It's 7 o'clock on the dot. I'm on the light rail cruisin' the streets [hums the tune of Usher's "Nice and Slow"]. Seriously though, Monday morning at 7 a.m. I was riding the blue line into Uptown and the sun was just starting to rise over the QC. It would've been a beautiful picture but then I reached into my jacket pocket to find two tokens and was reminded of Sunday Funday. Needless to say, it was the longest, most nauseating ride I've taken in a while.
On Friday, the office buzzed with excitement in anticipation of Snowmageddon 2017. The first snow of winter and you would've thought we were still in elementary school, waiting for the principal to call it. Despite warnings of snowfall, around 7 p.m. my pals were dead set on going out. At first, I was hesitant, but then we kept hearing reports that the bulk of the "storm" wouldn't hit until early Saturday morning. Who were we to waste a night out after a long week?
The boyfriend and I popped into the grocery store for last-minute rations (and mixers) before getting ready. Surprisingly, we had no issues securing an Uber to Sanctuary Pub in NoDa. Decked out with TVs and picture frames, this dive bar located next to Neighborhood Theatre is usually a spot I stop in for a quick drink, play tunes on the internet jukebox, snag the pool table before 9 p.m. for free or grab a snack — you can order your Cajun faves from neighboring Boudreaux's while grabbing a drink at the bar.
After a couple of RBVs, my co-workers were itching for karaoke. We braved freezing rain to walk to Noda 101, next to Jack Beagles. I'd forgotten all about this bar. But there we were, sitting at the table right in the front, perusing the song list. Yeah, I wasn't drunk enough. I opted for the role of crazed fan as my co-workers took the stage.
The highlight of the night? Watching a guy snatch the mic from a co-worker who was singing Prince's "Kiss," then belt out some of the highest notes in the song, and hand the mic calmly back as he exited stage left. The ultimate #micdrop. We requested an Uber before getting stranded in NoDa and after getting home ate an entire pizza. Maybe that was actually the highlight of my night?
The next morning, we gave "Netflix and chill" a whole new meaning. I lost count of how many catnaps we took, how much food we ate and how much TV we watched. We'd already decided that if weather permitted, we'd be hunting down The Dock — Uptown's hidden speakeasy. We headed that way around 9:30 p.m. After 20 minutes exploring the wrong loading dock area and running into another couple on the same adventure, we finally set our eyes on the graffiti-style sign that marked the entrance. To our dismay, it was closed due to road conditions. Dammit. The experience we'd been talking about for months would have to wait another weekend. At least now we knew where to go.
We ended up revisiting another spot in Charlotte Marriott City Center — Stoke Charlotte, one of my newest favorite spots to splurge on date night, featuring great food and craft cocktails. They didn't have the ingredients for the cocktail I wanted, but the culinary experts behind the bar didn't disappoint. Before I knew it, I had the perfect margarita with a twist — jalapenos!
I wasn't sure if I'd be up for Sunday Funday when I took my first morning trip to the bathroom, wincing angrily at the bright sunlight. But a series of texts from my P.I.C. and I was whistling a different tune. Looking back, holding those two tokens on the light rail, I realized my Sunday Funday doom was set in motion the moment I decided to make an RBV and pregame meet-up with her at Duckworth's Grill & Taphouse.
After a few beers, we played a drinking game involving fingers and a shot of Fireball — don't ask. That's when I convinced everyone to check out the new game bar at NorthSide Station, Lucky's Bar and Arcade. I'd fallen in love with the game bar Abari in NoDa, so I couldn't wait to see what Lucky's was all about. Without giving away all the deets, it's like Chuck E. Cheese's for adults with all the bells and whistles. Air hockey, Galaga and a Jurassic Park-themed shooting game were the highlights of my experience. Oh, and a tasty martini creation with...drum roll please...a Nerds rope! Come on, does it get much better than that?
New year, new me, I said. No more hangovers, I said. And there I was, hungover on a Monday after going out every night the first weekend of 2017. Sighs. I can say, however, it was well worth it. The weekend was full of adventure.