i had the time of my life and i’ve never felt this way before. and i swear this is true, and i owe it all to you. (part two)

Before I knew it my cell phone alarm was yelling at me (to get up). 8:00 am never felt so early in my life, but I guess that’s what happens when you (attempt to) sleep on a bus the night before and go to bed around 3:30 am the night before.  Knowing that a morning workout would come in handy before the all-day drinking festivities began, I changed into my workout clothes (forgetting deodorant) and headed to the hotel’s workout room.  A twenty-five minute run is all I was able to commit to as I discovered that my brother, Nicky, and his friends were only a 30 minutes away and my unshowered-self was far from ready to greet them.  Somehow, thirty minutes later I was at least somewhat presentable and hugging my brother in the hotel lobby.

I took the boys to breakfast while the girls got ready, and immediately upon finishing Ashley & Jay were pulling into the parking lot.  Yep, I knew this was going to be a go-go-go day for yours truly…but in the best possible.  With a little switch-a-roo, I found myself taking Jay & Ashley for a much-run Starbucks run and breakfast at North Market.  Then it was back to the hotel room to gather the rest of the troops and finish getting ready to head down to OSU campus for tailgating. 

Now thank goodness my friends love me so much 🙂 because they did not like me when I mistakenly told them that it was “only a 25-minute walk to campus”.  Technically it was…for me once.  But unfortunately since moving to Chicago, my barrings for Columbus have been a little skewed.  Sure, it was a 25-minute walk for me one time (I swear) but I guess I wasn’t sober and didn’t realize where I was walking from and to at that time.  Note: Both points were closer than our departure and arrival location.  Again, Oops!  Luckily they were good sports and didn’t ridicule me too much – nor all day long.  Right guys?  O-H well.

We eventually made it to Little Bar to meet up with the others- Kristin, Jim, Carrie, and Tony (for starters)- and a load of OSU fans.  Let the shenanigans officially begin!  There’s just something so magical about Columbus- and Ohio in general- during the Buckeyes’ season and being on campus for the game is unfathomable to anyone who has never participated themself.  It’s days like this that make me realize why I love Ohio so much!  I was so happy.  Sure, I was drinking my Red Bull and vodka, but that wasn’t the reason.  It was truly because of the people who I was surrounded by: Friends & family (Nicky) from Hampton, Friends from OU, Friends from Columbus, Friend from Chicago.  All of these different parts of my life were gathered in one place…FINALLY.  One of my friends said to me, “Don’t you love when your friends like one another?”  My (obvious) response, “Yes! Absolutely!”  That may have been the first time ever that I had so many parts of my life together in one place.  It’s actually something I’ve always hoped would happen. 

We headed down to River Jam, close to the stadium, with Jim, Kristin, Carrie, and Charlie before these season ticket holders had to head in.  We took in some people watching and more drinkingI have to say that I love a tailgate that serves Bloody Marys!  After kick-off, I received a text from my third cousin, Ryan, that he was in the vicinity.  So I immediately made my way through the crowd of OSU fans and found him.  How adorable is he? 

We made our way back to Little Bar to meet back up with Ashley and Tony, and my friend, Jacquie- who is a Child Life Specialist and introduced me to the career in the first place.  Thanks so much, Jac!!  Although the bar was now ridiculously crowded (with the game underway), we found ourselves having a good time.  New friendships were forming before my very eyes and therefore, I was in my Ohio Happy Place…and it was just about to get much happier.  

Brandon!!!  Now this is my happy place.  Being with one of my best friends in the entire world, Brandon, makes me the happiest girl ever.  I mean, seriously, how cute are we together?!!  This is definitely one of the loves of my life.  The only thing wrong with this picture is that Libby is not in it with us.  This was the first time I saw B in 1.5 years!!  That’s horrible.  And even worse, I haven’t seen Libby in 2.5 years!  That needs to change ASAP and hopefully it will in the next few weeks.  Note: Brandon, Libby, and me (BLK) were a little three-some (like that, B?) in college. 

Seeing Brandon was definitely the cherry on top and seeing his fiancée, Steph, was a bonus indeed.  Everything was great.  Maybe a tidbit overwhelming, especially with the drunken crowd, but definitely for myself enamored with so many of my friends by my side.  I’m a very lucky girl. 🙂  And with my friends-now-friends, well everything was pretty A.MAY.ZING. and the most amazing thing is that the night was far from over. 

We were hungry.  Hungry and exhausted.  But the show must go on.  This was the weekend where us 26 & 27– year olds gave it all that we have to give to suffer through the lifestyle of a college kid again.  Tough, but somebody has to do and who better than a bunch of OUers and our adopted-OUer, Stef, to do it?  Afterall, this is what our OU degrees were for, right? 

Getting back to the hotel, I encountered my brother and his friends.  I’ll skip the details but a little drunken entertainment certainly went on with one of my childhood neighbors.  (Poor Joey.  Poor Us!)  But this did allow me to spend some (more) time with my brother and gave Ashley the chance to harass him with the camera.  At least we got this lovely family shot in.  Then to make it more of a family gather, my wine-induced father decided to drunk dial me (at 8:30 pm).  Yep, I love my family!

We were all beat at that point, but it was my friend Charlie’s birthday and therefore it was time to rise and (attempt to) go again.  Off to Park Street Patio, which is definitely was always a favorite bar of mine when living in Columbus. Unfortunately it’s changed a bit, but that most certainly does not mean that we didn’t have a good time.  After all, it was Charlie’s birthday and that definitely calls for some celebrating.  With Jim taking charge for one of his best friend’s birthday, we knew it was going to be a good time.  But this little (cougar) blogger of yours had no idea just how good- and interesting- it was about to get. 

Let me first say that I was not drunk.  I really wasn’t.  Drinking?  Yes.  Tired?  Absolutely.  High on life by spending two full days with my friends in Columbus?  You betcha!  I’m saying this because I honestly have no idea how the events that occurred on Saturday night at Park St. Patio unfolded.  One minute I was dancing and singing at our table and the next walking around the bar trying to find Jacquie.  Then I was scouting out boys with Kristin until I had to go outside to take a call from my friend, Elise.  And that, my friends, is the last moment before Little Stella Cougar Got Her Groove Back.

So I’m still a little unclear of what actually happened, but I’m beginning to put some of the pieces together.  Apparently, Jim found out who the cute guy near the bar was and maneuvered his own plan (with the assistance of our server) to get him (Nick) to talk to me (?)… meet me (?)…honestly, I don’t know what he was trying to do.  But it worked and that’s all that matters.  And what was Jim’s grand plan?  Based on what I gathered and experienced, Mr. “Matchmaker” Comyns ordered me another Screwdriver, had the server get Nick to come over to Jim, and then Jim asked him to take this drink over to a “really nice girl who was talking to his wife” (me).  And he did- which honestly still shocks me.  I mean what would you do in that situation?  The funny thing is that I probably would do it, but I’m not sure how many others would.  I think that says a lot about the person Nick is.  To be quite honest, little picky me has to admit that he’s pretty A.MAY.ZING.  Just a good, genuine guy.  In a way that could be detected by the way he handled the situation.  I think it’s fair to ration that I had a good time with him.  Am I crushing?  It appears that I am.  So yes.  Interesting enough we discovered that we have a (random) mutual contact, Nila, who thinks the world of him.  If anything he’s reminded me that there are good guys out there…even at the bars. 

So yeah, that pretty much concludes my weekend- without too many details on the latter part of Saturday night.  (We’ll see what happens.)  Sunday morning brought about the end of our roadtrip to Columbus, as Stef and I boarded the Megabus (minus Starbucks) back to Chicago.  We had a decent ride home, which is always appreciated- especially on a Sunday night (aka the day before a Moan-day).  It’s been pretty much a continuation of the go-go-go weekend these past few days (minus the Columbus, friends, and boy parts) and not much sleep has happened for this girl.  Case in point, it’s 11:22 pm CT and I’m nowhere near asleep.  Maybe I should hit “Publish” and get at least one step closer to that occurrence.

So again, thank you to Columbus and all of my friends- old and new- for leaving with many memories from this weekend.  I’ll see you all again soon!

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