Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Great Photo



I'm in London on business and came across this sign in a train station. Poor switches! What did they do to deserve this?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Brief Intermission




We interrupt this blog for a few funny bits:

I'm flying on business this weekend and came across the top photo, an ad in the airport in Minneapolis. Watch bondage. Gotta try that...

The lower image was seen at a booth at San Francisco's Walk for Life this weekend. Nice there's something for both sadists and masochists there.





Thursday, June 24, 2010

Involuntary Friendships

I realize I've talked about this in the past--likely some time ago--but during my plane ride home from FMS I jotted down a few notes and thought I'd share. As I was typing up thoughts before I forgot them on my iPhone, one of the things I wrote was "Involuntary Friendships." First, I thought it was a cool blog entry headline, but it also said exactly what I was thinking. Here's what I mean:

The scene (and take your pick: BDSM, spanko, whatever) has yielded (expectedly) unexpected surprises, the biggest of which is the friendships both my wife and I have made. You go into these parties, this lifestyle, with certain expectations--most of them about visceral experiences, emotionally charged experiences, but--at least in my case--not in terms of expecting friendships. An unintended consequence. A wonderful and unexpected surprise.

Most interestingly to me, these are all involuntary friendships. What do I mean by that? Well, friendships are all involuntary, you say. Sure, we go out of our way to make certain friends--those are voluntary. But most of the time, friendships just happen. But in the lifestyle, these friendships seem even more random to me.

In the vanilla world, friends come from other friends or from social circumstances and situations, typically centered around geography or socio-economic conditions or broad interests (golf, tennis, book-of-the-month club). Yes, in our weird little kinky world, we share the bond of sadism/masochism (or whatever you prefer to call it--you know who you are and yes, by the way, you are in denial!). But other than that, we are a random grab bag of folks that don't fit typical patterns of friendship. No geographical boundaries. No social circumstances. No socio-economic similarities. We are bound by our kink. Which, in and of itself, is cool. This where the "involuntary" part comes in.

I've met people in the scene that I now consider close, personal, best friends. People I would do anything for and people I know who have my back. People I trust implicitly and know everything about me. People who I've disclosed practically everything to. If you'd asked me when I started playing publicly that this would be an unintended consequence I would've laughed, or at least vehemently suggested the impossibility of that happening. I am guarded. I have a firewall of protection between my vanilla life and my kink life. Why, for the love of Pete, would I let someone into my mind, emotional boundaries or even (to be completely schmaltzy but utterly honest) my heart? Why let anyone past that firewall?

Because we get close, because this crazy shit we do. For all the fun, visceral feeling of it all, as I've said before, we are often more open, honest and direct than many longterm and successful marriages. Often after one or two private "play" sessions. When I play sometimes it's fun, but for those who've played with me more seriously, they know I want to get inside my play partner, understand what makes her tick and help her release, experience what she needs to have catharsis. (By the way, I tried explaining this to a vanilla friend recently and she accused me of sounding like Carl Sagan. They don't get it, do they? Or, perhaps, she's right and I'll all uppity in my own snotty headspace.)

To be honest, some of these friends are people I probably would never talk to in a vanilla situation, most likely because we wouldn't find ourselves in the same place at the same time in the vanilla world, partly because of other factors.

Thus, involuntary friendships.

Yet, I wouldn't trade them for anything. The unexpected consequence. I treasure and value these random connections now more than anything else I've experienced in the scene. And for that, I'm glad.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not Much To Say

I know, I know. After such a flurry of reports from FMS you'd think there would be more. Regardless of the title of today's blog, I DO have quite a few adds to make, thoughts I jotted down at FMS or on the way home.

This last week I've been out of town on business, working all-nighters for 14-16 hours. Now I got home and am turning around to head out of town for the weekend. Needless to say, I haven't had time to post. Hopefully I'll get to on Monday...

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Quick Anecdote

I went to the gym on Wednesday night, as I always do when I'm in town, to work out with my trainer, Alan. He said, "Today we're working on arms" and I moaned. How was I to tell him I was sore and tender from the fingertip to my shoulder on my right arm? Gardening? A little too much self-pleasure? Instead, I just decided to grit my teeth and work through it, though at one point he looked at me and said, "Man, you are a wimp tonight!" Is this Top Drop?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tropical Beach Party Report: Day 4 - Sunday

We each bring our own life experiences to bear on what we do and what we get out of our scenes. Each of us need something different, yet our needs are fulfilled in different ways, based on the perspective we bring to our scenes.

* * *

Sunday began with Strict Dave's court. I took Sarah to task for untying my shoes and creating an unsafe environment (I could have tripped and ran into a pretty lady!) and for interrupting my scene with my dear, sweet friend Erica! WTF!? Sarah tried to brat so I called her husband on stage. Since Sarah goes by Sarah Rocks I had the judge call up "Mr. Rocks." I was going to ask him a simple question: Has she bratted to the point of creating an unsafe environment? But before I got the question out Nick blurted out, "GUILTY!" That was it. She was cooked. She was given the sentence of 15 minutes of personal service to me. Personal service. The mind reels. So many things come to mind, many of them not very nice. (Sorry Nick!) I don't even know where to begin. Of course, she got away (as in left town!) before she could pay, so Shadow Lane is going to be a shitload of fun! Look out, Sarah. Your ass is mine!

As the weekend becomes more and more of a blur as the week progresses, I have a "memory note" on my iPhone that says, "Jada belt." That mean I must have spanked Jada with my belt, but, I hate to admit, for the life of me, I don't remember what that was all about now! FUCK! Jada: please fill in my blanks! Nothing personal, cutie!

A group of us went to a nearby BBQ place for lunch. Must've been about 20 of us. We had a chance to sit and chat with Larry and Amy Lynn. A class act, those two. And fun, fun, fun! I'd spend time with them hanging out anytime!

Soon, it was time for a planned scene with Lizzie. It wasn't quite what we had had planned, but we had a most excellent scene. God, she can be so intense sometimes. She really brings out the sadist in me and I really enjoy the time we have together. Some scenes are best left to the imagination. This was one of them. All I can say is this: Lizzie, I appreciate and do not take for granted the time we share. Thank you for your trust and care, beautiful girl! Gia came in to our room, quickly grabbed some things and was out again, a blur of motion as she played a record 30 times over the course of the long weekend!

We were running behind, so it was time to go. I went to Erica's room for our private scene. She was waiting for me, ready for our play. I set up my implements bag and we were off to the races! I've spoken so many times about my scenes with Erica, the intensity, the closeness and the fun. This was a really nice scene. It had all the elements that make one our scenes just work. Erica is one of the classiest, sweetest, caring women I know. Thank you, you beautiful lady!

We were off to dinner to refuel then, then back to the suite party, up in Dave & Stacy's room. I realized then: I was played out. I had a blood blister on my palm, a split fingertip and two strange bruises on the palm of my hand. I couldn't play again if I wanted to!

I'd promised Stacy that we would play, had set an appointment. Somehow, I managed to screw it up and completely miss the appointment. I felt like such a schmuck. I really like playing with Stacy, even though I've only done it once in November. She brushed up against me, reminding me of what I'd missed. So I turned to her and said, "You want to play now?" She nodded in agreement, but one bedroom was locked and the other was completely occupied. Tony was sitting on a chair in the middle of the living room, holding court. I politely asked him if he didn't mind moving. He obliged. Stacy was across my lap, grabbing the chair leg and the two of us went at it, me wailing on her lovely, lovely bottom as she squealed and moaned in such an appreciative way as to be hard to describe. It's very, very rewarding. She laughs, I laugh. It's so sweet. Reminded me of why we had such a good time in November. God, was a screw up that I'd missed that scene! But I think we made up for it (a bit!) with that fun scene in which we were the center of attention!

Dave then had an amazing, intense and brutal scene with Cat that had everyone in the room silent and rapt with attention. Damn. It was awesome. At the end, Dave--ever the gentleman--gave Cat a bottle of water. She tossed water onto him and he calmly, oh, so calmy, took her back to the spanking bench and wailed on her some more. Damn, Cat. Control!

Erica and John showed up. It was time to finish the party (for me!), and this after I had said I was done--before I played with Stacy! Now I was going at it one last time with the wonderful Erica. Back in the middle of the room, over my knee, and away we went, spanking, cursing, laughing. So fun and amazing and, well, painful--for me! I was p-l-a-y-e-d out!

A group of us split, heading back to Jada's room for a relaxing evening, just hanging out, rehashing our weekend. Before long, it was damn late! We all said goodbyes, a lump forming in my throat for some. I went back to my room and packed, feeling rather melancholy. The weekend was over. Gia popped in, grabbing some things again, before heading out for her last scene of the weekend. We talked about bookending our weekend with a spanking on her return, but she got back around 6 am, taking full advantage of the weekend festivities. I wasn't upset, I was thrilled! She had her busiest weekend ever at a play party and had an incredible weekend! I had a monumental weekend, full of self-discovery, amazing scenes, great friends, new friendships formed, some incredible lessons, some magnificent connections, wonderful intimacy, intense emotion and more. Thank you all for the great weekend. Jada: how many days to Shadow Lane???

* * *

Here we were, a group of like-minded individuals. Tired. Sore. Sore arms and hands as well as sore bottoms. Tears. Laughter. Pain. Reward. Joy. Connection.



I had some regrets this weekend. I never got a chance to play with Sass. Except for a light and fun scene with Kate, we never played privately. I want to play with Alona and unfortunately that never happened, either. I hope to get those done the next time we're all together...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tropical Beach Party Report: Day 3 - Saturday

Saturday began with an early wake-up call for Gia. Bleary eyed, she headed off to the Governess Gathering. I dozed as she got ready, then got myself ready, grabbed some coffee then texted Jada to see if she wanted lunch. We found ourselves on the patio at the little restaurant by the pool, Erica and John joining us as chatted and dealt with the humidity.

After lunch, as I was gathering up my implements bag, I ran into my wife Gia in the room, slipping out of her scholarly outfit to head off to being one of the bad girls. Oh, to be married to a switch! One outfit on the floor, one quickly being donned as she gulped down a Yoplait, her only sustenance all day, then back out the door with a wisp of perfume in her wake. What an adorable ass! God, I love that woman!

Soon, it was time for Jada and I to have our "big scene." We play a lot--well, usually 3-5 times per party, mostly in suites, and generally have one or two substantial scenes in the two-hour range. We'd been working on, planning, working out and organizing this scene for months, likely since FMS's Back-to-School party last November. We had planned on doing it in April at SSNY's Atlantic City party but it didn't work out. So, as you might imagine, there was a lot of build-up to this. It's something we both had been looking forward to. Without hyperbole I can safely say this was one amazing scene. It was intense, intimate, with highs and lows, pushing some things Jada needed pushing, exploring some new territory and really coming together almost perfectly. Jada: you are a dear, dear friend and I'll gladly reconvene to make that kind of experience happen again!

After Jada and I wrapped up our aftercare it was off to the Ice Cream Social where I grabbed a slightly gooey scoop from IrishRed (I was late so it was a bit melted) and then found Erica and John on sitting on the floor in the crowded suite. Erica got sassy and playfully untied one of my shoes. Sarah brattily joined in, untying the other. "Tie my shoe, Erica," I ordered. Of course, she refused, and before long we were off to the races, Erica across my lap as I continued to demand she tie my shoe! Yes, a battle of the wills. But guess who always wins? You can read her side of the story on her blog. Sarah snuck in and attempted to tie my shoes together at one point, I'm not really sure when, and after a bit of hard spankings Erica acquiesced. She tied both shoes.

After dinner, I was itching to play and it wasn't quite time for the dinner event to begin, so I texted Lizzie and told her I needed to get my hands on her. She invited me down to her room, where I found one of her roommates, Katie-Lynn, hanging out. "Mind if I watch?" she asked. Soon, I had Lizzie bent over a chair as Katie-Lynn sat on the sofa, an audience of one. I gave Lizzie some good hard smacks with the hand and a London Tanner leather paddle plus a borrowed implement or two, satisfying my itch and I'm certain pleasing her as well. "Now it's your turn!" I said to Katie-Lynn. She eagerly got up and Lizzie took her seat, "Ouch!" Lizzie said as she sat on that amazing tush. As I was giving Katie-Lynn a good spanking, their third roommate Katie arrived. She sat down in the "audience" to watch as well and before long I had Katie up "on stage" while the other two looked on. Quite the peanut gallery, with their comments. I finished Katie by telling her to count my swats. If she got it right, she was done, but if she got it wrong she'd be sorry. I made sure she got it wrong. "What do you hate the most," I asked, "Stingy or thuddy?" "Stingy," she replied, sheepishly. I looked to the two observers to confirm the answer wasn't a lie. They nodded. I grabbed my worst, stingiest cane--made of carbon fibre and as thin as a switch--and got it ready. She moaned in fear and anticipation. I pulled back, ready to strike hard. She tensed up and as I swung, dropped the cane and spanked her bottom hard, surprising the shit out of her and sending the other two girls into fits of laughter. It was a perfect ending. One of my favorite scenes of the weekend!

After a fantastic dinner (sure, I'm always starved at these events, but the food there was good!) and a hilarious spanking trivia game it was up to the suites again. Soon I was playing with Erica again in a light and boisterous scene (that girl loves an audience!), Nikki, and then Indy introduced me to Catherine from the UK. "She's got an iron bottom," I think Indy said. I decided to top them both at the same time, took them into the bedroom and grabbed some implements. I didn't realize how hard Cat could play! "I regret this!" Indy exclaimed at one point. "Why?" Cat asked from her position on her stomach next to Indy. "Because Craig is having trouble switching gears from your butt to mine!" Ha! About three quarters of the way through our brief scene Cat looked up at me and muttered, "You really are a sick fucking sadist!" Aww, Cat! You're so sweet! Thanks! Jada and I had a quick play session at the suite, a bookend to our earlier intense scene.

Making the rounds, going from one suite party to the next, I was walking through the elevator lobby when Lizzie and a few others were coming out of the lift. Before either of us really knew what was happening, I was doing a spanking scene in front of FMS "security" in the hallway, Lizzie bracing her hands against the elevator doors. (We had discovered in Atlantic City that spanking her standing straight up was fucking hot!) We gathered a decent crowd as I really gave her a jarring spanking. Nice impromptu scene, Lizzie. I'm sure those gathered around in the hall appreciated it, too!

Running out of steam, I found myself at an impromptu party in Jada and Indy's room, sitting back drinking Dark & Stormy's. Mmmm, that Gosling ginger beer is fucking amazing! Gia texts me, wondering where we are. Before I know it, there's a dozen or so more people in Jada's room, Gia's got a half sheet cake and we've got a real party on our hands! I began bar-tending, introducing anyone who wanted one to those devious Dark & Stormys. Erica & John arrived, Lizzie showed up, Diane & Michael and Brian and others--it's a blur. But what a fun end to a crazy, busy day.

As the clock neared 3 am we all said our goodnights and headed off for much-needed sleep, for we all knew we'd be getting up early for Strict Dave's Court later that morning.

(Day 4 Trip Report coming tomorrow!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tropical Beach Party Report: Day 2 - Friday

Disclaimer: I was reminded by a friend at the party that I got the dinner venue on my report yesterday all wrong. She was right, I did. So, here's the disclaimer: this is not 100% accurate. Facts and time blur a bit after the party and 18 hours of sleep in four days. So if I forget something or screw up the facts, I plead insanity, your honor. And if I leave someone out, it's either an accident or because I didn't ask that person for specific permission to include them.


After going to bed at 5:30 am, we didn't rise and shine until 10-ish. I grabbed coffee from the nearby 7-11 and came back, Gia slowly gearing up for the day. Soon we were lunching at the Mexican place down the road with Brad, Lizzie and Jada. After lunch I was fueled, awake and itching to play. Before long I had Lizzie across my lap and we had a wonderful, intense and incredibly fun scene. Things were off to a great start!

Sarah Rocks (and her husband, Mr. Rocks! ;-) ) arrived and as promised (based on something that happened in Atlantic City I won't get into) Sarah had to bring me brownies. And she did! And they were amazing! To thank her for being such a good girl I gave her a welcome to FMS spanking, just enough to warm her up and get her in the right mindset for a wonderful weekend.

Soon, Gia and I were off to Brad's room for a little dinner. Rad was standing on one side of the room and Brad made a joke it looked like Rad was standing in the corner, which cracked us all up. It was a perfect gathering before the official start of the Tropical Beach Party.

Everyone headed over to the Vendor Fair. Diane and Michael arrived, finally, and Diane proudly showed me her panties. Now a brief story is required. Last year, at Gia's and my first FMS beach party it seemed every time I brought a lady across my lap they would look up at me with a little fear in their eyes and say, "Now, I'm not Erica!" referring to Erica Scott and her "bionic bottom" (that's not what I call it, but I'll leave that for another blog entry). So when Diane pulled up her skirt I laughed out loud! Her bottom said, or at least her panties read, "NOT Erica!"

It was great catching up with friends, meeting new people, sniffing around for new people to play with. Reunions were sprouting up everywhere and the vendor tables looked like they were humming. I know Gia purchased a dastardly thick wood pole. Damn, good thing I'm not a bottom. I'd hate to get whacked with that thing. (Of course the VERY penile end was interesting...again, not for ME mind you!)

Just then, John and Erica arrived. We gave each other big hugs. I hadn't seen them in some time, perhaps two months. It was great having them in Florida at the Beach Party. I pulled out a surprise for Erica. I must admit, I knew about Diane's panties in advance of the party, so I had made a special pair for Erica. They read, "I am Erica!" Of course, I liked the ones I had made for Gia just as much: "A hard hand is good to find." Ha!

Before I knew it, the party was moved upstairs to the suites. They were filling up fast. I'd never played with IrishRed before and I took her by the hand and spanked her in her near-empty suite. What a great night! She's magnificent. I enjoyed that a lot and regret not getting a second chance to take her over my knee.

Soon I was giving Jada a dose of what was good for her as well. That was a fun scene. Zelle arrived. She's so active on FL and Erica's blog and is such a prodigious writer I felt like we were old friends before she arrived. I knew she was a bit nervous about public play, so I calmly took her into one of the bedrooms and faced her away from the door to try to shut out the folks hanging out in the living room/kitchen. She was on such a high she just laughed with joy, which made me smile and laugh. What a great lady. And a sweetheart. Ladies, you are great. Indy was next. Another class act. I love smart women. I caught Erica's eye and we played, she bratted, and all was right with the world, planets aligning and what not.

I'd never met Alicia Panettierre before, but she had messaged me on FL after a serious bout of bratting from some of my favorite women on the site just prior to the party. She'd told me she really got into my sternness in my messages and hoped I could give her a stern spanking of her own at the party. I'd seen her a few times over the evening and finally walked up to her and took her by the hand. She led me to her room and I proceeded to give her a good verbal lashing while my hand did the rest. Alicia, you are a classy girl. I will get stern and toppy with you any day, you miscreant!

Diane and Gia summoned me to our suite. Diane had brought a few wonderful trinkets for us, including a cake and a bottle of wine! God, Diane! You are such a dear! You and your "sis" are a perfect pair! By this point, it was getting into the true wee hours of the morning, and I was rapidly losing steam. Diane talks like a train announcer at Grand Central and Gia's like Wolfman Jack on speed, so you can imagine the vortex of communication that opens when the two are together. I had threatened to smack Diane around a bit, but then the girls got talking in the bedroom and I fell asleep sitting upright in a chair in the living room, an implement poised in my hand.

Diane woke me, disappointed I had fallen asleep, but I wasn't going to let the moment go by. With a yawn and a stretch I bent her over the sofa and proceed to whack her a bit, my antique, century-old razor strap (one of my pride and joys!) really getting a few good yelps out of her. Big goodnights and hugs all around and I was spent, plopping into bed around 3 am.

(Tomorrow will bring my Day 3 report...)

A Brief Intermission



Read what it says below "Barbie."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tropical Beach Party Report: Day 1 - Thursday

Introduction

We gather, this wayward tribe, all with the same goal. Symbiotic, the relationships are, each taking and giving something, one to another, each receiving something necessary in return. We have our own reasons to be here, to seek out others with the same necessary needs to be fulfilled. Knowing this, we open up, revealing ourselves, our truths, our needs, our desires and our foibles in ways we cannot always understand. And with each connection, with each touch, with each moment we share we bring longing to a completion, a need to a conclusion, a desire fulfilled, a cathartic kiss delivered.

* * *

Generally speaking, I don’t work very hard to get high falootin’ but I’ve been feeling a bit heady today, flying home from the FMS Tropical Beach Party in Saint Pete’s Beach, Florida. Flying always makes me maudlin to begin with. Don’t know why, exactly. Perhaps it’s the melancholy that comes from knowing the friends I only see a few times each year are gone again until September, our relationships to be maintained online. Those friends become better friends with each play session, each reconnection. Then there are the new friends, wonderful people met at the party with new connections and encounters, our experiences so brief a departure means not being able to finish what was started until next time, whenever and ifever that might happen.

But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for my coverage of events from my perspective. So that’s exactly what you’ll get.

FMS Beach Party Day 1: Thursday June 3

After getting up early, my switch wife, Gia Belle, and I left Los Angeles for Tampa. On our layover in Dallas we were surprised to run into friends from the dungeon we frequent in L.A. also on their way to the FMS Beach Party. We were on the same flights. Brad from Baltimore met us at the airport and we all drove in his rented Prius to St. Petersburg beach and our home away from home for the next four nights. We immediately met my dear friend Lizzie and her roommates at the hotel, quickly dropped off our bags and famished, hiked through the hot, humid air to a neighboring hotel's sports bar.

Jada, another one of my bestest and dearest friends, arrived late, texting me all the way from the airport as we finished dinner. We got to the hotel about the same time she did. I’d promised her a quick session upon arrival.

The FMS suite opened up as it got later in the night and we were surprised to discover that there were many of us kinksters already in town. The fun began, the suite filled up and the snacks and beverages were out. The unofficial start of the party had begun!

I got my first play session of the party in with Lizzie, a rather quick but also intense scene. We’d both had so much pent-up energy ready for the party we were like two wound toys, ready to spring. What a great introduction to the weekend!

At one point, Alona was playing next to me on the bed in the suite as I was topping another. There was a cluster of implements on the bed. As I wrapped up our brief session, Alona brattily tossed one of the implements onto the floor. Ever the gentleman, as my lovely play partner and I got up to leave the room and join the others in the suite, I picked up the implement and put it back on the bed. “Oh look!” Alona exclaimed. “I got Craig to do my bidding!” or something along those lines. “I’m just picking this up after you so rudely tossed it on the dirty carpet,” I retorted. She got on about how I was subbing to her or some such nonsense, so with a quick nod of permission from the gentleman who was above her, I laid into her something fierce for a brief flurry until she apologized. Probably the quickest “scene” I had in Florida, but fun, sassy and satisfying nonetheless.

I’d promised Jada I’d get her over my knee as soon as she arrived, and quickly she was across my lap in the jeans she had been traveling in. I gave her hell for making me spank her with her jeans on, of course I never asked her to take them off. I didn’t want to put her on the spot if she wasn’t up for that yet. She’d worked all day, flew in the evening, drove to the hotel and it was late. I didn’t want to start her party off on the wrong foot if she wasn’t ready to peel off that “bullet-proof vest” for her behind. (An hour or so later I found her on the bed with the jeans at her ankles and I gave her hell for it, but she appropriately pointed out to me, “You never asked me to take them off!” Lesson 1: Never assume anything. Always ask.)

Michael and Kate arrived and soon Gia was OTK with Michael and Kate was across my lap, both Michael and I doing what we do best. Kate had had enough and wasn’t afraid to say so. (One of the things I dislike about suite party play is my near-utter lack of being able to “read” my bottom’s vocal communication—things I always read when in private play like breathing, simple sounds. In this case, Kate was speaking, but with ambient noise and likely my overzealousness to “get this party started,” Kate repeated herself three times in rapid succession. With that, Michael raised his head and in his intimidating growl said, “Craig! She’s finished.” Yikes. Did I feel like a heel. All I can say is, Kate, I shouldn’t have been so eager. You were very kind to let me off the hook.

The night running rapidly into early morning, Gia and I headed off to bed, completely exhausted. Of course, we weren’t too exhausted to get our own lovely, wonderful OTK scene humming in the privacy of our hotel suite. A great start to a phenomenal weekend! My head touched the pillow at 5:30 am and I was completely out.

(Day 2 Report will be coming a lot quicker than my reports from SSNY Atlantic City Boardwalk Badness Weekend did.)

Florida Moonshine's Tropical Beach Party 2010

My full report begins tomorrow, so please check back for a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of a truly wonderful weekend.