FINALLY, I BRING YOU THE LAST INSTALLMENT....
Once checked in, we headed to our respective rooms with the promise to meet in the hotel bar in 15 minutes. I arrived at my room with hope. Perhaps they have renovated the rooms...and just not the hallways
...I have a fabulous ability to create wild schemes to rationalize things, and as I walked down the hallway with dim lighting and old floral patterned carpet, I tried to convince myself the room would be beautiful. As I opened the door, I was neither pleasantly surprised nor disgusted. The room had not been renovated since 1975, and included much brown and dark green, but it appeared suprisingly clean and in order. Ok, it's not the Four Seasons, but it's not horrible. All I can ask for is a CLEAN room.
So I changed clothes, found my keys, and called JG. We talked for a minute and I gathered my purse and left the room. I arrived in the hotel bar and viewed a scene comparable to that of my room...dark green carpet, and a lot of brown wood with dim lighting. Two of my new friends were already sitting at the table--RO and JA--who had no clothing to change and thus they found their rooms and came straight back downstairs to begin drinking. We talked and people-watched for an hour or so. There was a haggard old bartender who certainly must have been a friend of the shuttle driver, and a couple sitting at another table who were in their fifties and had been scheduled for the same flight we were supposed to be on. Then there was another table that appeared to be business travelers and a few people sitting at the bar. Amongst these patrons was a young couple, most probably from our flight, who were deep in conversation. What drew us to watch this couple however, was the glaring fact that the girl's jeans were too "low rise." From our vantage point with her sitting on a bar stool and our sitting at a much lower table, we had a clear shot of her lacey black thong underwear. Now you must remember that I am sitting with three men. This topic came up several times during our stint in the Ramada Inn Bar. And in particular, RO was basically looking directly at The Thong because of his location at the table. About every 10 minutes he would comment on it, and we would all just roll with laughter. She sat like that for the entire hour we were in the bar. And after about 30 minutes I almost got up and told her, but the guys stopped me...wonder why...
The best part of the trip to the hotel bar was finding out that because RO and JI were on a business trip they would be expensing all of our food and drinks for the evening. YAY!
At that point we headed out to the shuttle that would take us to The Lagoon, a very large bar/dance club/pool hall about two miles from the hotel. It was slightly seedy and catered to a less than savory crowd, but we had fun...after I went back to the hotel to retrieve my forgotten keys which are attached to a keychain wallet which holds my ID and credit cards. To get back to the hotel since the shuttle had just left, JI approach a group of young guys to see of one of them would drive me back to the hotel with the promise of a round of drinks for everyone. One guy agreed and JA and I went back to the hotel with him and I retrieved the forgotten keys from my hotel room.
Armed with my ID, we head back to the bar. Once there, we find JI and RO and head to the pool tables. We also order some food of the fried variety and meet some new people. Let me tell you what interesting characters you meet in Philly just a couple miles from the airport. WOW. An experience for sure. But be certain we had a great time. We partied in the seedy bar for until 1am with a 7:55am flight to catch. The most memorable moment of the night was when a male patron tried to leave the bar carrying a bottle of beer. An employee, probably a bouncer, told him he couldn't leave with the bottle, and he responded with a pleasant, "F*ck You" and kept walking. The bouncer repeated himself and the kindly patron repeated his pleasantries. At this point, the bouncer punched the man in the face, and he fell, dropping the bottle as he went down. The bottle shattered and flew in the air. At the same time the man hit his face on the curb. He was gushing blood from a combination of curb wounds and glass wounds and an ambulance had to be called. Very exciting, and disturbing at the same time.
We left soon after.
The next morning, I woke bright and early, and still slightly inebriated, at 6am. I was the only one who made it to the 6:30am shuttle, which we had agreed to meet at. I made my way to the airport, and through security...no problems this time...and waited at the gate, hoping my new friends made the plane. I had visions of arguing with the Ticket Lady trying to explain that three passengers whose last names I didn't know were on their way. But they made it. All a bit tipsy, as well.
Finally, literally 24 hours after I started my journey, I arrived in Cleveland to the smiling face of my dear friend.
We had a fabulous, crazy weekend. And we did manage to meet up with JA's bachelor party. It was a blast! And there were definitely some moments for the books that night! TJ was a sight! She had every male in the bar at her finger tips!
So I am thinking about using my free ticket to get to Louisville for the wedding...what do you think?