Today begins CPAC 2022 in sunny Orlando, Florida.
I’ve actually been here in the Sunshine State since Friday, having tacked on a short family vacation at Universal Studios. On Wednesday morning, I saw my family off as they went back home, then I stayed behind for the conference.
What I love most about CPAC is being with everyone. I’ve been writing for PJ Media full-time for a few years now, and I report from home. So it’s been a long time since I’ve worked in an office. I don’t get to spend time with other people during the day. CPAC is my opportunity to be with my fellow PJ Media team. It’s like a three-day office party where we work and have a great time together.
I got an early start with fellow PJM writer Stephen Green. It was a heck of a start. While I’m not much of a drinker, I had to try to keep up with the infamous VodkaPundit. And so, to kick off my sixth CPAC, I am recapping my day of drinking with him as we primed ourselves for the next few days of conservative mayhem.
The first thing we did was get breakfast. As luck would have it, Stephen wanted a Bloody Mary and I’d actually been craving one as well, so we got breakfast and Bloody Marys. I had a feeling at this point that I was in for quite a ride.
Usually, when I drink, it’s a glass of wine with dinner or maybe a bit later. But after we finished breakfast we still had some time to kill, so we went to the Mexican restaurant in the hotel for another drink. I got some kind of orange margarita, which was actually quite fantastic.
After VodkaPundit and I spent a while sipping and chatting about lots of things, it was finally time to check into our accommodations. So we took a Lyft to the condo we’re sharing with PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser. Before long, we did a little shopping for supplies, including a quick run to the liquor store.
It was at this point it became clear that I was in trouble.
Hennessey’s Very Special Cognac
One of Stephen’s purchases at the liquor store was a small bottle of Hennessey’s, which was, of course, promptly opened. We all enjoyed a cognac as we admired our accommodations for the next few days and continued the long conversation that we’d been having since approximately 11 a.m.
Eventually, it was time to head back to the hotel, get our media badges, and start the pre-CPAC celebration.
Two drams of WhistlePig 15 Year
Soon after we got our credentials, Stephen was ready for the hotel bar. I honestly don’t remember what he ordered, but I ordered a single of WhistlePig 15 Year and was pleased to see that he was impressed. I’d been meaning to try Whistlepig and decided, “Hey, it’s CPAC, I’m gonna have some.”
We each had another round before leaving to meet up with some fellow CPAC attendees for dinner.
Glenfiddich 12 and Talisker 10
Later, we united with the crew Townhall, and, of course, PJ Media, which was awesome. Stephen Kruiser, Paula Bolyard, Athena Thorne, Jeff Reynolds, and Gwendolyn Sims were all there. It was great being with everyone and having fun before the official start of CPAC. Of course, I had more to drink. To start off, I ordered the Glenfiddich. With that, I had decided I was pretty much done, but in the spirit of the moment and with a little encouragement from Kruiser, I had another dram of Talisker.
I was admittedly getting tired at this point. It was closing in on midnight. So obviously, when Kruiser said there would be a round of shots for the table, I said no … right? Of course not. This is CPAC, after all.
Hennessey’s Very Special Cognac
All good things come to an end, and so at roughly quarter to one, the Stephens and I took a Lyft back to the condo. The three of us will be living together for the next few days, so obviously we couldn’t end the day without a nightcap. We finished off the night with a dram of Hennessy’s and some more good conversation and bonding.
Stay hydrated, folks. Between all these drinks and with the heat, I spaced out my imbibing with both time and water. Perhaps I can’t rightfully say I kept up with VodkaPundit, but I like to think I held my own. It is now Thursday morning, and I’m recapping yesterday’s fun.
We’ll be heading over to the hotel shortly, so I’m actually now having coffee with Kruiser and writing this post. It’s gonna be a fun week!