as mentioned in a previous post, an affinity to wedding-related rituals is not a genetic disposition with which i was born. you can imagine the day of reckoning back in september when i got the call informing me that i was going to be a bridesmaid. when november rolled around, i dusted off my big girl pants, tossed them in my suitcase and boarded the plane to the oc to fulfill my first official bridesmaid duty: dress shopping. luckily, marathon shopping is a skill that i have honed over the years, and the experience was more enjoyable than expected. after a productive day and a belly full of shabu-shabu, it was time for a well-deserved drink(s), so we headed down to mtv mecca, laguna beach. i was 0-1 when we stopped into a belgian bar that had no fernet (for shame, the euros should know better!), and was directed down the block. now, laguna has a reputation of surfers, tourists, and entitled trust fund babies, so imagine my surprise when i walked into this oak-y, dive bar-esque joint with nautical decor. however, a warm welcoming feeling came over me as i settled in for my first fernet; many hours, country songs, canadians, mullets, dances, and drinks later, i was ready to call the marine room my new home away from home. and to my dear bartender atticus, owner of the best name ever, im especially looking forward to an early christmas this year.