The trip down to SORTIE (Jetski) Mania 2018 ~ an adventure in itself!

Sortie 2018 ~ another amazing year of watching folks do crazy stunts on stand up jet skis and another year of me thinking, "I bet I could do that!" I was first introduced to Sortie a few years back - the bestie had been going for ? and had always talked about it, but I didn't realize the scope of awesome fun it truly was until I went along for the first time 3 years ago. What a blast!! The TC Jet Pilots host the gathering at a campground in Southern MN on the river.

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*Photo taken from TC Jet Pilots You Tube Video from prior years*
They don't just host the event, the group (and groupies!!) literally take over the entire campground... when bestie and I checked in to camp, we were guests #100 and #101 and we arrived a day earlier than most folks.
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*Photo taken from TC Jet Pilots You Tube Video from prior years*
That's how big the event is!  Rewind to the memorable drive TO Sortie - its roughly 1.5 hour drive. Not this day! This day there were torrential rains... even with the windshield wipers at full speed, the visibility of the road was less than 50 feet, at best. 
Not ones to let weather be a deterrent, we plowed on, swerving around impromptu rivers in the middle of the road, moving over for all of the cars that deemed the conditions too poor to continue and who were parked on the side of the highway waiting out the rain.. and all the while cranking the tunes and jamming out to old favorites and new. At one point, when the rain was coming down so furiously that the stereo was darn near cranked all the way up to hear.. a song came on that bestie knew a little dance to. This is a girl who, if a song has a dance move accompanying it, will literally learn said moves and know them instantly. She teaches (or tries to... I am a difficult student) me new moves often. Most never sink in fully. So the song of the moment is Drake's "In My Feelings"... bestie starts singing along while maneuvering the car between the white and yellow lines on the otherwise invisible lanes while flying down the partially flooded highway... and as she is jamming "Are you riding?" we begin hydroplaning.... the wheel being cranked quickly to the right.. bestie is still singing away, we are both laughing (our tradition when we face 'we might die' situations) and I add "NOPE" to the lyrics... because we are flying. Not riding. We are flying over water like we have superpowers... and hopefully 'super tires' at this point (check)!  In the land of besties since age 15, there is always a song for the occasion.. this was now our sortie song!
Say you'll never ever leave from beside me
'Cause I want ya, and I need ya
And I'm down for you always
Kb, do you love me? Are you riding?
Say you'll never ever leave from beside me

We make it to a local McDonalds and wait in the car for a few minutes, foolishly thinking that maybe the rain would lessen just enough for us not to have to swim through the front door. No such luck. We dodge the rain, place our orders, and proceed to act like we did when we were 15. In our upper 30's bodies... The McDonalds was all sorts of fancy.. video games, fancy lights, color changing artwork on the walls.. partitions between tables.. and in the back.. jackpot!  There is a climb-thru HAPPY MEAL box!!! FUN!!!

Innocent fun for children...

There is a climb-thru HAPPY MEAL box!!! FUN!!! Granted, the thing was built for those with a stature of 4'5" tall... but it has our names on it!!! I crawl on the floor to get into the happy meal box for a photo... I crawl back out and bestie realizes that there's an even 'funner' back side of the Happy Meal!!! I climb through the narrow entryway... again, made for a tyke all of age 10... not upper 30's with hips. I make it into the narrow pathway and press my face against the window, one that has likely been licked by 100+ kids and never cleaned, but in the moment, I Didn't care. This was fun! I have been cooped up in the house, sick with pneumonia, for what feels like WEEKS... at this point I am easily entertained! Bestie crawls up on the sitting stools and takes a picture. Then I go to crawl out of said narrow opening. Turns out... my hips don't lie.. I need to angle my body sideways/vertical to get out of the box. Laughter ensues. Next up, bestie crawls into said space for photos. And then when she goes to get out, she too found it to be a far narrower exit-way than we are built for. She throws her arms in front of her and right at that moment I capture the best picture ever - superwoman attempting to fly.. but getting stuck in a happy meal box. We are dying of laughter... pretty sure we scared any potential kids away from the area... entertainment is free at this stop!

We continue on our way - we are roughly 30 mins out and its still pouring rain. We decide that we did not want to set up the tent in the torrential rains and bypassed the campground turn off... instead heading into town to the bar to wait it out. We wind up at a bar that used to be the town Bank. Fittingly, the bar is on the corner, named THE BANK.
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Pictures taken from google photo search
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 It was busy on this rainy day. We cozy up to two open bar stools and order a round of drinks... two drinks and the tab was a whopping $5.50. We already love this place! A couple hours later the rain subsided so we headed to the campground, checked in and began setting up camp... aka our tent... and cheers a successful trip and arrival to Sortie 2018!!
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*Photo taken from google photos* Camping on the river