Bro’s Day 2011

Finally, it was here.

After weeks of Missy’s tedious planning, “Bro’s Day 2011” {as I had cheese-tastically coined it, to the chagrin of the rest of our crew} had arrived at last. She had decreed that I was in dire need of some long overdue guy time…and Saturday was the day to make it happen. Even with a last-minute change of plans (condensed one-day event rather than a two-day camping excursion due to excessive heat), by 2:00PM the fun started.

Phase 1 – The Ride

The plan: meet up at the Florer Farm around two, and then pick up the Great Western bike trail (just minutes from the Farm) for a six mile jaunt to the small Iowa town of Cumming, home to the infamous Cumming Tap: local watering hole and trail-side cycler’s paradise where ice-cold beer and luxurious air conditioning awaited the four of us.

God bless America for establishments like the Tap.

Our small biking contingent consisted of…

Joey:  graphic designer, stylish dresser, and fixed-gear aficionado. Riding a lime-green, souped-up fixie by Specialized.

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J-Brad:  programmer by day, gamer and master-drummer by night. Riding a 30-year old Schwinn road racer, once belonging to his father.

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Ric:  Faithful friend, amateur photog, and blogger extraordinaire. Riding a resurrected Giant mountain bike (but hoping to soon make the leap to a Linus road cruiser).

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And myself…Mechanical engineer and father of three, riding a basic 2007 Specialized road racer.

Over the shoulder shot #1 (courtesy of Joey)

In the afternoon heat, our trip was a bear…we were drenched with sweat by the time we pulled up to the tap 40 minutes later. Luckily there was a jug full of ice water waiting for us inside the cool, dimly-lit bar…and an open table for four with our name on it.

Ice cold beverages at the tap.

Wiped! I was unaware this picture was being taken.

Great convo and good company quickly had us forgetting about the heat outside…yet two hours and three pitchers of Boulevard later and we were heading back. The miles of pavement on our return journey slipped by unnoticed as we talked and laughed; we were back at the farm cooling off in the pool in what seemed like no time flat.

By the end, we were all asking the same question: Why haven’t we done that sooner?

Over the Shoulder Shot #2

Over the Shoulder Shot #3

Over the Shoulder Shot #4

Phase 2 – Dinner

The plan: devour meats, beans, and other manly items after cooking them over the open flame of our bonfire. With our cooler full of beer and no agenda for the post-dinner festivities, the night was sure to get interesting.

As we spent time soaking {no pictures of the four bros in a pool…you don’t need to see that}, the fifth bro arrived – Michael:  programmer, new father (2nd time around), and maker of Cowboy Salsa…which is only the greatest concoction of beans, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and bell peppers anyone has ever created.

The four of us spilled out of the pool and made our way down the driveway to our bonfire location, which {thanks to Missy} had been pre stocked with tables, chairs, wood, cooking utensils, coolers, and of course: the food.

The Spread...it was a lot more organized before we got our hands on it.

The fire was lit, and the five of us scarffed salsa until the coals were hot and ready for cooking.

Man food.

Mouths stuffed too full to smile.

Brat + Cowboy Salsa = WIN

Plates?  Who needs plates?  We ate the beans right outta the can…man style.

The rest of the perfect evening was spent spittin’ seeds into the fire, drinkin’ beer, and watching the sun set over the Iowa plains while telling stories and enjoying plenty more “man talk.”

Is this heaven?

Fire burning bright.

Our night ended just before midnight…my baby free day with the guys was complete, and exactly what the doctor Missy had ordered.

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

7 thoughts on “Bro’s Day 2011

    • Thanks dude…I was really hesitant about posting them; they were almost deleted at the 11th hour! Just trying to do something out of the norm…keep things fresh. Thanks for the reaffirmation 🙂

  1. Pingback: Snapshots | So Long, Sweet Summer | living in pursuit

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