Sonia and I arrived to the New York side of Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, NY, Saturday night around 8:00pm. Our very first experience was a quick-and-dirty wake-up call to the importance of doing a little research before picking a restaurant.
On the surface, it sounded like just what our tired bones and hungry bellies needed: a marina restaurant on the water just a few miles away serving Italian food. Dominic's at Treadwell Bay Marina. We could sit on the water. Let's go.
We made our way through a packed but silent parking lot, the outdoor tables peaceful and visible just past the entrance.
We opened the door to a cacophony of sound: nearly every table filled with grinning, middle aged white people shouting to one another, their late-teen, early-twenties sons and daughters running around as waitstaff.
We probably would have stood at the front door for fifteen minutes without being acknowledged, except that I can be a pushy bitch when I want to. We asked to sit outside, but the hostess warned us about the water bugs (Sonia hates bugs of all kinds).
No tables inside, either, despite a handful of empty ones in sight, because "He's serving a table of thirty right now. It's a private party," according to an 18-year-old brunette with purple streaks who looked like a deer in headlights.
"Who is he?" I wondered. Whoever he was, the place seemed to be falling apart without him.
I ended up suggesting we sit at the tiny bar, which boasted three (not four) barstools. The hostess thanked us for the idea as she set menus beside a group of very drunk white men. Sonia tapped them on the shoulder to alert them to our presence. They finally moved so we could sit down.
It didn't get better. We ordered drinks, then one of those drunk men -- these are not children, these are people with pension plans and boats -- proceeded to insist on "Three Jager shots" repeatedly for the next ten minutes. He was built like a refrigerator and continued to yell at the kids behind the bar, inches from Sonia's left ear, even after he was told that they didn't have Jager behind the bar.
We told them to pack up the food we'd just ordered and stood outside with our drinks until it was ready. At home, we at quietly as we looked out onto the water of another marina where we were staying.
The view is something. Here's what it looks like in the daytime.
Sonia is really good at planning vacations. I'm lucky.
Today, we're off to Burlington, VT. Home of the Pride Center of VT, Outright Vermont, and too many gay-themed blogs to count (but here's one and here's one and here's a very cool local lesbian comic).
We're ready. I have a feeling we'll have better luck finding some folks we wouldn't mind standing next to in a bar.