Superbowl Party XVII

Superbowl 50

| Beginning in 1999, a group of friends has been getting together somewhere for the Super Bowl every year, with the exception of two years. While this was Super Bowl 50, it was Super Bowl Party XVII.

The people attending has fluctuated over the years, but every year the hard core says, "Where shall we go for Super Bowl?" Since schedules were a bit iffy this year, I volunteered to hold the festivities again in Desert Hot Springs.

Jim and Angela arrive
They're baack! Jim/Angela
Bob Carolyn Hal and Carolyn arrive
Hal/Carolyn Bob/Carolyn

Friday — arrival day

This year Hal and Carolyn decided to join us for the full weekend (previously they have dropped in of an afternoon when we've been in the Bay Area). Thus, the out-of-town contingent consisted of Jim and Angela, Bob and Carolyn, and Hal and Carolyn.

By a prodigious feat of logistics, everyone arrived shortly after noon on Friday. We set out for Palm Springs to have lunch and a walkabout.

Lunch at Bills pizza
Lunch at Bill's Pizza

After lunch, some of us went grocery shopping (3 shopping carts full!) while the rest explored downtown Palm Springs.

It was rather a hectic day because arrangements had also been made for an artists reception in Palm Desert that evening, to be followed by dinner at Lulu's.

Saturday — in between day

After a late breakfast and a light lunch, there was exploring to do. I took Bob and Carolyn and Hal and Carolyn out to the Indian Canyons.

There were many excited calls of "I've never seen anything like this before!" And now you understand why Palm Springs is such a popular destination?

Saturday was also a day of heavy cooking: a pork roast in the slow cooker for dinner, prepping for the remaining meals, etc. The routine at these events is that everybody takes turns planning and cooking meals, enlisting the others as sous-chefs as needed. There is a tendency to show off dishes that are both flavor bombs and calorie bombs. Carolyn and Hal did their damnedest to show us a healthier way but we resisted the indoctrination. I will point out, however, that the snacks Carolyn made — Its-Its, nut clusters — are not exactly lite fare. I think I gained at least 5 pounds over the weekend.

Sunday — game day!

Steve Breen
Steve Breen

Faithful readers will certainly recall that the game is of incidental interest only at these events. The big attraction is the opportunity to spend time with friends, eat and watch the commercials.

But first, we were treated to Angela's new-found prowess at garnish making. The pièce de résistance was a net made by carving a carrot.

carving a carrot into a net
Looks like a suicide mission to me
carrot net
Finished product

That afternoon we were joined by the usual suspects, making me the intersection of two sets of my dearest friends.

The usual suspects
The usual suspects: (back L-R) Ken, Réal, me, Bob (front L-R) Richard, Kenny
Richard and Kenny are also known affectionately as "The Canadians"
The usual suspects
The old HP gang: (L-R) Jim, Carolyn, Angela, Carolyn, Bob, me, Hal

Serendipitously I found a TV Commercials bingo game at the party store. Perfect!

bingo board
Ad bingo!

There were only two problems with this game:

First, the little football-shaped markers that came with the game did not have adhesive on the back, rendering them useless on anything but a perfectly flat surface with no gratuitous gestures, etc. Ha! I gave everybody a pen and had them just X-out the ones they saw.

Second, everyone kept asking me to make rulings on the nuances of the game. If a dog appeared in a beer commercial, for example, were you allowed to count that ad twice? I do appreciate the work of the Supreme Court so much more!

But, the game was fun.

Then there was the eating. I made ham sandwiches and cole-slaw, Bob brought his world-famous baked beans, Réal brought a tomato salad, and Kenny brought cupcakes for dessert. And therein lies another tale.

Half of the cupcakes were iced with a deep blue frosting (probably supposed to be the Panthers colors) and topped with a Super Bowl ring of epic proportions.

cupcakes
Cupcakes

All well and good. But when eaten, that blue frosting had disastrous effects on people's teeth. (I will also add that it wasn't terribly good for the cloth dining room chairs, either, but thanks to Forex it did come out.)

The only sad thing was that Hal and Carolyn left in the middle of the afternoon due to a prior committment at home. But now that they have tasted the nectar of the party gods, I think they'll be back.

Ken with blue teeth
How coordinated — the teeth match the shirt!

Monday — departure day

By noon on Monday, everybody was gone. All that remains to be done is to find the things that were put away somewhere other than where I expect to find them!

Oh, yeah! I do have to find something to do with all the groceries that were unused.

A Chez Paul Slideshow
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Last updated on May 1, 2016

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