AH, SICILY, a beautiful island amidst the blue Mediterranean sea, abundant in delicious pesces and sun-kissed Italians bathing in Speedo’s. How did I end up here of all places? In the summer of 2014 travel was all the rage. I had moved to Barcelona for 3 months in hopes of solidifying my Spanish and popping bottles at El Xampanyet. Meanwhile, my friend Tori from college was in Taormina in hopes of becoming the best volcano scientist the island had seen (and also popping bottles of champagne.) We were chatting over WhatsApp one afternoon and it went something like this:
Tori: Dee, you should come hang out for a weekend! We’ll party, eat and go to the beach.
Me: Sounds great! Does Friday work for you?
She wasn’t fully convinced I was serious until I sent her a text from the Catania airport.
The island was beyond beautiful. As a classical studies nerd, I instagrammed to death the ancient theater whose ruins proudly withstood the test of time and still served as a venue for open-air performances. Decked out in green, ugly rubber shoes and ice cream in hand, we took the cable car down to Mazzaro’s rocky beach and basked in the hot Italian sun for what will remain one of my most fun weekends that summer. After a short arancini snack, Tori introduced me to a random Swiss stud she had met around the school who was in town with his manager for a quick escape from body builder competitions season. They were staying at the snazzy Ashbee Hotel, a gorgeous property whose infinity pool overlooked the island, neatly tucked between two palm trees.
As the sun set over Taormina, Tori and I had a bottle of liquor well underway and were ready to meet our new friends at Morgana Bar. One problem: THE LIST. (Dun-dun-duuuun!) Coming from the US, where getting into bars and clubs wasn’t a big deal for the most part, I gazed into an old friend I had forgotten with great pleasure – the club gatekeeper. Fit, dressed up and with sleek black hair, the dude at the entrance of Morgana was your typical diva, denyinh the poor souls the
chance to shake their bums to the beat of a year’s passed electronic music. Now, I’m typically a very diplomatic person, which is why what I did next will forever remain a mystery. High heels on and a backless dress, hotter than the fire the Grey Goose lit in my veins, I had not spent €250 of my hard-earned money on a weekend trip to Sicily just to get rejected.
Italiano: Are you on the list?
Me: Of course we are! We are with (body builder’s name shall remain private) from room 402 and I demand that you let us in this instant.
Moment of truth – Italiano looked at the list, obviously not able to find us, and how would he? I was clearly drunk, never said our names or which hotel our friend was staying at. To my ultimate pleasure, he lifted the red, velvet rope and Tori and I triumphantly walked into the club while everyone else remained in line. The next part of the night I’m not as proud of.
A Mojito later, I had to leave Morgana and desperately seek my bed. Thing is, those f*ckin heels weren’t so sexy anymore, but a huge pain in my ass instead. Stumbling down narrow cobblestone streets, the last glimmer of energy inside me died and I ultimately surrendered on a stack of stone-cold stairs, while Tori desperately attempted to give me a pep talk and convince me not to take off my shoes, leading to this scene…
So what’s the moral of the story here if there even is one?
• Say YES to invites and follow through. If I had gone with my primary
instinct to be lazy and stay at my hotel, I wouldn’t have had a great
f*cking weekend in Sicily.
• Confidence, confidence and again, confidence. Don’t let some club snob tell you where you can and can’t go.
• Drink in moderation, kids.