My 2nd Annual Lovely Soiree (2012) Experience

Here are the photographs that I took during my trip to/during/from the Bottle Rocket Motel Soiree this weekend. Be warned: I take a lot of worthless photos including food and ridiculous pieces of detail. For those of you who enjoy tiny details, you may enjoy them. I posted a couple of reference photos for the motel shots, but if you’d like to freshen up your memory banks even further you can always check out my screencapture gallery of Bottle Rocket. Click on the tumbnails to enlarge.

I started out a bit later than I had wanted, but I was up until nearly 4am for the Dark Knight trilogy event and desperately needed the extra sleep. It was a beautiful day for a road trip, though!

My first stop was at Washita Casino/Travel Stop in Purcell, Oklahoma. The rain clouds did little more than sprinkle.

Traffic was a nightmare, so while I was stuck at nearly a standstill, I took a photo of this sign that amused me for some reason. I have a weird sense of humor.

A quick and not-so-great shot as I approached the Texas border.

As I passed through (I think this was Ft. Worth) the sun began to set as the rain clouds started to break up.

A bit further down the road, I could definitely see that it was around these parts that BR was filmed, it was extremely reminiscent of the “gun testing” scene.

After lots of GPS misunderstandings and a call to the motel for directions, I finally made it (about an hour and a half later than planned) and immediately recognized this area. I’m kicking myself for not taking the time to take another shot of this during the day, but you get the idea. I’ll grab another picture of it next year!

As I rounded the corner I came into view of what is arguably the most recognizable area of the motel: the pool with the field.

I found my way to my room, 116. It was right by the pool!

Here is a shot of my room before I got all settled in.

The complimentary soap selection. (See? To told you I take ridiculous photos)

I was STARVING so I went a small ways down the road to IHOP where I ordered their veggie omelette. The service was friendly, but not very attentive. I was never offered a re-fill of my chocolate milk or a take-home box (I had only eaten about half of the omelette).

Before bed I ran upstairs and took the occupant-free opportunity to snap a shot of the pool at night. The main difference between the film and present-day is that they’ve removed the simple chainlink fence and replaced it with concrete pillars and an iron fence.

The next morning I got up and going a bit before 10. Here’s a shot from the window of my room.

I was DYING to check out the pool so I rolled up my pant legs and dangled my feet in the water, it was wonderful. I noticed that the diving board (as seen in the film) was gone.

Perhaps a bit reminiscent of this?

You could see iconic room 212 from where I was sitting.

I looked up some rave reviews for a local pizza joint called “The Pizza House of West” at 505 W Oak Street and decided to make the 15 minute drive to check it out for lunch. The decor was bizarre, I counted at least 6 stuffed deer heads on the walls, one wall completely covered in old records, a few old arcade cabinets, and a bar. It was a really relaxed atmosphere, the employees were very casually dressed and a family was setting up for a kids birthday party in the corner of the establishment. Lightning McQueen balloons and gift bags kept coming in, must be a lucky kid!

I ordered their veggie pizza, I had never tried a pizza with GREEN olives on it before, and for me that was taking a risk because a usually hate them, but—it was delicious. Everything tasted fresh and the flavors balanced nicely. Amazing delicious crust, it rivals Andolini’s! A waitress took a photo of my tattoo on my way out.

Not long after I got back, fellow attendees for the Soiree had arrived and gathered at the pool, so I joined them. Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow showed up shortly after, setting up their awesome screen and playing some tunes for us.

I went back inside to cool off and discovered (and was impossibly amused by) a teensy little ice cube tray in the mini fridge in my room.

When I went and had my room key re-activated, these neat little care packages containing raffle tickets (for a chance to win a stay in room 212) and a bag of instant popcorn were waiting.

Before the movie started, I was given this awesome set of mementos from my new friends! They were created by the charming duo of Christopher Durbin and Andy Valentin of Reservoir Geeks, they are also responsible for the event itself!

Just before sunset I found my spot and spread my beach towel out on the lawn. An awesome guy went around passing out nose tape and a few people were dressed in yellow jumpsuits. SO awesome.

It was a BLAST watching Bottle Rocket on the big screen, surrounded by fellow fans.

I didn’t even get a single mosquito bite!

After the film I walked around the motel barefoot as a storm rolled in around us. I know this probably isn’t the best idea, but it felt like the thing to do at the time. I grabbed this shot of the Loves gas station because you can see it at various points in the film, but unfortunately I don’t have a good screenshot of it right now. But you get the idea.

I turned in about 1am so I would be able to get an early start home in the morning. I was missing my dog, haha. I may bring her next year now that I know it’s commonplace to do so. Before turning in my room keys I remembered I hadn’t grabbed a close-up shot of room 212, so I did that really quickly before having an awesome free breakfast courtesy of Days Inn. Waffles! The ownership of the motel changed since the filming of Bottle Rocket, so the placard looks different but the paint is relatively the same.

I grabbed these two pamphlets in the lobby, I’d like to go up a couple days early next year so I can check out these attractions. Because, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m easily amused. I had a much easier time getting home, traffic wasn’t nearly as horrific. I managed to get pulled over for speeding, but somehow wiggled my way out of a ticket.

I regret not getting any photographs of my new friends, but I’ll blame that on my social awkwardness and my lack of a good excuse to say, “HEY let me randomly take your picture!” haha. Next year.

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