about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 1)

Finally!  I have finally found some time to rehash the details on my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower.  This is the beautiful bride-to-be at our dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North in downtown Columbus- a few blocks away from my old apartment.  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over….

After arriving in town via the ever-so-lovely Megabus, I dragged my luggage a few blocks to the Starbucks near Nationwide Arena to wait for Sarah to pick me up a few hours later.  Now I don’t have to state my love of Starbucks, but I’ll share that I was consciously observing the other customers- noticing how happy people were (even at 8 am).  I told Ruth, who used to live in Chicago, I sat in Starbucks waiting for something crazy to happen…like it always does in Chicago.  But nothing.  No insanely odd people nor rude behavior.  Everyone was generally polite and respectful, not to mention a lot of good looking guys.  Starbucks and cute boys are the perfect welcome home present.  God, I love Ohio!

Sarah swung by around 10 am to pick up me, my luggage, and our two coffees that I was juggling.  It was so great to see her!  We hadn’t seen one another since our dinner in Chicagao (18 months+) and with her now living in Bermuda, we rarely get to talk other than a few Facebook messages/emails/letters every so often.  Seeing her pull up in her SUV immediately brought about many flashbacks…especially those morning drivebys when Sarah would swing by my apartment at 9 Buttles after her night shift (as a nurse at Grant Hospital) and pick up/ drop off random things (clothes, shoes, movies, food, etc.)

Within minutes of our ride to the beauty that is Easton, it was as though no time had passed since our last adventure…with the exception that neither of us could navigate around Columbus as easily.  Oh, something I should point out is that this group of girls refers to me as MinnieIt began in college when (for some reason) my screename was KristenieMinnie.  Still I’m not sure how ‘Minnie’ caught on, but it may have something to do that all of the girls are at least a few inches taller than me.  Anyways, so we headed up to Easton to do some shopping.  With Sarah, the term ‘shopping’ can be deceiving, but instead of indulging you in pointless details I’ll just leave it to your imagine.  One thing I’ll point out- which Sarah would be disappointed if I didn’t mention it- is that she found an adorable whale ring at Aldo, of all places.   Again, I need to explain that Sarah & Minnie have this bond over whales.  It started with a cute pair of pajama pants with whales on them, and now the back-and-forth whale gifts has continued.  In Sarah’s mind this is the ultimate of all whale-purchases, and I have to agree (for now).  How did she find this?  Or better yet, who the heck made this?

After a few more stops and purchases for Kristin’s wedding festivities, Sarah and I headed over to The Cheesecake Factory.  (FYI: I used to be a ho-stess at the CCF in Pittsburgh after graduation.)  With our luck, we were entertained throughout the meal by our server, Jeffro…only to find out when getting the check that his name was something else.  Now whether ‘fro was being faux-friendly or not, he bought a ticket on the Ohio Men Love Kristen (Minnie) Express.  When Sarah went to the bathroom, he informed me that I was ‘a doll’, leaving me to make a joke out of that (of course) only to have him insist that I was ‘seriously downright adorable’. 

Thank you, sir.   I already tipped you- a fairly well.  Before heading out, we were surprised to run into a  friend of Sarah’s from Lancaster, who just so happens to be the sister of a someone’s latest crush.  Small world, isn’t it.

Being very short on time, Sarah and I headed out of the beloved Easton to downtown C-bus to decorate the hotel before Kristin and Ruth’s arrival.  About halfway into our decorating, the girls came a’knocking.  I love my friends so much!!  Again, it was as though it hadn’t been 18 months+ since this group was together.  As we were getting ready for dinner, one of my favorite people in the entire world, Ms. Jackie Lugalia, joined our party.  The gang was back together!!  This was the first time the five of us Court Street troublemakers had been together since Summer 2005 when Jackie and I ventured to Lancaster to visit our girlies…or so Jackie claims we did, to which I vaguely remember. Did I make out with a boy that weekend too?  Again, I love these girls and the (bad) influence they have on me.

Okay, back to the dirt.  To my dismay, the non-Chicagoans decided to hop in the Arena District Shuttle instead of walking. Seriously!  The restaurant was only 4-5 blocks away.  It took more time to get there than it would have walking.  I almost walked there myself, but I didn’t want a red ‘bitch’ flag hanging over my head.  We arrived at Marcella’s fashionably late, to soon be joined by Jen (Kristin & my former roommate) and Carrie (Lancaster & OU friend)- who totally looked like a rockstar when she walked into the restaurant.  More people began to arrive, including the lovely Mrs. Cindy Young (aka Kristin’s mom).  I love, love, love her!!  Unfortunately I hadn’t seen her since before my move to Chicago.  And to catch you up, when I moved, Kristin & I (who were roommates with Jen at the time in a new townhouse) were not on good terms.  (Long story.)  Anyways, dinner was great, and as always the alcohol was flowing.  I had some great conversations with Carrie, Jackie, Jen, and Laura and her mom (friends of Kristin & Jim, the groom), but the highlight of dinner for me was chatting with Mrs. Young- who continuously told me how happy she was that I came.  She also made sure that I understood how much it mean to Kristin- which meant a lot to me especially because I almost didn’t go.  FYI: Since I was in Cinci the weekend before, I thought that this was too much- which it really was.  However, I followed my gut instinct and knew I had to be there- for Kristin, my friends, and myself.

Here’s a picture of Mrs. Young and her niece, Anna, who is an OU student and pretty kick-ass if I may say so myself.  She looks so much like Kristin! 

After our entrees, we received the dessert menu…which was a big mistake but a memory in itself.  So, apparently, in reading the menu, Sarah prompted us to all be hard-core (like we used to be back at OU) and try the Death of Coffee drink, which contained Grappa– “the Moonshine of liquors”. 

I wasn’t joking when I said that these girls were a bad influence on me.  IT WAS SO AWFUL (!!!), but we all finished it…

…and the rest of the night is a bit blurry; however, the photos help put some of the pieces together.  Here’s a teaser for you, which is clearly also evidence why you should stay away from Grappa.  More tomorrow.  Good night. 

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