For Blogmas day 12 I bring you a short(ish) photo diary of the second annual Leonidas.

Possibly the weirdest thing I own: a pen with lips that has sound effects, like belching, kissing and laughing.

Now, Leonidas is not a “real” holiday. Last year one of my friends had a small kitchen accident that resulted in a bit of skin at the top of her finger being cut off. Somehow we saw a Spartan warrior in the shape of her finger, so she drew it on. We then named it Leonidas, and that grew into a sort of Friendsgiving celebration, but extended.

THIS IS… a finger.

Our celebration last year was a little different; we had a big, beautiful dinner hosted by Becky that included our significant others, followed by an evening of cocktails and board games. The next day only included the five of us, the “Gangsters”, and we’d each chosen an activity for the group, but we didn’t share them until the morning of. This is where the photos of us with Santa came from in my Christmas traditions post.

This year, the evening before was a little different; we went out to dinner at a local sports bar where we also exchanged some of our gifts. We then went to see The Disaster Artist, as we’re all pretty obsessed with Tommy Wiseau and The Room. It wasn’t as action-packed as last year but still really enjoyable.

For the daytime adventure, we started with breakfast, as it’s the most important meal of the day. One of my friends suggested a little diner in the next town over and since the rest of us had never been there, we were game.

Have coffee. Ready to roll.

When we walked in the door we were greeted by this:

I have no words.

I don’t know what it’s supposed to be exactly, but it’s definitely wearing a custom t-shirt with an older gentleman and a dead woodland creature. Oh, America.

There were other interesting decorations in the back room where we sat. Can you spot the thing that’s not like the others?

On the second day of Leonidas, Becky gave to me… an amusing photo of her with a bunch of taxidermied beasts.

The food was great and cheap, so I’ll be back. During our delicious meal, we discussed the plan for the rest of the day. There would be trips to the Dollar Tree, the liquor store, a psychic, an escape room, building a snowman, and probably some food. Ok, sure, let’s go with it.

On our Dollar Tree adventure, we were each instructed to purchase three random items, and not count on keeping them. I purchased a sequined headband, a fancy lady collapsible fan and a cute little Christmas monkey plush. Some of us were not so restrained in our choices. Once purchased, the items all went into a large bag.

It puts the things in the bag or else it gets the hose again.

I knew we’d be pulling stuff out of this bag at some point, but to what end? I had no idea.

Thank you, come again.

Well, it’s a little game I’ll now call “Keep It or Give It”. I don’t know what it’s actually called, but it’s amusing when you’re playing with a bunch of people with really odd senses of humor. The items we ended up needing to give away were a little rubber mallet, a tub of ramen noodles, a squirrel dog toy, a toddler’s board book, a steering wheel cover, and some lube. Yes, sexual lubricant. I had no idea this was a thing that could be purchased at a Dollar Tree. And it was against the rules to give it to someone in the car; how in the hell were we supposed to walk up to a random stranger and attempt to give them lube?

Internet, meet JT. He’s the only male Gangster and he’s the greatest.

From here we went to the liquor store, where we were instructed to spend at least $10 on alcohol. I walked out with some little mini bottles, and they were on sale! I also didn’t know why we were doing this, but I’m not going to argue about boozahol. It turned out that the goal of purchasing the booze was to drink it all by the end of Leonidas. Well, ok then.

The blond woman in the middle of this photo is an employee with epic photobombing skills. Well done.

Then we were off to… the bank. We weren’t sure whether or not the psychics took plastic, and better safe than sorry. We left a gift for the next person who needs to use the pen in the area near the ATM at the first bank:

So… yeah.

We ended up going to another bank after this, just for good measure. We also left a gift for a stranger here, but this time we put a steering wheel cover on someone’s windshield. It was mainly due to the pre-existing car decor (i.e. reindeer antlers hanging from the rear windows). Dude didn’t look mad, just confused.

Then it was time for psychics. We drove to a strip mall on the other side of the city and walked into a retail space that looked pretty generic. It could have housed any other store, except for all of the candles and herbs and crystals. Also, cats.

The mystical kitty is exhausted from a long day of being amazing.

I didn’t take photos during my reading, obviously, but it was interesting. The lady practices reiki, which isn’t something I’ve experienced before. She then gave me some insight as to what she “saw” while touching me, and then had me pull a few cards from a tarot deck. I don’t know that I bought everything she said, but some of it was oddly specific. It’s definitely something to think about.

I wasn’t allowed to take photos in the shop but it was a pretty cool place. They had tons of great jewelry, and I treated myself to an awesome bracelet. It’s supposed to do something for my chakras or something, but I just thought it was cool.

Hematite, Green Aventurine and skulls.

We had other events planned after this, but the weather was starting to turn and one of us needed to drive home to Erie because she no longer lives in our area. That’s not something you want to do in the dark in a snowstorm. So this is more like Leonidas: to be continued. I don’t think any of us was terribly upset about cutting the day short; I know I was exhausted and Shauna didn’t feel well, but we sucked it up for Leonidas. The continuation will happen the next time Alisha comes to visit, and I’m looking forward to it.

Do you have any unorthodox traditions like this? Did you invent Leonidas before us? Leave me some comments!

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