Tuesday, March 1, 2016

CIAA brings a hangover, without the parties

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 1:48 PM

It’s Monday morning and I’m still a little shaky from being hungover after shenanigans on Saturday night. While engaged in beginning-of-the-week email cleanup, I realized just how many event emails I received last week about things to do in the area that I didn’t take advantage of.

I had every intention of joining in on the CIAA festivities, even if only for a day party. But I never made it that far.
(For those of you who weren’t in the city this past weekend or didn’t pick up CL’s previous issue, CIAA is a big basketball tournament weekend held in Charlotte. And the parties, are even bigger.)

Friday afternoon I got off of work early, grabbed a mimosa at my hair salon and thought I was ready for the turn up. But the boyfriend didn’t get home until 9 p.m. and after a couple beers, the last thing on my radar was going out. I announced my decision not to participate in nighttime revelry early on and next thing I knew, I was waking up on the couch around 12 a.m. Yep, night number two of CIAA was a dud.

The next day, the plan was to check out the free day party at Rooftop 210 in the EpiCentre. If you’re at all familiar with entry during CIAA then you know anything featured as a free event is a huge deal! (After all, tables are sold for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars during this weekend.)

Not to mention, I found out 2 Chainz would be in attendance, so I’d be getting a free show. But you have to be strategic when you plan on attending a day party and then going out later.

You have to get there as early as possible so you can leave in time to get dinner and take a break from drinking before turning up that night.

Since brunch lasted a bit longer than I had anticipated and then I came down with “the itis” — the drowsy feeling that follows a large meal — I opted for an afternoon nap instead.

I did manage to get in the mood around 3 p.m., however, so me and the boyfriend headed to French Quarter on S Church St Uptown.

I’ve stopped by a pub or two on this intimate strip of bars and restaurants lined with string lights.

It seems as though the area came to be named not only because it resembles the look and feel of New Orleans but because French Quarter Restaurant, and its forest green and white striped awning, is the first thing you notice as you drive by. (Apparently, it’s actually supposed to be called, Latta Arcade/Brevard Court. Who’d a thunk?)

We grabbed a drink at Valhalla Pub & Eatery, as well as a pregame meal, before heading to grab hookah at one of my fave spots, Barreled at the Lift.

After that, we caught the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder game at Blue Olive in Ballantyne. And before you knew it, it was time to make plans for the night.

One of the most popular nights in the city during CIAA, it was pretty much a given that we’d be waiting in line wherever we decided to go. (It’s pretty much common knowledge that anyone avoiding CIAA parties ends up on the outskirts of Uptown: Elizabeth, Plaza Midwood or Montford to name a few.)

So, our group decided to avoid center city and head to Montford — Angry Ale’s to be exact.

While the line wasn’t ridiculous, we still had to wait a few minutes to get in.

Angry Ale’s can get packed on a Saturday night, but you could definitely tell Montford was one of the night’s popular choices for escaping the congestion of Uptown.

A couple shots and RBVs later, and I could tell I was well on my way to the hangover I said I never wanted to see again.

Needless to say, Sunday was a sluggish day. I managed to catch some beautiful QC weather on the patio of Heist Brewery in NoDa (in between vom sessions) while the boyfriend enjoyed brunch, but after that the day was pretty much a dud.

It was the longest walk of shame that has now poured into Monday morning and I have nothing to show for it with regards to CIAA activities.

Next year I vow to make it to at least one game — yes, actually make it to the tournament—and a day party. Hopefully, Lil’ Wayne will make a return to the city, and then my life will be complete.

Did you end up having an epic CIAA weekend? I’d love to hear about it so I can plan for next year!

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