Last night kicked off the beginning of the most fun and cultural 11 days that Columbia may see for the rest of the year with the Indie Grits Kick Off Party at 701 Whaley! I wasn’t intending on going but thanks for the magic of Twitter, I saw that The Hungry Lady was in search of a plus one so I thought, “Why not? I don’t have work the next day, woohoo!”

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We met up at 701 Whaley around 8:30, fashionably late enough for the party to be in full swing, and man it was packed! All of the cool kids in town were there, and I saw a lot of familiar faces (and some that I should have recognized, but we’ll get to that… maybe!).

We started out with some good ole social lubricant, then made our way to the grits bar (yes, grits bar!) and I was surprised to see that they a) had vegan grits and b) they were pretty much empty! Guess they must have been reaaally good! I scraped a little from the bottom to try and loaded up with toppings.

The toppings were the real star of this buffet table. Hot sauces, fried leeks (yes siiir), scallions, marinated mushrooms, Thai prawns, purple slaw, strawberries, sugar, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, salsas, and so much more! This was my first time trying grits since very early childhood and much to my surprise they were pretty good, not mushy and gross like I’d imagined!

After a quick bite of what was there while more grits were cooking, we wandered off to get into the interactive parts of the party. This was the first thing we got to, and my contribution which I stuck at the top for all to see!

Close up:

And someone else’s contribution that I thought was pretty funny. The Shiv Mart is a gas station in Olympia… right next to 701 Whaley. Ha.

Another super cool interactive feature was the Lite Brites station! Who remembers the last time they played with these? It was fun, but I seriously don’t know how we had the patience for these as kids! It took a while and I ever got bored with Lite Brite-ing my name. Yes, I know I am a little lame. As long as you own the fact, right?

There was a lot of arty things going on, a huge chalkboard with places for people to write and check off things they’d like to have/have done/do in Columbia. Some were awesome, some were obviously jokes, but both ways had great suggestions! We had a lot of fun checking off and adding suggestions and hope that someone maybe rolls that big chalkboard into a City Council meeting soon!

But that was just the kick off party, there are WAY MORE activities going on than any one person could probably attend, so click over to the official Indie Grits site and see what you can make it to! Most of the foodie events are this weekend and I can’t make it, so if you do, please tell me how it goes! And thanks again for the ticket, Laura!