20th? Really????

My 20th High School Reunion

Today is the last day of my 20th high school reunion. I can’t believe how long it’s been as I’m sure everybody started Friday night and they had to unfortunately start without me.

After just celebrating the 19th anniversary of my 19th birthday I am just in awe of how long it has been. There are so many people that I would like to see there but for some reason it just did not work out for me as I now live in North Carolina for three years after living in that area of Florida for just about 35 years.

The memories that I have of high school are so great. unfortunately my grades that I reflect however I did graduate with great people some of which I keep in contact with on Facebook and some more personally and I’m in Florida all the time and this is just one of those times where I could not make the trip.

Fortunately there is Facebook to give me updates and pictures of what’s going on tonight and what went on last night when everybody’s stayed and had a great big party without me at the Holiday Inn on Indian rocks Beach Florida which to all of us I think (but I do speak for myself) Holiday Inn where they’re staying will always be Hamlins Landing to me.

This is a nice segway into how Over the years the term hotel party’s Definition has changed drastically for me as recently I was in DC and in the very small room I was unable to keep my guests happy as we may have when we had parties at Hamlins Landing. Wayback wed this because I have three kids five years old and under and it’s hard to keep them entertained. TV’s only so much for each of them to handle at one time.

Top 10 ways the term hotel party has changed over the years:

10. Spills were limited to mostly clear liquids and the alcohol within them would normally kill any bacteria just by setting it on fire.

9. Today a soiled diaper is much less daunting than a barfing teenager when the hotel is in someone else’s name. The end result at check out though is still the same smell. Maids are ridiculously underpaid.

8. Pizza and wings is a staple for either party. But as a Dad, keeping the room clean and walkable is for my peace of mind. That of the underpaid housekeeper, that we make sure to make up for for our teen indiscretions when we visit now.

7. Dixie cups are a necessity for both parties, however as a dumb kid, they were filled with Jell-O shots (vodka, everclear) whatever. And are most fun when dropped off the balcony to new arrivals.
Now, 1 bring them for the kids to stack, knock down, make pyramids, sometimes to eat or drink out of… And of course eventually to fight over who has more. (That last part applies to both our teen hotel parties and my current forced kid friendly hotel parties.

6. While preparing for old school parties, our amenities did not include luggage but rather coolers, liquor and party favors. Now, I bring bags of toys, laptops, iPads, leapsters, games, stuffed animals and of course the kids’ woobies, diapers, pull-ups, desitin, and binkies, we’re screwed when we forget the binkies.

5. Remarkably, glow sticks are popular at both parties. My kids however just wave them around instead of trying to come up with the most original dance moves with them. Thank god they’re not teenagers.

4. There are many similarities to our hotel parties at Hamlin’s as everytime we’re in FL we visit Gators, Mahuffers, Mugs ‘n’Jugs, Crabby Bills and more importantly…PJ’s Oyster Bar just like when we come to FL now, We always drive by the SHS, Bauder, SMS and of course the Ag Farm.

3. Pool parties and beach are awesome. With the kids we become by necessity carriers of lots of crap for entertaining kids. Not only that we become unwilling helicopter parents when not all the kids can swim.

2. Just one bathroom seemed to be enough at Hamlin’s for 50 people but now with kids in a hotel, 1 is not enough for a family of 5. Exception: kid or teen when someone yaks after too much alcohol or too much chicken fingers and fries, it ruins it for everyone.

And the #1 difference between hotel parties now I get mad at my kids for spilling something. Whereas 20 years ago it would just be a party foul! WOOOOOOO!

Love class of ’93!!! Miss you guys. Have a drink together for me. I’ve always given shit to friends now for living in the past but I’m just as guilty. While I had my issues, I still loved High School. Thanks for reading. Hope all is well as you guys shaped my life. I would give you pictures of my kids but I know ypu have your own. Be well, be happy, safe travels, blue skies and green lights!!

Ken Littlewood

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