we’ve got some catching up to do

Surprise! I’m back! I know it seemed like I fell off the face of the earth, but sorry to disappoint you…I’m still here :) The past few months saw many ups and even more downs. I just needed some time to piece myself back together and be on the right track. Feeling better than ever now; mentally, physically, and emotionally. My return should see me writing more consistently from now on. I’m hoping to blog at least a couple times a week. *Must get myself back into writing mode.

I know we’ve got a lot of catching up to do and putting it all into words would have you here for the next week or two. So instead, I’ll just focus on the highlights and let the pictures do half the talking. We’ll start with January…

[ Saturday, January 9, 2010 ]

Danny invited Adrienne, Robin and I to College Street Bar where his friend was spinning. His friend goes by the alias DJ Bank$ and plays a good mixture of old school and nu skool hip hop, R&B, house, and dance beats. I totally loved his stuff! I loved his choice of music and particularly liked his smooth transitions between songs. Anyone need a wedding DJ? heheh Y’all should check out DJ Bank$.

[ Friday, January 29, 2010 ]

The end of January saw the start of one my favourite times of the year: Winterlicious! First on the roster was Jump Café and Bar, one of my all-time fave restaurants. Adrienne and I both tried capon there for the first time and it was surprisingly very tender and delicious.

After our first Winterlicious date, Adrienne and I took a walk and ended up at Sheraton Hotel. It was there that we made an amazing discovery of a brilliant invention. As we were exiting the restroom at the hotel, I noticed this fixture on the wall right next to the door. A second glance confirmed it was indeed what I thought it was: a tissue dispenser with a waste basket beneath it. Apparently they’re called a “SAFE-T-GARD”. For people like me, who despise having to touch the door handle when leaving a public restroom, this is a great solution! +1 for thinking of the customers, Sheraton.

[ Sunday, January 31, 2010 ]

This marked a very special day for me. It was on this day that I went to my first ever live basketball game!

Okay…so for most people this is no big deal, but to me it was more than just a big deal. It was completely unexpected and not something I planned in advance. More importantly, I was given the opportunity to go to the game because of an unexpected encounter with an individual. I often talk about meeting people in life: some you get to know, some you become life-long friends with, and then there are some who walk into your life briefly but leave a lasting memory. He was definitely one of those.

The Saturday before the game was a very busy day at the store. There was a gala next door at the MTCC that evening, so people were flooding in to buy things they needed. Customer after customer. I had heard that the Indiana Pacers were staying at our hotel, but I was far too busy to be spotting them.

I had just finished a sale when I noticed this man at the counter looking at cufflinks. A very quiet and modest looking man. He asked me what time I open on Sunday and said he will be back tomorrow since he noticed it was a rather busy night at our store. Like with every other customer, I asked what brought him to the hotel. When he said he was with the basketball team, I started telling him about how my co-worker had just spent that afternoon telling me about how she landed tickets to their Sunday game.

Maybe it was the excitement in my voice or just my pure innocence, I don’t know. He asked if I had been to a basketball game before, in which I said no and that I’d really love to go one day. He then asked if I wanted to go to Sunday’s game. I told him I probably wouldn’t make it because most games are in the afternoon when I’ll be working. Then to my surprise, he said the game was going to be in the evening. Rare.

I will never forget the expression on his face when he looked at me and said, “Write me your name. I’ll have two tickets waiting for you and your date. Remember, 6pm tomorrow. Just go to will call.” Completely shocked, I literally looked at him and said, “This can’t be for real.” He replied with a smile, “Just write me your name.” After I repeated myself again and he responded with the same line, I knew it really was for real. In my head, I couldn’t quite make sense of how that all happened. I was shocked, surprised, excited, all at the same time. I wrote down my name and as I gave him the paper, I asked for his name. “I’m Jim O’Brien, head coach of the Pacers.”

He might’ve been the most generous man I’ve ever met. Not just because he gave me two tickets to their basketball game. It’s more than that. It was in the way he carried himself, the way he spoke. I just felt a sense of greatness deep within this person. Before Mr. O’Brien left my store, he turned to this random couple (who needed a tie for that evening) and offered to lend the man one of his two ties because they were just “sitting upstairs in (his) room”. Generous? …Very much so.

I had a great time at the game. Sure, it wasn’t the most exciting game in history and there were moments when it was relatively boring. But the whole experience was amazing and I had good company :) It couldn’t have been a better first game for me.

[ Wednesday, February 3, 2010 ]

The second of my Winterlicious dates was at Far Niente. I wasn’t crazy about the meal here. My haddock and shrimp cake was pretty good and my black angus sirloin was satisfying. Overall, it was alright.

[ Thursday, February 11, 2010 ]

Our last Winterlicious date was at Fred’s Not Here. Absolutely LOVED the baked lobster and crab soup. It was SO delicous! And my ribeye steak…Mmm Mmm!! I tried some of Adrienne, Robin and Danny’s roasted lobster and that was good too. I’m definitely looking forward to revisiting this restaurant. I must admit though, the dessert for Winterlicious this time was a bit disappointing at all three restaurants. I’m hoping for better when Summerlicious comes around again. Just 4 months to go…I can’t wait! :p