Snowed in, but still, what a great holiday weekend!

Despite not being able to get home for Christmas, this is turning into one of the best holiday seasons I’ve ever had.

Wednesday night I walked out of the elevator, on the way to the coffee shop, when I heard voices in the residents’ lounge. I went to see who was there, and it was about five of my neighbors watching the bowl game the U of M went to. They invited me to join them for the bowl game and for wine and appetizers. At halftime we all went to the Flying Saucer and watched the rest of the game there. It was really good to get to know some of my neighbors better. I knew I wouldn’t be going to work Thursday (the streets were totally iced over) so I relaxed and didn’t worry about staying up late.

Thursday night I received a phone call from my friend John who runs the coffee shop. He was getting a group together to check out Bluefin, the new sushi lounge on the Main Street Mall, and invited me to go. Bluefin turned out to be a really, really nice place. Beautifully decorated in different shades of blue, with couches the size of beds to lounge around on, and a DJ playing some chill music to add to the enjoyment of a good time with friends. There were four of us and we split about seven different types of sushi. The standouts, to me, were Heather’s Roll (crunchy crab with seared scallops on top) and Lori’s roll (crunchy crawfish rolls topped with smoked salmon and onion garlic sauce). Service was prompt and all the people who worked there were super-nice. I have a feeling I’m going to be a regular at this place. Great, another bar to vacuum up my money.

Today (Friday) the plan was to have a nice lunch and then have some “me” time for the rest of the day – spend time catching up on reading, writing in my personal journal, figuring out a new design for my website. But then I walked through the Peabody and ran into Terry, one of my best friends and a fellow Sunday drunk. So we sat at the lobby bar and talked for three hours. I had a Brandy Alexander for the first time – tasty, like a milkshake. Later our friend Katrina who owns a shop on South Main joined us, and we moved to the corner bar at Capriccio. So I didn’t get home until 7:30, cutting into my “me” time a good bit. I’m not going out tonight.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ve been invited to have Christmas dinner with my friends Kit and Kelly, and our friend Bobby who found my mountain bike in a pawn shop. I mentioned to Kelly that I was snowed in, and she said they have plenty of food, so come on. Spending Christmas with three of the most generous people I know sounds like a great way to observe the season.

I wonder if Raiford’s will be open Christmas night? I’ll be tempted to walk down there, but I will be really mad if I make the 8-block walk with temps in the teens to find out it’s closed.

And of course, then there’s Sunday when things get back to normal. What better way to celebrate the day after Christmas than with a bottle of champagne at the Blue Monkey. And possibly a second bottle of champagne. My regular bartender is out of town visiting family, so someone else will have to put up the Sunday drunks. Last Sunday all 12 or so seats at the bar were taken and all 12 of us were TRASHED and singing Christmas carols. I think the bar’s management made the decision right then and there to never, ever, ever do a karaoke night. I was there from 11:30 am to 5:10 pm last Sunday, which is a relatively short stay for me up there.

So there you have it. What a fantastic weekend, and a reminder that I’ve really found something special downtown. Merry Christmas everybody.