Last night was Gordon's last night here before beginning his long journey back to Scotland. Thus, we planned to spend the evening downtown bouncing from place to place. Originally the plan was for his friend John to come along, but John couldn't get a babysitter. So it was just me and the temporary roommate.
The night really didn't start 'til my work day ended. And since I worked both jobs yesterday, that meant the night wouldn't start 'til about 9pm. But I'm told that the kids these days don't even start having fun until well after that time.
I got changed and made sure that I didn't smell like pizza anymore and then we were off. Now, I had never really spent any significant time downtown in Raleigh. The bank in which I work is located pretty darn close, but I never mingle among the tall buildings. And Gordon had only been down there a couple times, the last of which being about 2 years ago. So it was basically the blind leading the blind.
But I drove and we eventually found a place called The Hibernian Pub, a bar which Gordon had been to on his previous visits. Now, I'm really not much for the bar scene. At least, I never have been in the past. I won't say I've never had alcohol, but I've definitely never acquired a particular taste for it. I gladly volunteered to be the designated driver, even before there were only two of us going out.
The pub was loud and dark, as many bars are. As I learned a couple years ago at Andy's bachelor party, once the lights come on after last call, one wishes it was still dark. Things are different in the harsh light of last call. As it was last night, we only experienced the darkness of the pub.
At one point we began talking with a fairly hot waitress. Okay, Gordon did the talking. I just sat there, smiling and nodding like an idiot. Mostly he asked her what else we could get into downtown on a Friday night. She pointed us in the direction of another Irish pub and a place that was more of a dance club, but warned us that the latter had a cover charge.
And with that we moved on to the Irish pub. We couldn't be convinced to pay a cover for anything. What if you get inside and whatever you've paid for was worthless, when really, all you wanted to do was have a beer? Why pay to get in someplace when all you're gonna do is pay for a drink anyway? It's a rip off.
We walked roughly two blocks, but it felt much longer in the cold midnight mist. We got to the other pub and flashed our IDs and were then informed of the five dollar cover. That made up our minds for us. It was obvious the cover was to pay for the band that was playing just inside. They were playing Summer of '69, quite badly, by the way.
And with that we moved on back to the Irish pub we started out in. And this is where we finished the night. The bar never got any more crowded than it was when we were there the first time. And it seemed that whenever a woman would leave, she would only be replaced by a dude. So eventually, there wasn't much to look at. Around 1am, I started feeling that approaching-30-fatigue. Also, I never ate dinner, so I was ready to go. Luckily, Gordon was hungry too, so we left again.
The drive back, which should have been uneventful, turned into something crazy. Not long after getting back on Capital Blvd., the main road leading from Raleigh back to Wake Forest, traffic came to a stand still. Up ahead, it was easy to see several cars with the flashing blue lights. My first thought was accident. But then I saw all the police cars on the other side of the highway waiting around for anyone who dared to make a u-turn in order to avoid whatever was going on up ahead. After seeing several cops pull over those unsuspecting u-turners, it became clear that we were about to become a part of a massive police checkpoint. Every cop in Raleigh must have been there. I don't think I've ever seen that many police officers in one place at one time. It took awhile to get through there, what with the sheer volume of traffic being bottle-necked into the middle lane, but we got through the gauntlet just fine.
Around 1:30 we found a Taco Bell that was still open. Amazingly, we were their last customers. Around 2 we got back to the apartment and enjoyed our Mexican feast before crashing and sleeping off a very long day.
I did learn something incredibly valuable during the night. Taco Bell is not a good idea after 2am. Learn from that mistake.
All in all it really was a good time. And hey, now I know where to find some stuff downtown. Not that I'll pick up the habit of bar hopping in the near future. Kind of hard to pull that off when you don't particularly like to drink. But still, knowing is half the battle. Gordon flew out today, so I'm now a roommate short. On the plus side, I can go back to peeing with the door open.