|Christmas decor in the lobby of City Place in Hartford.|
The agenda for Wednesday's gurls' night out was to go to Hartford to dine at Max Downtown and after dinner, go to TheaterWorks to see Christmas on the Rocks, "an off beat collection of twisted holiday tales."
I don't know my way around downtown Hartford especially in the dark, so I bribed Diana to do the driving because she works in Hartford and knows her way around town even in the dark! So after I got dressed to the nines, I drove to Diana's abode and she drove us to Hartford.
I-84 in Hartford was threatening to become a parking lot and although we left Diana's house with plenty of time to spare, making our 5:30 reservation at the restaurant looked impossible. Hopefully, the other gurls would save the day and get to the restaurant on time.
After abandoning I-84 and working her way through the streets of Hartford, Diana parked in the City Place underground garage, which was under the restaurant (more or less) and we arrived at the restaurant about ten minutes late. Luckily, the other gurls (Laura and Robin) and Robin's spouse (Arlene) did arrive on time, so our reservations were intact.
Let me tell you about the restaurant.
Robin suggested it and I went along ― it was new to me and I am always willing to try something new. I checked the menu online and its prices were on the high side, but it's the holidays, so what the heck!
This place was very classy. Probably one of the classiest restaurants I have ever been in. The male diners all wore suits or sports jackets and the female diners were equally well-dressed. No jeans or tees in this joint!
After checking in, they asked to take our coats and I was pleased to give mine up so I could better show off my outfit while we were escorted to our table. It was a long walk during which I strutted my stuff and took note of some of the attention I was getting. I loved it!
It wasn't long ago that when this gurl was in a similar situation, she would avoid eye contact with any civilians and try to hide in plain sight. Now she relishes the attention, tries to make eye contact and responds with a pretty smile. That's progress!
The restaurant was packed and we were seated next to tables full of business people, who seemed to mind their own business and not ours, which is no surprise because a table full of middle-aged women just blends into the background in settings like these.
The very attentive waitstaff used the correct pronouns, called us "ladies" and made our visit as enjoyable as possible. The wine and food ("Max’s Label Dry Aged Prime Beef Burger," a $21 cheeseburger) was excellent, but the after-dinner coffee seemed a little stale.
Showtime was quickly approaching, so we paid the bill and prepared to exit. I knew that as soon as I hit the cold air outdoors I would have to relieve myself, so while the others headed for the exit, I headed for ladies' room and used the facilities as they were intended to be used, that is, I sat to pee.
Exiting the ladies' room, I was unsure about which way to go to get to the exit. One of the staff, an older gent (probably my age), sensed my predicament and asked me where I wanted to go. He then escorted me all the way to the exit, while engaging me in conversation about my experience at the restaurant. It was such a feminine moment ― a lady in distress rescued by a knight in shining armor!
Next stop was the theater ― a short two-block walk from the restaurant. The theater was small and the seats were narrow. I was very uncomfortable the whole time and it took away from my enjoyment of the show.
The theater describes the play, thusly, "It's Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests - children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies - now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of others pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody."
The Cindy Lou Who (of Grinch fame) and Charlie Brown segments were excellent; the others were OK. They saved the best for last (Cindy and Charlie), so I was less anxious to get out of Dodge because those segments held my interest, but I was still very happy to get up from my uncomfortable seat and file out when the show ended.
Outside the theater, we exchanged hugs and season's greeting because Arlene-Laura-Robin were parked in a different location than we were parked. Diana and I walked back to City Place under which Diana's car was parked and after a couple of false starts trying to get into the now locked-up building, we finally were let in, paid for the parking and left Hartford.
Back home, I turned back into a pumpkin at 10:30 PM with memories of an excellent gurls' night out. We discussed doing it again real soon now and I hope we do.