By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
I pointed to my own white shirt, which under the lights was actually hazy fluorescent lavender. After I had stopped laughing, he asked: "What's your astrological sign?"
"Scorpio," I said.
"My daughter is a Scorpio, and she is evil," Rich said.
"All dads think their daughters are a little evil," I said.
Customers: I picked up my bottle of wine and decided to check out the patio area. The patio was comprised of two short rows of canvas bungalows, sleek couches divided by bamboo walls. A stone fountain bubbled to the right, and glowing candles dotted the tables. A fire pit burned wholesomely at the farthest end of the bar. As I searched for an unoccupied wicker couch, I almost stumbled right into an intense make-out session. Confident they hadn't seen me, I backed away and grabbed a spot near the front. A tall, straight-backed waiter was taking an order from the couple on the other side of the division wall.
"Should I step on the grapes myself?" I heard him quip as he walked away.
I peered around the wall at the neighboring couple.
"Hey, before your conversation gets any more intimate, can I interrupt?" I asked.
Jackie, a petite, well-dressed woman with large brown eyes, and her husband, Jaime, who was broad, with salt-and-pepper hair, were happy to oblige.
"This is our first time here," Jaime said. "We came to check it out before the meet-and-greet next week. We'd been involved with some group in Miami, but the Miami clique is already pretty tight. We are really shy. Really shy. Almost antisocial." They laughed.
"It's a nice place," Jackie said. She seemed taken in by the romantic setting and the crisp, pleasant evening. The waiter returned with Jackie and Jaime's drinks.
"What do you think you're doing? You go sit down and relax!" he pointed at me.
I was tempted to break the bar's rule about forbidding disorderly drunks, but Jackie stepped in to defend me. "She's working," she said. Jackie, apparently, knows how to shut up the troublemakers.
And one more thing: On my way out the door that evening, I had just one more question to ask. I leaned into Marco as I paid my tab.
"I'm not an idiot, but I just have to ask, what is this?" I pointed at a giant, water-filled tube. Bubbles were streaming up through it, and it was aglow with color. "Does this thing have a name?"
"It's a bubble tower." He looked at me. "It's really just a fancy decoration."
"It's... hypnotizing," I said.
When a place has dozens of wine bottles, leather couches, and a supersexy bubble tower, you know you're living the high life.