Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Opener Time

Ah yes, it is that time of year once again. Mother's Day and the Minnesota Fishing Opener. And, as always, I head back to my native state of Minnesota to celebrate, well, not Mother's Day.

We always head up to my buddy Jerry's cabin for this week-end and the size of the crowd can vary but there is usually a core group that shows up. This year we had most of them although they kind of trickled in and out.

The first stop on the way to the cabin is traditionally The Firehouse in Hinckley. This place has really changed over the years. Originally it was just a fairly small municipal on/off sale, although the bar area was always fairly large and really hasn't changed all that much. For comparison purposes, this is what the place looked like just last year.

The Firehouse In 2007

As you can see, there have been some significant changes.

This Year's Version

The bar, thankfully, hasn't changed that much and I was happy to see my favorite bartender was still there and busily at work.

Mary Settin' Up

The early crew that came up from Minneapolis hooked up and had a morning eye-opener to get us primed for what is always an arduous week-end.

The Early Crew, Jerry, Cubby, Gus, and Barman

After stocking up on liquor and groceries we hit our next stop on the way. By the time we hit this place we are almost at the cabin.

The Blue Max

We were a bit nervous because The Blue Max had closed and we weren't sure if it would be open for the opener. Luckily the new owners had it up and running with just days to spare.

Whew, That Was Close

The early crew from Minneapolis was the first one here as well.

Early Crew Having A Cold One

We weren't there very long though before Bruce and Jon who came down from Up North joined us.

Bruce And Jon

Together at last we posed for a group picture at, where else, the bar.

Group Photo, Everyone Smile

A bit later Rico, the last of the group to join us today, showed up.

Rico, On The Left

While I was in Puerto Vallarta I asked if anyone wanted me to buy them a Chivas shirt but got no takers other than Bruce. It takes someone who is comfortable with their manhood to wear a shirt with Bimbo plastered across the front.

Manly Bimbos

As usual we caused a bit of a ruckus in the bar, but nothing too serious. I think they like us. They should, we spend enough. Throughout our stay Holly, the new bartender, gamely kept up with our prodigious demands.

Good Job, Holly

From here we headed to the cabin where we made grilled Reubens. I brought corned beef and pastrami from Katz's in New York and Rico brought up sauerkraut that his wife Sandy had made. Needless to say, they hit the spot.