It's that time of the year again here in Wilmington, North Cackalacky. That's right, 5 entire days devoted to a flower. Not just any flower mind you, but an azalea. WHOO HOO!!!!! For the past several years I have hibernated and stayed away from all thangs "Azalea related", 'cause frankly I think it's ridiculous and I've aged out of the party circuit. However, this year as part of my duties as PTO Prez of Ry Guy's school, I met Queen Azalea and the "celebrities" (and believe me that term is used VERY liberally) who came to town as part of the festivities. The highlight for me was meeting the stunning Emily Maynard, from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette fame. She's also a West Virginia girl so you can bet your bottom dollar I was quick to say GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!! Lemme tell ya, when ya stand next to her, ya sure do feel like an ugly duckling!
It's Azalea Festival time again here in Wilmington and that means scads of people comin' to town to celebrate our beautiful azalea bushes for 5 fun filled days of activities. YEE HAH!!!! Since I'm a transplanted Yankee livin' in this southern town, it took me quite awhile to get used to ALL things south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but most especially 5 full days dedicated to a flower.
The HIGHLIGHT of these 5 days is the annual Garden PAR-TAY today where anybody who IS anybody will be in attendance for a mere $150 per ticket to stand in line for a barbeque buffet and to fight your way through the crowd for a cocktail. Now when I first arrived in town 16 years ago, I was a working attorney. I was the only female attorney in the firm, and the guys told me about the PAR-TAY a few days before the big event. There was a strict rule at our firm that we were NEVAH allowed to drink alcohol at lunch with clients, regardless of whether the clients ordered a drink. The senior partner informed me that Garden PAR-TAY day was the one and only exception to that rule.
HHHHMMMMMMMM, I thought this must be some sort of special event huh? So, I put on my best herringbone patterned suit that day, nude hose, and navy close toed lawyerly like pumps. I think I even went all out and put a fancy schmancy pin on my lapel.
However, I rebounded quite nicely and that garden PAR-TAY became a highlight for many, many years. It was a drunk fest from 9am til 9pm. Hell, sometimes I even wore a fancy hat just like I was born and bred in these here parts. Our posse had a whole routine. We would go to this certain place for breakfast at 9am and load up with carbs (to soak up the inevitable alceehol) and share a few mimosas. Then we would be the first arrivals when the gates to the PAR-TAY opened at 10:30am and get first dibs on the cocktails. The guys would set up "base camp", meaning they would park their asses on folding chairs, while the ladies started workin' the crowd. If we got separated we always knew where base camp was located. All day in the sun drinking cocktails sure gives you a nice buzz. But when the gates close about 3'ish EVERYBODY who is ANYBODY goes to the after PAR-TAY down by the water. Now most people go to this one certain establishment, but you are literally standing shoulder to shoulder, and I swear one of these days that dock is going to collapse with hundreds of people falling into the intracoastal waterway dressed in their Garden PAR-TAY finest. We always preferred to go to the less crowded joint next door where we could actually have a waitress, a seat, and a view of the water. We would stay partying our asses off until someone in the crowd had sense enough to say it was time to go home. Lights out, PAR-TAY over.