So far, 2012: not impressed.
But, our New Year’s Linger Lodge excursion was still promising. First off, I’m actually kind of glad ESPN was on the fritz in the Harrible’s trailer cabin (not sure how you can get E! and not ESPN, but c’est la cable). So with no “campsite” access to the Auburn bowl game, CCB and I trooped over to the restaurant to watch it on a greenish TV over the bar, munching on crispy catfish and fried green tomatoes.
Linger Lodge restaurant is…a hoot. I’d only seen it momentarily last New Year’s; spending more time in there does not decrease the weirdness. But for the whole year, when people asked what it was like, the best response I could give was, “There’s a quote on the front of the menu from Al Roker describing it as one of the top-five weirdest places he’s ever seen.” Advertising the fact that Al Roker thinks you’re weird is just pure brilliance. That and a stuffed squirrel playing a violin gets you a spot in my heart.
So we had a trifecta of New Year’s activities: A cozy cabin in which to watch the ball drop, a cozy campfire on which to roast marshmallows, and a weird-ass restaurant in which to watch football. And rattlesnakes. I love having all those activities right next to each other. I mostly enjoy camping, but six hours of stargazing gets a little old. Lord knows I can watch TV for hours—especially on New Year’s Eve—but at the end of all that, it feels like a wasted evening. And being in a bar from 7:30 on? Well, that would get expensive.
Put all those things together, though, and it’s lovely. We told stories around the campfire and ate cheese and crackers by the TV. We watched football and smoked a celebratory cigar. We made friends with the neighbors and sipped champagne out of Solo cups. And if that doesn’t start the year off right, then I don’t know what does.