Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kiss on My List

What a vacation send-off!

A wine rep friend's annual Rose party is always a stellar afternoon/evening devoted to the three dozen or so pink wines and a feast of monumental proportions. Fried chicken, cured meats, ribs, cheese, too many salads and dips to name, spiced shrimp, savory shortbread, caprese and who knows what else.

The party couldn't have begun better because I arrived and deposited my food and wine and went to find my hostess, who looked at me as if she'd never seen me before.

"Your hair!" she exclaimed, staring at me. "You look like a rock star! It looks great!" Any party that begins with someone complimenting my hair - especially while it's growing out - is off to a fine start.

It didn't hurt that the weather was ideal - low humidity, breezy and on the shady side of her house- where in addition to a wagon full of pink wines they had plenty of chairs, cornhole (yes, I played, pathetically, but it's just a game) and surprise, surprise, some Jackson Ward neighbors.

In a perfect world, I would catalog all the impressive pinks I drank, but that's not going to happen, so I'll settle for saying that the variety ranged from Sancerre Rose to Gruet Brut Rose to what tasted and smelled like strawberry the best possible way.

I talked to a friend about switching from an Outer Banks vacation to Topsail, to another about the distinct pleasures of an outdoor shower (the polar vortex being the only fly in that ointment) and another about how lucky the neighborhood is to have Lucy's.

With Hall & Oates playing in the background, a bottle of pink bubbly got sabered, but I was too busy talking to a friend about the first chef she ever worked with to see the demonstration, although we caught the cheers afterward.

At a party like this, you just can't do it all, though god knows I tried.

All of a sudden I looked up and four hours had passed and I had places to be.

Today is a friend's birthday and we were meeting at the Broadberry to hear Boston's Debo Band, whom I'd last seen at Balliceaux back in Fall of 2010, do their take on Ethiopian funk music.

The wait for the band to start gave us time to chat about all kinds of things- strange men putting their arm around me, the records she'd bought today, a funny ex story - while I sipped Hornitos and admired the birthday girl's cute outfit.

Another friend showed up and joined the party, bringing with her a clutch of friends, all eager to hear the band.

Finally the Debo Band took the stage and we moved up to the front to enjoy them. Playing a lot of new material off their upcoming record, they had the small crowd dancing in no time.

With guitar, bass, five horns including sousaphone, violin, drums and an African singer, they would slip into a groove and just ride it. Sometimes it was as unique as Duke Ellington meets North African folk music, while other times, it got downright funky, even a bit psychedelic when you listened to the guitar.

What that meant was that the birthday girl, our friend and I wasted no time in letting the music move our hips and feet, even while we didn't understand a word of the language the songs were sung in.

Didn't need to. Music is the universal language and whether it was a birthday celebration or pre-vacation revelry, tonight was a night to just go with it.

And tomorrow at this time, as someone at the party pointed out, I'll be doing the same thing (drinking pink) except it'll be with a view of the ocean. Can. Not. Wait.

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