Yesterday was PJ’s birthday. To celebrate, we spent the night in Columbus. We sometimes talk about getting a hotel room in Columbus, having a nice dinner, and going out to some clubs, so we decided that this was a good time to finally do it.

We left Athens around 1 or 1:30. When we got to Columbus we went to The Book Loft, which we hadn’t been to in a long time. I was especially looking for some Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, or Dorothy L. Sayers novels, but they didn’t have any I wanted. Instead, I bought P.D. James’s An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and 500 Greatest-Ever Vegetarian Recipes. One of the things I especially liked about this cookbook is that all the recipes come with a picture of the final product — I think that goes a long way in convincing me to try a new recipe. I like to know what I’m shooting for!

Afterwards, we went to a coffee shop next to the Book Loft, had a drink, and browsed the local papers to look for things to do that evening. After our coffee break, we drove over to our hotel, which was just on the southern end of the Short North. We stayed at the Hampton Inn on High Street. It’s a nice hotel, but the main draw for us was its location. We wanted a hotel close enough so that we could walk to (and more importantly back from) the gay bars.

But before that, we went to dinner. We had a reservation at Basi Italia, which is just off of the Short North in the Victorian Village. We’d been there once before with friends. We both liked our dinners ok, but we ultimately decided that it wasn’t quite as wonderful as we had remembered it. Last time, we had each ordered the Basi Caesar Salad, the eggplant parmesan, and cannoli. This time, PJ had trout and I had crab ravioli for our main courses. I started with roasted mussels, and Pj had the salad again. we shared a cannoli for dessert. Everything was fine, but the real standouts of the meal were the dessert, which was so yummy, and my glass of wine, a 2006 Montellori Chianti. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that brand again. I really liked its smooth, fruity flavor. We forgot to bring our camera with us, so I don’t have any pictures to accompany this description of our dinner — yet again, all apologies to Kathee!

After dinner, we went to the Ohio Theatre‘s showing of The Planet of the Apes, a movie that PJ and I have both loved since childhood (I love Cornelius!). I really wish I had had my camera with me to take some pictures of the theater — it’s the most beautiful theater I have ever been to. It’s gorgeous. The summer movie series is really cheap too — you can see classic movies for only a couple of dollars each. I’d go just to see the theater! Before the movie and during the intermission, there’s a guy playing a huge pipe organ that sinks into the stage when the movie plays. It was really fun to see this movie in this great environment. It’s also fun to see a movie like this and hear the audience’s responses to key moments in the film (like when Charlton Heston’s character Taylor, who’s been unable to speak during his captivity, finally speaks with the line, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” and the audience erupted into applause).

Then we went out clubbing. It was still a little early — 10 o’clock. Ok, so it was still really early, but we had nothing better to do. First we went to Havana, which is a video bar that we like a lot. It’s a great place for the first drink of the night. After a drink there, we walked over to Axis. There was a really drunk straight woman there who was practically raping each of the dancers. She was crazy drunk — not just groping the guys but really going after them. I know it’s probably one of the job hazards of being a dancer at a club, but I still felt bad for them having to put up with her! Even the MC, Miss Alexis Stevens, seemed a little taken aback. We got there a little too early too — around 11 or so — but by midnight things were rocking. We had a fun time.

This morning we had a great brunch at The Northstar Cafe also on High Street. I had the ricotta pancakes and PJ had a mushroom frittata. Both were really good. The weather was great, so we sat outside on the patio. After breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and went to Easton Town Center to do some shopping. I bought some clothes, PJ used some of his birthday gift cards, and I finally found the Margery Allingham books I’ve been looking for.

It’s an overnight trip like this that makes us want to live in a city someday. We had a great time and we couldn’t help but keep saying, “If we lived in a city, we could go to old movies like this all the time” or “If we lived in a city, we could go out to the bars whenever we wanted” or “If we lived in a city, we could have almost endless restaurant choices.” Maybe someday.