Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marcy's Travel Blog- "Splendor And Glamour" - Friendship And Fun!

 When I found out my friend Gail Wyatt was going to be a part of a special event in Big Rapids, I contacted her. "How about if I come up and blog about it?!" Her response? "That would be...special." Ha, alright, I'll admit it! I invited myself! Gail and I have been friends a LONG time, since we were teens! I figured she'd let me know if a visit wasn't o.k. The event was put on by the Chamber of Commerce. It was to be a formal affair, in part to honor all the people who participated in fund raisers as well as Gail being honored for her work. I was excited for her, proud of her, and loved having  another story to share with you folks.

 My drive from Pinckney to Big Rapids was interesting. I decided to put myself in a "positive" frame of mind by playing one of the CD's from the book "The Secret"! (For those of you not familiar with the book, it's message in a nut shell is "What you think about you bring about, so think positive"!)

 By the time I passed through Lansing, heading west, I was silently cursing the other drivers on the road. Many of them were aggressive, speeding, and thoughtless of safety- what I consider a dangerous combination! At one point while I was grouching away I heard the CD in the background! -"Emotions are powerful! So choose positive emotions for positive results!"- I had to laugh at myself! What was wrong with THIS picture! What a hoot! A cursing old dame with a "positive thinking" CD playing!Oh, my! I laughed at myself the rest of the way!

   Once I arrived, there was a flurry of activity. Clothes changed, makeup freshened, evening bag packed, and I was ready for the evening. Gail left early to help set up, so I was her husband's "date" for the evening. Getting into a big truck in a long evening dress, high heels, and a full length fur coat was a bit of an adventure in itself! (Glad no one took a picture!)

   Just a bit of background on the event: The event was called "Splendor and Glamour", celebrating 75 years of the Mecosta County Area Chamber Of Commerce. This was their 26th annual Gala, and attended by the largest group of people. (I believe the count was 410!) The project for fund raising was called "Dames through the Decades", and they were honored at this event. Seventeen different businesses plus the Chamber participated, with the businesses choosing a charity to sponsor as well as a particular theme. These "themes" then were represented in a calendar, which was sold at this event. The object of the fund raiser was for half to go for the Chamber, and the other half to go for their chosen charity.

Gail's theme was Monopoly, and is the February Calendar! (Love this picture!)

I think Gail looks like Julie Andrews here!

Ladies getting ready for 410 guests!

The event was held at the Holiday Inn Convention Area in Big Rapids. Once we arrived we purchased our tickets.

Big Rapids H.S. Baseball Coach on the far right

The Big Rapids High School Baseball Team was represented by the coach and three members, who ran the coat check. Any tips went toward the high school baseball team fund. These guys were great! Coach can be proud!

 Three young ladies worked the lobby Bar.

Katie (as Ms. Piggy) and Dawn with the glasses

There was a photo booth with props available to make the photos as goofy as you wished. The Wyatt's daughter, Dawn and granddaughter Katie tried them out!

There was a gentleman playing background music in the lobby area as we waited to go in to dinner.

Their son Troy

Gail and Dave's son, daughter-in-law, daughter, and three grandchildren were there! I love this family!

Proud Grandpa!

David with grandsons Tyler (on left) and Drew (on right)

At this point I wandered the room, admiring the crowd. Everyone was dressed in their holiday finest, looking lovely!

Proud parents showing off the youngest party goer  (3 1/2 weeks!) dressed in her party frock!

Gail, sharing a funny moment.

As I watched the Wyatt's mingle, it was obvious to me that they are well known and well liked in the community!

Tom Hoggenson and David Wyatt

In the hall in front of the dining room, tables were set up laden with prizes. One could purchase raffle tickets, tear off the half to be pulled (keeping the other half to claim the prize),  and put it in a glass in front of the prize you wish to win. I purchased $20 worth and started stuffing those glasses! Needless to say, at some point in my frenzy to choose some of those wonderful prizes, I realized that I had not only put in the half  you were supposed to, I had put in the half I was supposed to keep as well! What the heck!!?? Food! I needed food! My brain had turned to mush! I had only had a tiny hamburger that day, and now it was about 7 pm! (I'd rather blame it on low blood sugar than a total loss of IQ!)

  Once in the dining room, we looked for our assigned seats. The tables were beautifully decorated! I was in starvation agony, and looking forward to the appitizer and the meal! OK., it wasn't exactly starvation, but I definitely was ready for  good food! Let it be noted that the lobby had about seveb little round tables scattered around. On each was a small bowl of pretzels and a small bowl of nuts. For 410 people, you can imagine how long those lasted! My stomach was definitely beginning to eat itself!


Mr. Bill Scheible was the MC for the evening, and did a fine job! He added humor to the evening, which made it fun.

 The dinner was served! No appetizers, and only one dinner roll each. The choices (we had to order ahead of time) were cornish game hen or a combo plate of lobster and beef. I had ordered the cornish hen as did two other people at my table. As we waited for our food, I mentioned that I could almost be a vegetarian, because I feel sorry for the poor critters that I eat!

   Perhaps I jinxed the evening. The food was served. On my plate was a small amount of sweet potato, some asparagus, and the game hen. With relish I cut into the hen. (My bread roll was long gone!) The hen was bloody on the inside! Oh no! The lady across the table from me had the same problem! To make a long story short, after four bloody game hens, my waitress gave up. She apologized, but I knew  it wasn't her fault. As I sat there salivating over my neighbors food (the ones with the lobster and beef)  I watched hen after hen from other tables being carried away whole. All I have to say is the Holiday Inn certainly dropped the ball on this one! I was told that the Chamber had a choice between salad served with the meal or an appetizer.  The Chamber had chosen the appetizer. Where that went we may never know. For $40 a plate, one does expect something to eat that's eatable!  I have a feeling Gail will be sure they are made aware of their error. She felt so bad, she gave me my $40 back! So- the evening continued- and all else was wonderful!

There was a Tribute to Our Troops. Those gentlemen representing the different branches of the service also escorted the women in the "Dames through the Decades" Presentation.

The women representing the" Dames Through The Decades"

Gail was honored during the evening for her dedication and hard work. She also gave a speach. I am so proud of her! She does it all with humor, kindness, excellence, and integrity!

Champagne at $20 a glass, with a $20 gift certificate to a local jeweler was attached, and the chance of finding a $2000 diamond on your glass! Yep, some lucky lady won the diamond! (Not me)

 Now came the time for the raffle ticket drawings! I had informed the Wyatt clan of my "oops" concerning the tickets. Everytime a prize wasn't claimed, Dawn would grin at me, and I would shake my head and laugh. There is little doubt in my mind that those "unclaimed" prizes were mine!

The evening wrapped up with The Key West Permafrost Blues Band. Dancing was in the offing for anyone so inclined! The lead singers were great! I did drag the Wyatt's grandson, Drew, on the dance floor once. He stood there not sure what to do. I guess a "real" lady would have at least asked the poor guy! Sorry Drew!

At this point David Wyatt came to my rescue! (AHA! MY HERO!)  He took me to the hotel restaurant for something to eat! Gail wrapped up her duties and joined us. We ordered an appetizer platter to share. As we ate and chatted, the irony of some of my evening's craziness became funnier and funnier. Of course, by then I had had one or two glasses of wine on an empty stomach, so I did feel a slight bit silly!

   By the time we arrived home, the food had kicked in, and I was feeling very revived. Stepping into the guest room, I noticed that in my rush to get ready for the evening, I had left the room in disarray. Just then I also noticed a doll sitting on the dresser. I fell into peals of laughter! If there ever was a doll that looked offended by what I had done to "her" room, this doll did!!!   Gail offered to put a hat over her face, but I thought that would add insult to her already injured pride!                     

You have to admit, that is HYSTERICAL!!

   Thank you, Gail and David! I love the laughter, the friendship, and your warm hospitality!

   In a few days I will be flying to Los Angeles, then busing it to Carpinteria, California! Please follow along, as new adventures are sure to be in the opting!

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