I didn’t always love country music. There was once a time when I would hear a song or two and know that if I gave it a shot I would like the genre, but I never wanted to give it that shot – that is, until my boyfriend Nick came along. The first day he ever sat in my car, he changed the radio to a country station. At the time, I thought it was bold of him to change my radio when I barely knew him (I’m a radio control freak), but I liked what I heard. The more I got to know Nick, the more I got to love country until now I consider myself a full-blown fan and prefer the country stations over any others. Now that you’ve had an intro to how my love for all things twang came about, my story will make more sense.
Last weekend was all about country. When Nick asked me what I wanted to do Friday night, I knew that I was in the mood for two things: country songs and dancing. We were going to be in Manchester that night, so that could lead us to only one place: Club ManchVegas (we just call it ManchVegas). Every Friday, they have a country night where they play popular country songs and feature a live band. For those brave enough to jump on up for the entertainment of the masses, they also have a ride-on bull. I’ve never tested it out and am a bit too shy to get up there, but maybe one day! There is a long bar and many tables, although they fill up fast depending on when you arrive. There are also seats around the bull area. Luckily, Nick loves to dance just as much as I do and we danced the night away, first with ourselves then with a group of friends who came later. I’m never disappointed on Country Fridays!
When Saturday rolled around, it was time for me to get dolled up for another Southern style night. This time I was even more excited because in celebration of my friend Amanda’s birthday, a group of us were going on The Boatonian “Country Cruise” around Boston Harbor. Severe storms were plaguing the region that day, and there was even a tornado warning in effect early that evening. I tried very hard not to lose hope that the bad weather would move out by nightfall, and to our luck, it did. The rain stopped just as I arrived in Cambridge. I got on the Green Line and took it over to Haymarket station. From there, I headed to the Boston Harbor Hotel. Underneath the hotel archways on Rowe’s Wharf was where the cruise departed from. We all met up and headed towards the boat. The bouncer played a joke on me, and I almost lost it – I have a New Hampshire ID, so he looked at it and said “Uh oh…we don’t take out of state ID’s on Saturdays”. Thankfully, he was kidding!
It had turned out to be the perfect night as we boarded the boat – not hot and not too cold. We definitely were not the first on the boat, and the line to get drinks was long. It remained that way the whole night, as the upstairs bar was the only one open. We set sail at 9:00pm, and the music kicked in as we immediately started to dance. Drinks were fairly expensive, as they are for many Boston events, but it wasn’t spoiling my time. Beers of the Bud Light variety were $5.75, and beers such as Shock Top were $6.75. All beers were in cans. Mixed drinks were $8 a piece I believe, but I stuck to beer.
If you’re looking to take the cruise and have more than one drink, as I’m sure you would be, I suggest buying two beers at a time when you go up, in case of a long wait like we experienced. There were a lot of people on for the ride, but it wasn’t so crowded that we couldn’t move around freely and have fun, which I was happy about. It was certainly loud of course, and my voice sure hurt the next day! We danced the night away and got a few pictures taken by the boat photographer. There was a great variety of songs, and a couple of pop/hip-hop hits were thrown in in the last half hour.
The boat arrived back at the harbor at midnight, which still left enough time to experience some more Boston nightlife. I said goodbye to my friends and took a cab over to Allston where I continued my dance party at The Draft with Nick and a couple of his friends. After deciding to call it a night, we made one last stop at Azama Grill down the street for some Middle Eastern food. Being a late night restaurant, it was busy at 1:30am and we had a long wait for the chicken kabob rollups. They were so fresh that it was worth it! The staff was friendly, and the owner even let our friend try some free falafel.
Late Sunday morning, a hearty brunch was certainly in order. Nick, our friend Anthony and I walked over to The Breakfast Club, a popular Allston diner with an 80’s theme that I love. Think Dirty Dancing posters, vintage 80s items decorating the walls and music that will take you right back to the days when you felt like no one understood you better than John Hughes. Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t actually experience the 80’s, but I was a fanatic of the era’s coming-of-age movies when I was a teenager in later years.
Back to breakfast talk – it was no longer 90 degrees out and there was the slightest chill in the air. The diner had their fall menu back in season, so of course I ordered a pumpkin spice coffee. It came in a cute little cup and was frothy on top with a beautiful spice coating, just the way it should be. I kept the pumpkin theme with my food choice, which in retrospect I probably should have picked something different so it wasn’t so much of the same taste, but oh well. I ordered a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal, which included oats mixed with a pumpkin puree, cloves, pecans and brown sugar. As if that wasn’t enough sweetness, I added syrup to it when it arrived. I also got an English muffin with peanut butter.
Nick ordered his favorite menu item off of the “Library Specials” section. All the items under the Library section have names in reference to The Breakfast Club film, such as The Dork, The Criminal, and Nick’s choice, The Janitor. The Janitor came with two eggs, homemade hash, home fries and toast. I can’t recall what exactly Anthony ordered, but he ordered A LOT, as you can see from the picture.
Once we were too full to walk, Nick and I spent the rest of the day as I’m sure many others did, watching the first Football Sunday of the season. I was too exhausted from my country weekend to do much else, and even though it’s now only Monday, I’m thinking ahead to the weekend…it will be our anniversary and we still haven’t nailed down a plan yet! If you have any great date ideas in the Boston or Southern New Hampshire areas, please let me know!
Places Mentioned (in order):
Club ManchVegas – 50 Old Granite Street, Manchester, NH 03101
The Boatonian – 70 Rowe’s Wharf, Gate C, Boston, MA 02110
The Draft Bar & Grille – 34 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
Azama Grill – 54 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA 02134, 617-779-0003
The Breakfast Club – 270 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134