It's Katie again! This time from Middlebury, Indiana. Home of South Bay, Xcursion and Berkshire pontoons! Terri and I headed to the Forest River Dealer Meeting and things got a little cray cray on day three.
Just a warning. This story is going to end with a bee sting, missing eyebrow and a frantic Taco Bell employee.
Read on at your own risk.
Back to the beginning. Forest River is about more than pontoons. While they obviously make great boats, they do a lot of things well. And they combine all of their new product into one GREAT BIG MEETING.
We were surrounded by RV/Marine/Trailer dealers. The line for lunch was about 1,000 people long. We had to be golf carted in.
But it was so worth it.
Not only did we see a 'toon with a set of triple engines, we saw great new boats. But the tragic part came into play as I was taking some pictures of a new South Bay. I was ambushed.
By a real life photographer.
I'm going to let you in on another trade secret. Can we keep it between us?
I'm not a trained photographer. In any capacity. Brady shoots all of my stories. Which works out well because he's a great photographer. I enjoy writing and if it wasn't for my iPhone, my kids' baby books would be empty.
But this photographer wanted to know about the lens I had on my camera.
Photographer: Is that a blah blah blah? (He actually used real people words, I just don't know what they are).
Photographer: Actually that's a blah blah. Not a blah blah blah.
Awkward silence. Most days, my life is a continuous cycle of awkward moments that are out of my control.
As he was talking though, I discreetly turned my name badge around so I wouldn't be affiliated with this fine magazine.
Whew. That was a close one.
Back to the boats, all three brands are doing really fresh things with color and seating layouts. I love the lime green combo available on the South Bay. With the Xcursion, they are bringing the bar on a boat to a whole new level. We met up with Greg Barsoda and Ryan Caverstone, who work in the engineering department. Both men were excited about the new 2014 models.
We love pontoon people.
Of course, Terri and I consider ourselves connoisseurs of all things elegant. So we tried out the motor homes too.
Then we looked at the price tags. If spending five figures on a boat makes you nervous, don't look at brand new RV's. Just take my word for it and buy the boat instead. But we decided that Forest River knows RV's.
But, of course, we like the 'toons better.
After we left the show, we headed to the lake where they had all the boats on the water. We tried out a few and they all rode amazing. I think most of you can agree that there is NO FEELING like getting up on plane with your hair blowing in the wind.
Now we had officially worked an eight hour day. Were we done? Hardly. We're go-getters like that.
We headed to another lake where we met up with sweet family who owns a South Bay. We hung out with them, took some pictures and wrote up a story. Which will run EXCLUSIVELY in PDB Magazine. I'm sure you don't want to miss it.
When we met up with the family, I assumed they were all together and related. And Terri and I spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out how Paul and Claire, who looked to be in their mid-thirties, had a 26-year-old son.
So I threw myself under the bus and asked Drew, the 26-year-old, if he enjoyed hanging out with his parents at the lake.
When the dealership found out that we were coming, they sent over Drew to make sure the boat was running at its absolute best.
Drew was not related and Claire did not give birth at the age of eight.
The morale of this story is two-fold.
1. You should buy your boat from a dealership that cares so much, they will send out an employee after hours to help you if need be. Like WakeSide Marine, in Elkhart, Ind.
2. Don't assume that a grown person who is wearing a WakeSide Marine t-shirt is a biological child of a young couple. It won't end in your favor.
Though we do have to say, the kids know and love Drew so much, they call him "Uncle Drew." He's like an extension of their family. Just not really part of it.
Okay, now onto the lead-in of this story. When we left the lake, the family we were interviewing gave us a great recommendation of a local bar, which we planned to go to. But as we got there, I realized "13 Going on 30" was going to be on TV.
We couldn't pass up a chick flick.
So we thought to ourselves, "Where can we get two dinners in under 10 minutes for less than $8?"
Once we arrived, we loaded up on comfort food and pulled up to the window to pay our $7.96.
Terri was driving and all of a sudden she screamed, "That bee flew into my eye."
I was shaping my eyebrows with tweezers and her screaming caused me to clamp down and pull.
So then I was screaming.
The young, impressionable teen at the drive-thru window started screaming because we were screaming.
The man in the pickup behind us jumped out to run to our aid. What a gentleman.
When he approached the car, frantically asking what was wrong, he saw Terri cupping her eye, me bleeding and missing a huge chunk of eyebrow and a 16-year-old jumping up and down, saying, "Is everyone okay?"
This is what happens when we are in Indiana. We might not be asked back again next year.