- 5 full days of hanging out with J and Ken, including 3 separate "Thursdays" (our excuse for overdoing both Tuesday and Wednesday nights).
- Seeing Mike's reaction on Friday night after his family and his college rommates showed up at the bar to surprise him. Mike is nothing if not understated, but he was really surprised. My favorite line was when he turned to me after CHad and Marc (roommates) appeared and said "you've been busy." Yes, yes I have.
- The event on Saturday night. The vibe of the party location coupled with the experience of catching up with so many great people in one place. Amazing.
- Mike's family. Their visit could have been somewhat difficult to manage, because the group included all 4 of his siblings, plus mom, plus a couple of spouses, plus a niece. They were wonderful about taking care of themselves and understanding the limitations on our time. I really appreciated that. And I know if meant a lot to Mike that they all showed up to see him.
- Spending time with Casey and Tosha. Casey is a music friend of Mike's who we were just starting to do things with when we left Dallas. Now we see him whenever we go back, but I didn't really know him and his fiancee very well. They stayed with us over the weekend and I really got in some good bonding time with them. They are really good people. And showing Tosha Venice Beach yesterday was indescribably fun. It was her first time in LA.
The Bad (less good?):
- Leaving the camera at the hotel. Pretty bad move on my part (I have not recovered it yet; it is most likely gone). The slightly good news is that I had already downloaded the Friday night photos and I didn't have many Saturday night photos on it because the battery died after an hour or so, so I walked around for most of the evening with a friend's camera (and I managed to get that one back to him). Still it sucks a bit to have to rely on others to get back pictures of the big party.
- One of Mike's college roommates had a bad health incident at the Friday night event. He was standing in line for the bathroom and he fainted. He went down hard and broke his cheek bone on one side of his face. Luckily another of the college roommates happens to be a doctor, so when Chris came to, he asked for Marc. Marc checked on him, rounded up Chris's wife and got him out of there quickly. Chris was taken straight to Cedars Sinai and we hear he is having heart arrhythmia and he'll be in the hospital a bit longer. Scary stuff.
- Dealing with a local friend or two who didn't hold their liquor well. I know this sort of thing should come as no surprise to me at events where alcohol is being served, but the Saturday night event wasn't really billed as a boozefest and it was a bit embarrassing/annoying to me that people who flew here for the party were having to deal with getting other guests home safely, etc. It was partially my bad. I should have taken more control and gotten the over-imbibers out of there and into a taxi home so that they didn't bother others. Lesson learned.
All in all, I'm really glad that it worked out so well. Now I just would like a bit of sleep...