as described in this story.
We arrived at the Quality Inn between 12:30 and 1:00, where we were greeted by our friend "Kea" and given the only room that was already cleaned for check-in, as the regular check-in time is 3:00PM.
We had intended to drive to the beach, but instead decided to just sit poolside—where we could both chill and drink—which is exactly what we did after having some cantaloupe, grapes, and Tostitos and extra sharp cheddar cheese for a snack in the room.
The pool area was a little crowded, and we started off on two upright chairs, but after about 15 minutes or so, the couple on lounge chairs next to us left, and we moved in for the chill, as it were.
As is pretty traditional now, we had our first night's dinner at Elizabeth's, where Joe had the Chef Salad, I had their Grilled Chicken Salad, and we ordered a Pepperoni Stromboli to go—to have in the room when our drunk asses get back to the hotel after being at the bar tonight.
The salads were killer, and our waiter was cute. Bonus.
We got to Costello's at right about 10:30. A guy that I'd met once in Raleigh was working the door, and as Joe and I approached the place from down a ways on the sidewalk, he said, "Oh, there's that guy that dances at Flex, with my friend Stephen."
I don't remember his name, but remember meeting him one night when he was playing pool and smoking a stinking cigar.
We saw a couple of Raleigh people, including Mark (who works for Van), and met the guy he was with, Christian, and then spent some of the night trying to avoid Alan, a Wilmington regular who has the hots for Joe, but hasn't yet, after all this time, accepted that the feeling isn't mutual.
And it's not like he doesn't "know" it. He said tonight, "I'm always sweet on Joe, and he never reciprocates." The wheel is spinning but the hamster is dead.
We were surprised, and delighted, to see Donna Merritt at the piano, as I had thought that Kurt had told me that she wasn't going to be performing this weekend.
Speaking of Kurt, he was in the house, and at one point did his "Miss Celie Blues" rendition, which had some of the queens tripping over themselves to get up close enough to watch him.
One guy kept grabbing the microphone to sing along with Donna's playing, who was alright, but he was no where near what he thought he was.
There was a straight girl there, the sister of a guy named Patrick (who I'm pretty sure is from Raleigh), who was bombed out of her mind, and sang (and I use the term loosely), when she wasn't slurring her feet back and forth between the piano and the bar bouncing off people and barstools like a pinball careening toward the space between the flippers. But I digress...
We left there at about 12:30, and we ate the hell out of that Stromboli when we got back to the room.