled the plant where I work. This is Swedwood from the air!

My son, Brandon, took his turn in the plane.

Cousin Bonnie with husband John, and my son, Brandon.

Cousin Farley, Toni H, Aunt Vilma, and Stan

Aunt Vilma and  her two boys take flight.

Cousin Calvin had his pilot's license before he could drive a car!

My nephew Layne is ready to fly

My mother takes Layne up for his first ever airplane ride.

He's so excited!

Cousin Chris waiting for his flight

My dad and mom

Cousin Chris finally boards.

I want to thank my cousin, Mike Rembold, for providing us a great time!

Also, a big thank you to Toni D for getting this organized! You did a wonderful job!
Mike runs the aviation school at the airport in Danville, VA and offers a Discover Flying course for $99. If you want to take a lesson or just want to go up on a weekend, give him a shout! Tell him I sent you! You can find his information HERE.