Friday, July 08, 2005

A Bottle of Red? A Bottle of White? Psh, Bring Us Sangria

On Tuesday I woke up to a MySpace note from Sara simply asking " hey, whatcha doin thursday?" I had no plans, but was intrigued by this unexpected query. A few minutes later I found out Sara, Bridget, and Monica were talking, I somehow came up, and they decided they wanted to come visit and maybe head to a bar. I loves me some plans.
Like the odd breed of 22 year old I am, I'm not knowledgeable at all about the bars in the area, so I turned to someone who knows every good place to go and every place not to bother with, Maria, the ultimate social butterfly. When I asked where would be a good place for us to just go and chill where it's not too loud to talk without blowing out any vocal chords, her immediate suggestion was the Willoughby Brewing Company. I had heard good things, so I figured it'd be worth a shot.

Flash forward to earlier tonight. Some plans had changed and sadly, Bridget couldn't make it. Around 9:00, Eric, Monica, and Sara arrived. We hung out here for a little while before Eric counted us down and we set off in our apparently spaceship-like van. After touching down in Downtown Willoughby, our short trek to the Willoughby Brewing Company began.

Upon arrival, we entered to the sound of the Barenaked Ladies song "If I Had $1,000,000", but something was horribly amiss. I wasn't hearing the charmingly goofy singing of that band of crazy canucks, I was hearing someone stumbling through the lyrics as their voice danced around the key it was trying to stay in. Yes folks, it was karaoke night. Despite the sound, we looked, but didn't see any tables available. What now? Plan B, of course! The only problem? There was no Plan B.

We stepped outside so we could more easily discuss what we were going to do next. I called Maria to see if she had any other suggestions and if she'd be joining us. Nothing she suggested jumped out at me and the group was getting hungry, so we decided to march down the street to Arabica. It was a beautiful night, the temperature was perfect as we strolled down the old fashioned street under the trees strung with twinkling white lights. We came upon a dozen or so skater type kids just sitting on the sidewalk, I parted them as Moses might part a sea of skaters and we passed through. We finally reached Arabica and of course, it's closed. Watching through the window as they vacuumed the floor inside, we agreed to just turn around, walk back up the street, and just see what looked inviting.

We passed through the skaters again, who now seemed to be kicking each other for fun, then we passed a car that had a ghostly soft neon glow to it. Further up the street as we continued, we came upon our accidental destination when Eric spoke the words "...Wine bar?" We looked at the place for a few seconds and decided this would do.

We entered the dimly lit Corks Wine Bar and instantly knew this place was nice, dare I say "swanky"? The atmosphere was something out of an old noir film. We found a table and got comfortable as good chill music such as Keane, Jack Johnson, Soul Coughing, and Zero 7 played over the speakers. The main source of light came from the candles placed on each table. We all felt like it was too classy a place for us four to even be inside, but we were loving it.
After briefly browsing the menus, Monica ordered us a pitcher of sangria. Each of us ordered our hors d'oeuvres, I decided to go with the bruschetta, which we eventually renamed "snobby pizza."
It was an amusing moment as Sara prodded Eric to feed Monica some of the fruit that was brought with the sangria. After feeding her a strawberry, Monica insisted he now feed Sara some fruit. Sara got hers, then they both decided he wasn't going to leave me out, I agreed with the classy outburst of "I want some fruit too, bitch!" Yeah, we fit in just fine there.
A little while later, Maria and Renee arrived and joined us. We talked, laughed, and drank as the candlelight flickered upon our faces and the paintings that lined the walls. Time disappeared and before we knew it, the bartender was announcing last call.

We made our way down the now emptied streets of Downtown Willoughby and parted ways with Maria and Renee as we headed for the van. A short while later, we were back in my driveway saying our good nights before the three of them started their drives home. It was really enjoyable how everything seemed to just fall into place to create such an enjoyable night. With a hug and a ruffle of my hair from Sara, the night came to a close as they piled into the car and drove off.

What a pleasant evening. Let's do this again, shall we?


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