October Is Here: Oktoberfest
Oh happy month! October is my favorite of the twelve and I think we all know why. Even as a little kid I would flip through the calendar and get a twinge of excitement from whatever picture October would have. It has a bit of everything ranging from 31 days of amazing TV programing to outdoor festivals where people voluntarily sit in a pile of hay and get pulled behind a tractor just because that is what you do. The best sports are happening, dead bodies decorate porches and drinking beer never tasted so good. It's October and you're alive!
I took this to heart over the weekend and even though I planned to lock myself in the office/studio and film content, I had to get out. Between work and real life, there was no way my heart would have been 100% in it so I packed my car after doing a quick Google search and headed out on the road. First stop: Oktoberfest!
This weekend one of my favorite cities, Greenville, South Carolina, was hosting a small Oktoberfest which was sponsored by the German beer, Paulaner. If you have never to Greenville you are really missing out. The entire downtown is so well laid out and when it comes to food? Mama Mia! So, if you find yourself driving passed or wondering what to do and can get there without selling a kidney, take my advice and pay a visit. Just make sure it isn't on Clemson's game day. That was my mistake.
So, I love any Oktoberfest. Even if it's just a McDonald's dining room decorated with blue and white checked banners serving McBrews to the tunes of accordions, I will love it. That saying, my expectations are very liberal and to catch the spirit of October, you need to do at least one Oktoberfest.
This particular one took up a block right downtown in Greenville and was roped off from the rest of the street. The admission was a fairly confusing process because in order to enter you had to buy a beer-drinking bracelet first, then buy an admission ticket, then buy your beer; all separate transactions and stations. AND THEY WERE TOTAL DICKS ABOUT IT! I could understand that it had to be that way knowing there was the University of Clemson right down the street and it was college football Saturday full of crazy underage drinkers but there was hardly anyone there yet and God help your soul if you tried to pay admission before getting a beer bracelet! I got both barrels from one of the grumps and I asked her would it make her feel better if I paid with the digits of my left hand.
Well, after that bit of unpleasantness and $20 lighter, I was in the tiny Oktoberfest drinking a German beer and on the hunt for bratwurst. The band was rocking polka and everyone looked...old and bored in the tents. No matter, I was there to party down! And by party down I mean eat until miserable and buy a stupid hat. Mission accomplished!
I could go on with a minute-by-minute breakdown but I think you would probably stop reading after "(3:22: Stood up to get another beer and accidentally knocked over my sausage plate and it rolled off the table. Switched it with this dude who wasn't looking. Only witnessed by a 4 year old who I made a threatening gesture toward with a plastic knife) (3:24: The dude ate the sausage. A perfect crime! Still giving that kid the "I dare you" evil eye)"
With the belly full and a stupid hat purchased, I decided it was time to search out some other Fall activities like college football games and possibly Halloween themed cocktails. One of the four thousand bars down the street surely would suffice but me being me, too many options means no option would be chosen. I am just weird like that. Instead I looked to the sky for inspiration and saw a rooftop bar because as a former airborne troop, elevation is where I find comfort.
This little spot was perfect because when I wasn't shushing people over a Halloween commercial that was on between UGA getting pounded, I could always look over the edge of the wall and people-watch down below. I am so lucky this place is a few hours away because I would be at this bar every night.
See what I mean? I never could figure out what this guy was doing but we all had our theories from five stories up. What do you think he's doing?
It's nice to get away for the day. I truly believe everyone needs it, whether it's for a weekend or even a few hours. Go by yourself when you can too because it's pretty therapeutic to stroll the streets thinking that people are strange when you're the stranger. Sometimes I like to just pull up a barstool, order a beer and just learn about someone knowing I will never see that person again. It is a weird cosmos we live in and you never know how some little thirty minutes of friendly chat can reshape the way you think about almost anything. It's fun to try and make someone's day even if it is the simple act of buying a stranger a beer. The meaning of life, perhaps? Ah, who knows?
That night I settled into the hotel room that I spent WAY too much on because everyone from everywhere decided to join me in Greenville. Not sure what I was going here for but I settled into bed, surrounded by Ecto Cooler juice boxes and Ghost Adventures on TV. It was a fantastic first day of October and it made me realize how damn lucky I am. To have a stressful job with backstabbing coworkers, unattainable deadlines and a client base who tend to be other than pleasant is a fact of life but damn am I fortunate to deal with it all. And if it all goes away tomorrow, then I will get up and try something new. In a weird way, I guess I am just saying that everyone needs time to smell the pumpkin spice and enjoy that sip of beer. Take those moments to be in the present. I so grateful for that.
Love you guys! Tonight we will take about medieval torture.