Kariann was one of my first friends in south Florida - we were each fish out of water - she, from Iowa, and me from the deep south. We bonded over our mutual love of college football, and despite the moves we've each made since 2003, we've remained friends.
(She's the only person other than D. who can rival the weird facial expressions I render in photographs.)
As it happens, Bethany is exactly halfway between Des Moines, where KA lives, and Kansas City. We found the ONE place that promised to show the ill-fated Saints-Colts game, and planned to meet there.
So around 8:30, Kariann and I reunited for the first time since our crazy Key West weekend at a pool hall called - I kid you not - Right On Q.
I walked in wearing my Ann Taylor Young Professional Uniform, with my Kenneth Cole shoes and my Coach bag. In south Florida or even downtown New Orleans, I wouldn't have looked out of place. I would have just looked like another of the army of anonymous corporate twentysomethings. But in Bethany's pool hall, I stuck out. Quite a bit, in fact.
When Kariann arrived, the patrons of the bar started peppering us with questions - who are you? Where are you from? Why are you here?
When we explained it to them, and they finally understood why the overdressed short girl was yelling at the TV and laughing excitedly with the woman dressed like a teacher (primarily because she DOES teach middle/high school English in SE Iowa), they were incredibly gracious. The bar, as it turns out, doesn't accept credit cards, so one of the regulars there, the owner of the local taxi service, ran me down to the closest ATM gratis. She was telling me all about Bethany on our short jaunt to the gas station ATM - and it was definitely an experience.
At the end of the night, our bill was...$20. For two dinners, beers, sodas...that was it. $20. We ended up spending an evening surrounded by very nice - if bemused - Colts and Chiefs fans.
Sadly, the Saints lost. Brees cost me points in my fantasy league - grrr! I think I was most disappointed in Mare, though. Oy.
I have to give it up to the Colts, though. They looked amazing. They're not giving up that Super Bowl crown without a decided fight.
We went our separate ways, and I spent two nervewracking hours driving back to Kansas City in an ungodly storm that blew me from lane to lane in my tiny rental car. I was so relieved - and definitely exhausted - when I finally got to the hotel, I was ready to crash for a few hours...
...which would have been awesome, but for that storm. Yeah, it knocked out power to the hotel for most of the night, and I could hear debris flying around in the courtyard outside of my ground floor room.