Behind the scenes at the Birthday Tattoo Extravaganza!

A couple of weeks ago I was swimming at Papa & Gigi’s with Sara, the boys, and Papa & Gigi.  I’d been thinking about getting a family tattoo.   One that we’d all get in the same place, a matching tattoo.  So we started talking about it.  By the end of the day we’d come up with a rough draft of a design.  One that incorporated all of our initials: P, S, S, M.  We were talking about when should we get it?  Well, we were all getting together on Saturday August 4th for my birthday so that seemed like the perfect time!

I called around to a few tattoo places to get us an appointment.  I found 510 Expert Tattoo  in NoDa online and was pleased to see that they have a really high Google recommendation score. I made our appointment for 1-5 on Saturday.  I was so excited!  The 4th couldn’t get here fast enough!

My birthday weekend came and we all met up at Papa & Gigi’s.  Papa was babysitting the boys for us.  Morgan, Gigi, Sara and I piled into my car and off we went.  Our first stop was lunch at Crepe Cellar.  SO yummy!  And right next to 510.  We all had a glass of liquid courage with lunch and then it was time to go get tatted up!

We walked into this tiny house in NoDa (North Davidson) turned tattoo shop.  Gave them our IDs and signed the paperwork.  There were 4 tattoo artists and a piercer working that day.  Everyone was really nice.  Wayne was our guy.  After a short wait we all went back to Wayne’s booth.  We gave Wayne a description of what we wanted and a little drawing Gigi had come up with.  He fancied it up for us.

While all this was going on we got to know the rest of the people in the shop.  Mark was doing a tattoo on this guy that ran all the way from shoulder to shoulder.  Then there was Karee.  I don’t know if that’s how you spell it but you say is Car- EE.  He was 18 and getting the NYC skyline with Brooklyn Bridge tattooed across his entire chest.  He was getting worked on the entire 3 hours we were there.  I would have cried real tears if I’d been under the needle that long!  Joseph was there too.  He’s the piercer and seems to manage the shop.  He’s full of information about tattoos and piercings.   Sara and Joseph struck up a conversation about nose piercings.  I asked questions about dermals as I’d seen them on tv but was totally confused how they work.  This is a contestant from Around the World in 80 Plates, Avery Pursell.  She’s the first person I’d noticed a dermal piercing on.   CLick to enlarge and you’ll see her piercing under her eye.  Anyway, back to the shop.  The other artist working that day was Adam, but everyone called him Fedorable since he wears a cute hat.  Adam went on a beer run for us since our liquid courage had dissipated!  I didn’t drink the beer as I was driving.  Tell you what will kill a buzz really quickly?  A tattoo needle.

Morgan was first.  I should not that this was Morgan and Gigi’s very first tattoo!   Sara has one on her shoulder and I have one on my back (a product of my youth) and one on my right foot.   I am so proud of Morgan and Gigi!    Click all photos to enlarge.   

Then it was Gigi’s turn!   While all this was going on Sara was really starting to consider getting a nose ring.  She had Joseph put the dot on her nose where it would go so she could test it out.   It was about this time when Sara started peer pressuring me into getting my nose pierced!  I have always wanted one, but I was so nervous!

There was downtime between tattoos when Wayne had to clean the work area and reset it.  During these times we’d ask to see the tattoo artists’ own tattoos.  Two of the guys (I’ll leave them nameless to protect their modesty) came over and pulled up their shirts to show us their fronts and backs.  Then one of them even dropped trou to show us his tattooed butt!!!  Lots of squealing!

Sara decided to go ahead and get a nose ring!   OMG that looked SO primitive and painful to me!  Luckily it was my turn in the tattoo chair. There I am bucking and squirming and squealing!  Then it was Sara’s turn.      Finally it was time to put up or shut up.  I decided I wanted to get a nose ring!  It only hurt for a minute!

We had SO much fun with all our tattoo boys!  We can’t wait to go back for more!  Here are the finished products.  Morgan and Sara’s look like this:   Gigi’s looks like that but smaller and turned to the side to hid under her watch band as she works in a bank.  Mine is the original version that Wayne came up with:   They are all on our left wrists.  I just love the idea that we have a permanent, physical bond beyond our bond as family.

After getting our tattoos and piercings we went to Amelie’s for snacks.  Salted caramel brownie for the win!  Then we went back to Papa & Gigi’s to show off our new decorations!  Papa didn’t even notice the nose rings til we pointed them out!   Finally it was time for me to go home and face the music.  CSP knew I was getting a tattoo but he had NO idea about the nose ring.  Of course, neither did I at the start of the day.  And it’s just a wee little fake diamond, not too noticeable.  I love it!   Well, I worried all the way home and CSP didn’t even notice the nose ring for the first hour!  I had to point it out because it was time for me to clean it.  He doesn’t really approve, and is now calling me Spike, but he’ll get used to it!  He knew when he married me that I have a bit of a wild child inside!

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