Outings

I’m making friends!

So I know I told you about the couple that I met in the bar the first night I ventured out. Well they are pretty cool. Just this past Saturday, we went out to a beer tasting festival together! It was awesome. All you can taste beer, and as a lightweight, I was definitely toasty pretty much the entire day. We started the day with a plan of attack, get there an hour early to line up. I was first in line!

I live about an hours walk from the site of the beer tasting, so I decided to walk there. The nice thing is that pretty much the entire walk was on the really nice walking path called the Monon Trail. While I walked, I chatted with a friend from home, which was awesome. I am really happy that I am managing to stay connected with my friends that live in other cities. It really has made me so happy that both I and them are making an effort. I don’t know why I’m so excited about this, but I think there was definitely a fear that I’d fall off the face of the earth and really just live here all by myself, lonely. But it didn’t happen! Maybe it’s also that it always feels nice to know that you are loved and missed.

Anyway, so I was walking to the tasting and when I got there, I saw a huge line waiting for the fest. Huge. I was honestly a little disappointed. I thought for sure there weren’t going to be that many people who came an hour early to get in line! Thankfully, the line was for the VIP people who got to go in an hour early. I figured that out by talking with the volunteer workers, and they joked around with me a little. But then they told me to go and stand by the stop sign that was across from the front of the line. “You’re first in the regular line! We’ll line up everyone behind you!” So that was pretty cool.

Then I met up with my new friends! They, like me, were dressed for the heat. And we both were chugging water before the event, because beer plus heat equals major dehydration. I even brought a snack! We chatted and joked around and decided to plan out exactly where we would go first to taste beer. We decided to veer off the main path in hopes that the crowds wouldn’t be very big over in that part. Little did we know that our “off path” was actually a huge part of the event! But initially at least, there were definitely less people than the main drag. Or what we thought was the main drag.

The best beer that I tasted that day was a chocolate beer. It was a light beer, but chocolate. It literally tasted like a chocolate cream soda. It was amazing. If I could just have that for dessert every night of the week, I would be a happy girl. The best thing about it was that you could really, really taste the chocolate. And it tasted like a milk chocolate. Amazing. I also had a peach beer. That’s right, peach beer. Also wonderful. It was really light and fizzy and very refreshing. Talk about the perfect thing for a hot summer day. Unfortunately both of the breweries are over an hour away from me. So yeah. That sucks. Though I might just have to drive an hour there and an hour back for some growlers of that chocolate beer. Yeah. It was that good.

We also met up with a friend of the couple. He was really nice too. They are just in all very fun people to be around. And woo, we were all nicely toasty. Have I mentioned that we were toasty? We ate once while in the fair, and the prices weren’t bad! $5 for a huge hot dog and some chips. Super reasonable. And then we ate at a gyros place after we had exited the fair. Oh man, this gyro was delish. It had french fries in it! It was the best surprise ever!

Nicely, my couple friends drove me home instead of me having to take a cab.

So yeah, I’m doing things! More than just sitting at home watching Battlestar Galactica or playing video games. Though I do that a lot too.
I also went out with the girl that I met by the pool twice! We had pizza and beer one night and she also invited me out with her boyfriend and all of his friends from the gym that he owns! That was also a very fun night. There were like 30 people there in that group and a lot of us just talked and laughed and had a few drinks. It was really awesome. And they are pretty awesome too. I even got to meet their dog! He’s soooo cute!

So anyway, doing things. Making friends. Seeing a bit of the city. It’s good.

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Thr3e Wise Men Brewery

Okay, totally didn’t expect to have something to write about again so soon after the last post. But there’s life for you sometimes.

So yesterday night, even though I was terrified, I decided that I should go out to a bar by my lonesome and try to make friends. Good idea because I literally know absolutely no one in this town (well except for my boss and the people that work around me, but they all have kids and aren’t quite on page with a girl right out of college). So I surfed around on the interwebs to try and find a place that wasn’t a dance club, but wasn’t going to have an age demographic of 60+.

I settled on the Thr3e Wise Men Brewery. It had great reviews and they make a blackberry beer! And anyone who offers beer in a “growler” (a 64oz glass jug) is pretty a okay by me. So shy and kind of shaking on the inside, I went.

I sat at the bar, because how could I meet people if I had a table all to myself? I sat down and the nice bartender came over and first asked me for my license and then asked me if I had ever been there before. My prompt reply: “No! Actually I just moved here like a week ago!”

“Oh wow really? Where from?”

“Chicago!”

“Uh huh, then why does your liscense say Louisiana?”

“Cause I’m from New Orleans originally!”

He smiled and laughed a bit and then promptly began to explain a little about how they brew most of the beers there themselves and gave me a menu. He started to walk away, but I stopped him because, as I told him “I actually already know what I want. I looked you up on the internet.” Thankfully, I managed to stop myself from continue to babble what went on in my head “Well not you specifically, but the bar. I mean I don’t even know your name so how could I look you up?” (imaginary awkward laugh) Showing amazing restraint, I managed to just order my beer, a Two Lucys Blackberry Wheat.

Yeah, it was pretty good.

As he came back to give me a humongous mason jar of water, the guy sitting next to me asked him what kind of beer it was. But then he turned to me and said “Oh man, that was rude, I could have just asked you.” I lit up with hope, oh man, maybe this was going to work! Maybe I’m actually going to make a friend! He’s sitting with a group, a girl and another guy! Maybe they will be cool and we can all hang out together!

This flashed through my head as I nervously giggled and said “Oh no, that’s okay!”(awkward pause that probably felt longer than it was) “It’s good though!”

He nodded and promptly turned back to his friends. Ouch, burn. My hope died a little, I lowered my head and started to pretend to peruse the other beers.

But right then, the bartender came over and started talking with the people on my other side. The lady was saying that she loves IPAs and the bartender was agreeing. As I listened, I shook my head and made a face, and then the bartender included me in the conversation. And then after he left, the couple and I started talking! First about beer and then about Chicago a little bit (cause he overheard me telling the bartender where I moved from) and then about jobs, and then about football (yeah, he went to Purdue when Drew Brees went to Purdue. He met Drew Brees. Friends for life.) and then about more and more things until two hours had passed!

As they were getting ready to leave, he went to the bathroom, and she and I were talking, and I said “Well if this isn’t too weird, I could give you my number and whenever you guys are in the area…”

“Yes! I will give you my number too! And I don’t know why, but my email address too.”

Yeah, I got them digits.

I’m excited. And like a dork, I emailed her right when I got home. So night one, on my own, at a bar/social setting, I think I can chalk it up to a success. Even if I never see that couple again, at least I didn’t sit silent, staring at sports games that I don’t care about for 30 minutes and then left.