If you have never gone on a long road trip with some friends, you would possibly imagine that you all would have a fun time together (even on a 5 hour drive). You might think that you’ll do some carpool karaoke, do some guessing games, or maybe even just sleep. These thoughts were not followed through as we drove down to Covington, Kentucky. There was little bit of animosity in the car, which was accompanied by an overwhelming tension that was polluting the car, but we survived the entire journey, and we were delightfully elated when we pulled up to the beautiful doors of the Hotel Covington.
I truly enjoy coming to this area, and I think it’s because of the people, and how well we get treated when we are here. The two times we’ve been down here, they’ve always put us up in a lovely hotel that would be surrounded by a lovely, urban jungle of stores to visit and places to eat. Our first trip, working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Cincinnati branch, and they hosted us in the Westin-Cincinnati, planted directly in the center of the city. The second time we were in the area, we were there to work with the GLSEN’s Cincinnati branch. They had us staying in a hotel (forgot the name) directly next to the University of Cincinnati, which gave us a completely different perspective of the bustling city.
This time, however, we didn’t stay in the city of Cincinnati Instead, we were hosted at the Hotel Covington in Covington, Kentucky. Believe me when I say, this hotel was immaculate. The building itself blended beautifully with the surrounding buildings, and it was nestled around a few restaurants and bars.
The food in the area is always a top-notch character to our trips as well. We started out by getting food at the Wabi Sabi, which is a Japanese restaurant that was just a block from our hotel. Jaime and I had sushi while Michael had a vegetable Udon bowl. During our dinner, the owner of the place shouted out that he was offering sake bombs for just a dollar a piece. Jaime and I energetically bounded from our seats and went up to the bar. They paid for two, and went to give a two dollar tip, but the waitress thought that it was money for two more bombs- so we ended up with four sake bombs for just two people. He stacked shot glasses up on top of normal sized glasses, then made them fall into the glasses by breathing fire (he put a blow torch up to his mouth and spat alcohol out), making them lose their balance in a delightful show. It was quite a kick-off to our trip.
Afterwards, we were walking through the streets of Covington while trying to catch Pokemon. Jaime was swaying as they walked, letting the Kentucky air blow their shawl this way and that. When we walked in front of the Hotel Covington, I decided to go back to the room because my stomach wasn’t feeling well. I don’t drink beer, the combination of the taste and carbonation messes with me in a very not-fun way, so I needed to go sit and let it go away. As I did, Jaime and Michael were separated when Jaime was hailed by some people in a local bar- the Hannaford- that apparently worked in the hotel bar/café that we were staying at. Being the social butterfly they are, Jaime immediately decided to hang out with them.
I went and joined them as I really didn’t feel safe with Jaime being by themselves in a town that they weren’t familiar with. It isn’t that I thought they were weak, or dumb, or would get lost (the Hannaford was almost right across the street from the hotel), but they do identify as transgender and there have been far too many reports of trans deaths and disappearances for me to allow any chance for that to happen to Jaime. Hell, during our trip, I even offered to come with them to the bathroom just in case someone started some shit with them. Jaime draws a lot of attention to themselves. They’re six feet tall, usually in makeup, almost always dressed in feminine clothing, so this can bring attention from unwanted eyes. Whenever this happens (when I am around them), my favorite thing to do is to give that person (or persons) the most mean, evil, “start some shit, I dare you” glare that I can. True, I can’t fight (or, at least, I haven’t tried), but I can be incredibly mean and heartless to people if I need to be.
Thankfully, the people at the Hannaford were incredibly kind. The bartender (whose name evades me) made the most exceptional Sex on the Beach that I have ever tasted. Every ingredient tasted like it was freshly made. The orange juice (or whatever orange flavor was in there) literally tasted like I was squeezing half of an orange into my mouth. Not to mention how cool he was. All I told him was to surprise me with a sweet drink, and he delivered it with gusto.
During our time at the Hannaford, I tried to pet a stray cat, Jaime drunkenly tried to find some dick to suck on Grindr, and Michael was evacuated from our hotel because the fire
alarms went off. As we watched the lights from the fire trucks through the windows of the bar, I thought that my stuff was going to get destroyed. Then, if it’s destroyed, how am I going to do the shoot? If I can’t do the shoot, do I still get reimbursed for the stay? Thankfully, the fire alarms were just set off because someone decided to smoke in their room. Smoke what, on the other hand, has yet to be found out.
Then, the night ended with us in our lavish hotel room, relaxing to the silent hum of the town surrounding the hotel.