Wednesday January 9, 2012
Last week when Frank and Yu had introduced us to Scarlett O’Hara’s here in the historic part of town, we were so enamored with the Wednesday happy hour special that we had decided right there that we’d be back the next week. Hoping a ride into town in their Subaru we even found a parking spot in the exact lot as last time, although it looked like there must have been an event going on in town because the area was packed. Even when we walked up to the patio at Scarlett’s every table outside was full and the outside bar was full with plenty of college kids. It looked like spring break had started, but about two months early. Walking inside we could see it was just as packed and after doing a lap of the restaurant and going upstairs and down we thought we’d be out of luck finding a table, but just as we were about to leave I spotted a table that had just been vacated. It was on the other side of a set of stairs that we needed to walk around to get there, but so paranoid that someone would scoop it up before we could get there I threw my purse on the table, almost hitting the waitress that had just walked up to buss it. Throwing out a quick apology we all rushed around and sat down before anything could happen to our newly reserved spot.
Taking menus even though we already knew what we wanted, the question then became: wings, shrimp, or oysters, and how many of each? Yu had verified that the oysters she had last week, although delicious, were not very filling, especially in quantities of five or ten. Craving them since I had seen her sipping on them last week I had been smart enough to throw back a granola bar before we left, but I was still starving. I knew I could do a combo of wings & oysters, but for some reason in my mind the numbers of the combination seemed very important and it wasn’t until our drinks arrived at the table I was finally able to come to a decision. Probably because I had just finished updating our cost for the year, and even $0.50 appetizers were throwing me into a frenzy with the budget. Even a combination of 15 total would only come to a bill of $7.50, but I couldn’t bring myself to go that high. So I went with thirteen to save myself a dollar. Yes, I am a little crazy. Welcome to the world of non-retired cruisers.
Sipping our 2-4-1 margaritas I commented on how many young people were out that night. ”Lots of college kids”, I observed. ”Right”, Yu responded, “They’re all back from Christmas break now”. Duh. I had completely forgotten that we were in the heart of a college town. I don’t know how it didn’t dawn on me since we were planning a tour of Flagler College over the weekend with Rode Trip, who just got down from St. Mary’s. I didn’t have too much time to dwell on my slowness for long since the food came out and soon my fingers and mouth were stained orange in buffalo sauce. Between bites of food we talked about what it was like to be a cruising couple, how you’re together all the time, and how the boat is now like a child between the two of you. We got to hear about some of the stupid things they argue about now that would never have come up on land and I mentioned that when you’re together all day every day it gets hard to find chances to miss each other like what used to happen, even if we were just going off to work. It definitely is a different lifestyle, but between the four of us, none of us would take our old lives back over what we have now. And it’s becoming much more rare now that I hear this statement from Matt: ”But we could have had a condo in the heart of downtown overlooking the river!”.
Before we could get into it much further though, we got a text from Brian and Stephanie (on Rode Trip) who said they were on their way to meet us. After a few minutes of staring outside at street signs and correctly give directions, they were walking in the door and we tried to throw a few chairs at the end of our booth to accommodate them. They also joined in on the wing special even though the rest of us had finished, and once they had finished we were going to find another bar. Just before they had gotten there though, and just before the 2-4-1 drink special ended, Matt, Yu, and I put in orders for one more round of margaritas. Which in our minds meant that he would get one, I would get one, and that would be our 2-4-1. The margaritas came out and we hadn’t even gotten five sips in when our server comes back with another round on top of that saying “Sorry, I couldn’t hold these behind the bar any longer”. Apparently 2-4-1 in her eyes meant that we were each going to get two for the price of one. Specifics. Gotta remember those next time. So even though all of us wanted to get out and explore new parts of the town, half of the group was trying to chug down two margaritas each just to get our money’s worth. I think the good news was that we’d have our fill of alcohol for the rest of the night and could therefore spend less any place we went after.
Relying on Frank and Yu for local knowledge again, we let Yu pick the next bar based on cheap beer prices and the fact they had a pool table. This next place happened to be the American Legion and had just a little bit different of a crowd than Scarlett’s. Seating ourselves at a round table off to the side we could tell that for most people inside the bar it wasn’t a place to be lively and upbeat, but a place to drown sorrows. Hopefully all of our happy chatter wasn’t going to be a buzzkill for their solitude and time spent reflecting. That thought only lasted a half a second though, and then we went back to enjoying ourselves and enjoying the $1 jello shots they had to offer. Only one though, I still had four margaritas in me to keep down. For the next few hours we just spent time hanging out, enjoying old friends and introducing them to new friends. Yu showed off her pool skills and I tried to find all the techno songs I could on the jukebox. We didn’t end up closing the legion down, but it was a great night out and I hope we can drag ourselves out of bed in the morning to get in as much time as possible with Brian and Stephanie while they’re here.
The old gang is back together again!