Sometimes dating can get monotonous. The guy picks you up. You go to some chain restaurant like Olive Garden or Outback Steakhouse. You watch a recently released movie at the theater. You might go out for drinks after or you may end up just going home. Repeat.
Every once in a great while you'll get an excellent date that has a little more thought put into it. Maybe he'll do some serious research to find a hidden gem of a restaurant that will totally blow your mind with their delicious butternut squash soup and ginger beer. Maybe he'll introduce you to an awesome indie rock band weeks in advance that you find your self listening to on repeat and then take you to their concert. Maybe he'll do both and then some.
About a month ago, Alex took me on the best first date a girl could ask for. At the time, we had been cooped up in Sandusky for far too long and working far too many hours at Cedar Point. We needed a break and so Alex planned an awesome first date for us in Ohio's capital city.
Of course, like any girl when invited on a date, I instantly began to think of what I would wear for such an occasion. Typically I would wear skinny jeans with a nice blouse and heels for a dinner and movie date; however, for a nice dinner and concert date, I would need something that was a balance between dressy enough for a trendy restaurant and cool enough to fit in with an indie concert crowd. Also, with the unpredictable Ohio weather, I would need an outfit with layers.
A little black dress with a chambray and scarf thrown over it was perfect. It was great to have the extra layers while walking around town and having the ability to take the chambray off when I was warmed up by the crowd in Columbus's Basement venue.
After a few hour road trip to Columbus, our first stop was to the Till Dynamic Fare Restaurant, a trendy and hip little restaurant near The Ohio State University. The restaurant features unique selections that are made from organic and local produce and offered a wonderful vegan menu, too (Alex is a vegetarian). We were treated to delicious butternut squash soup and ginger beers that I still dream about to this day. The decor resembled that of a NYC find and I loved the small edgy details such as the bar menu written on the wall covered in chalkboard paint. Since I was on a date, I wasn't going to break out the camera so you'll have to go check out the restaurant next time you're in Columbus. ;)
After a relaxing and filling dinner, we headed to The Basement to see a band called Bear's Den. The opening acts were exceptionally good as well! Christof, a Dutch alternative folk singer, kicked off the concert. He left everyone's hearts melted and feeling left in a daze with his distinctive voice and inspiring lyrics. His music is truly beautiful. I would recommend you listen to "Cuckoo" on his Springtime EP (2010).
Vancouver natives Dan Mangan + Blacksmith took the stage next (pictured above). I have to be honest, Alex had me listen to Dan Mangan long before the concert and I wasn't a fan. After hearing him at the concert, my mind was quickly changed. Another unique voice, it's a bit on the rough side but I enjoy the folksy whimsical music that accompanies his newer music. I enjoy his 2007 album, Postcards and Daydreaming, and find the music to be relaxing and thoughtfully done. I really enjoy "Sold" (2010) and "Journal of a Narcoleptic" (2007).
After a long intermission, the headlining band finally crawled out of the den. Bear's Den is one of the few bands that I can listen to on repeat. All.Day.Long. I enjoyed their music before the concert and after hearing them live, I enjoy it even more. There are so many great songs I recommend you just download their new album "Islands" (2014) now. Go. Do it now. You won't regret it. The easiest way for me to describe this band is just simply adorable. Their lyrics, their music, their whole look. Just adorable. Dancing with Alex to our favorite songs was definitely the highlight of the whole night (my goodness, when did I become a romantic?). My favorite songs include "Agape," "The Love We Stole," and "Bad Blood."
After going out for a few drinks and some food, we ended the night at The Wayfaring Buckeye Hostel. I was a bit nervous about staying at a hostel at first but this was so nice! It was a gorgeous and trendy hostel that offered everything you may need - bikes to ride around town, free wifi, towels and sheets, breakfast, the whole works. For my first hostel experience, I hope this doesn't ruin me for all the hostels I'll be staying in during my time in Europe, haha!
It was definitely a wonderful evening. I'm so grateful to Alex for showing that he cares in such a unique way and introducing me to excellent music (guys, right before I left for Italy he downloaded Bear's Den's newest album to my laptop without me even knowing! You can be sure I was so surprised and one happy girl when I found it later!).
What's the best date you've ever been on? What bands do you recommend?