I originally met Bryan through my friend Toni Ann. He had a fantastic group of friends in Cambridge and we had a fantastic group of friends in Boston. For a few years, we would hang out in wildly varying combinations of those groups of friends – always with hysterical and ridiculous results (like shopping cart races through a Star Market parking lot at 4 a.m. where Toni Ann and I were passengers in the shopping carts, but that’s a story for another post!).
At the time, Toni Ann had started vacationing on Block Island in the summer and so we started tagging along. One summer, she and I had spent the week on the island and Bryan and another friend were joining us for the weekend.
So Bryan and Steve get on the Ferry in Point Judith and spy two pretty girls who they talk to on the ride over. One of those girls was the lovely Reenie.
When the ferry docked and the crowd walked ashore, Toni Ann and I were waiting for the guys, seated atop the front seats of my cherry-red convertible, generally making a spectacle of ourselves. The guys jumped in the car and as we zoomed off and Reenie said to her friend, “oh well; they have girlfriends,” which couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The next night the four of us went out to both the clubs on the island. (It’s a small island.) At Yellow Kittens, we ran into Reenie and her friend where Bryan set the record straight and spent a good part of the evening socializing with her.
At the end of the evening, as we were milling around outside the bar with a couple hundred other drunk patrons looking to make friends, make out or make merry, Bryan sidled up to me and said that Reenie knew about an after party and that he thought he was going to go with her, to which I replied “I think you should.”
Never mind the fact that they rode around the island until the wee hours in the back of a van that smelled like fish and never did find that party. Something magical happened in the back of that smelly van because, almost two years ago, I had the great honor and pleasure of attending their wedding on the beach in Newport, Rhode Island (where, incidentally, Reenie’s friend from the ferry actually married them!).
Through the years, I have developed wonderful friendships with Bryan and Reenie. From a standing date at the Portland (Maine) Brew fest, to decadent dinners in Boston, to parties at Reenie’s that require hats or wigs or other accoutrements, to office chair races up and down the hallways of certain Cambridge hotels, we’ve had a lot of fun times.
Later this year, they’ll add a completely new element to the friendship when they welcome their first baby to the world, at which time Auntie Steph will begin to impart her version of essential education in life skills – like burping and irreverence and getting away with stuff. Can’t wait!
The Drink: It’s a little hard to believe that this drink took so much work to come up with, seeing as what we ended up with was both so simple and absolutely perfect. We were looking for something quintessentially “Block Island,” since it’s so special for all of us. However, there is no particular signature drink of the island. Add to that that we don’t necessarily drink the same things, so there was no shared drink bond. I even looked at the drink menus of some of the old haunts online and couldn’t come up with anything particularly relevant.
We wrestled with this dilemma while we ordered a plate of Point Judith calamari and worried that that might be as close to a connection as we could make. And then, just as we started to despair (sort of, but not really), Reenie came up with just the perfect drink: the Seabreeze, which two of the four of us enjoyed immensely!