Tag Archives: drink

San Francisco Stories, Part 1

It’s been a week since I left San Fransisco and I’m just now getting around to posting the pics/blog.   Thankfully, I have Twitter to remind me what I did!    I’ll split it into two posts to make it more readable.  Without further adieu…

Tuesday– Travel and Twin Spotting

We made it to San Fran without any problems.  Checked into the hotel, had a late lunch, and walked around a bit.  We saw a street performer with a pet rat and a pet cat but, alas, no photos exist.  It’s too bad, really, ‘cuz it was quite the sight.

We were able to get a (pretty crappy) photo of the Brown Twins, though. They’re living San Francisco landmarks– twin sisters who dress alike and frequent Nob Hill eateries.   We didn’t even know about them until later, but I was able to snap this (bad) picture of them. On this day, they were dressed in leopard-print jackets and cowboy hats.  Pimp!

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Wednesday– Set up (Sorta), Eye-Talian, and Tiki

The first day of work was a logistical nightmare.   Due to union restrictions,  we ended up watching other people do the work until about 5:00 then we unpacked our booth.  I’m a strong supporter of unions, but even my resolve was tested.  In the end, it worked out fine, but it sure was frustrating!    

The end result of 8 hours of union labor and 1.5 hours of ours!

The end result of 8 hours of union labor and an hour and a half of ours!

We then set out for dinner.  As you may recall, dinners out are the highlight of my work trips and Kurt had heard of this Italian place called Cafe Tiramisu.  It was 8 short blocks from the hotel, which was a welcome change from sitting on my a$$ all day.  Unfortunately, we got a little lost and the 8 blocks ended up being much longer– and often uphill.  

Once we made it to the restaurant, it was worth it.  The waiter called us kids, there were hilarious misspellings on the menu (which became somewhat of a theme–see below) and the food was pretty good.  I got the quail, which was good, but reminded me how much I hate to eat meat off of bones:

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Good. But lots of bones.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the dessert.  We ordered the sampler for 3 and it didn’t disappoint– various types of gelato, sorbet, cakes, cannolis, biscotti, tiramisu (natch),  profiteroles, etc.   Even though it was billed as enough for 3 people, it was waaaayyy too much.  Apparently, they also had a pasta sampler, but we didn’t try it:

mmm...dessert!

mmm...dessert!

After dinner, we met a former co-worker, Jane (of Not So Plain Jane fame) out for drinks.  She took us to the Tonga Room, which was absolutely AWESOME!   It’s a Tiki-themed bar in the oh-so-fancy Fairmont hotel.  The drinks are strong, the dancing is hoppin’ and it made for a great people-watching experience. (Read Jane’s description here.) 

There was a couple making out on the dance floor, a guy in a white shirt with zero inhibitions and everyone was having a good time.  My only regret is that I didn’t get up and dance.  Andrew offered me free drinks for the rest of the trip, and I didn’t take it.   The Tonga Room is apparently closing soon, so I’m glad we got a chance to experience it.   

A few pics (a la Lisa):

My drink.  Can't remember the name. Tasted like a rum runner.

My drink. Can't remember the name. Tasted like a rum runner.

Kurt loooves his pirate drink (again, can't remember the name!)

Kurt loooves his drink, The Scorpion :)

Andrew's Mai Thai came in a super awesome plastic coconut

Andrew's Mai Thai came in a super awesome plastic coconut

And an umbrella!!

With an umbrella!!

For some dumb reason, I didn’t take any pictures of Jane, who was an awesome tour guide.  It was so much fun to get an “inside look” at San Francisco.  I’m so bummed we didn’t get to hang longer, but the Tonga Room was definitely one of the highlights of a super fun trip.  Thanks, Jane!!

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Funny Menus

One of the recurring themes of this trip (in addition to “you did a GREAT job” and hiding my phone–very funny, boys!), was the number of funny things we read on menus.

At Cafe Tiramisu, they had HORRIBLE misspellings.   Chocoloate for chocolate, Yourgurt for yogurt, etc.   They also had a disclaimer at the bottom that said something like: ” We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.”  Which we thought was odd.

There was a disclaimer on another menu that essentially said:  “Kids are welcome.  Unless they are crying.  Then you need to remove them.”   We thought that was awesome!

TO BE CONTINUED . . . 

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30 Days of 30: Week 4, Part 2

Here’s the play-by-play of my actual birthday weekend:

Friday– Although I’d been drinking since Tuesday, I officially kicked off my birthday weekend with  Happy Hour at The Esquire with work peeps.    I was impressed by the turnout– Leslie, Steve,  Janet, Lisa, Paula, Paula’s Husband, Dave, and Andrew all came out.   Peggy was also there and came over to wish me a Happy Birthday– right before the first shot!!

It was Leslie’s day and she bought me a “Birthday Princess” Tiara (pink–which matched my shirt)  and a shot glass necklace (which matched my bracelet).  Here I am modeling my new gifts:

bday_tiara

After Esquire, we went to Bentley’s.  Lisa’s husband’s band was playing there, so we had to check it out.  Here’s a shot of “the girls” at Bentley’s:

bentleysAnd me doing my first “shot” out of the shot glass necklace (note: it’s a shot of beer… this is after a Rock Lobster/Red Lobster shot at Esquire)

beerWe drank a little more and then I headed home. It had been one hell of a week and I knew I had more festivities planned.  It was a great night. I really love my work friends.  Another successful “meeting” on the books!!

Saturday– 

Since Friday was a relatively early night, I was able to get some things done around the house on Saturday.   When I went to check my mail, I got the COOLEST SUPRISE… my mailbox was FULL…. of CARDS!!    At first I thought it was a mistake–that my doctor’s office or vet and accidentally sent me multiple cards or something.  And then I noticed that there was the same handwriting… on each of them.  And no return envelope.  

I tore open the envelopes and discovered that Tracy, Cynthia, and Julie had sent me 30 cards… for my 30th birthday!!    And all of them were different.  Yeah, they had to get creative a couple times… turning a “birthday boy” into “birthday girl”  and “congratulations” into “congratulations, you’re 30” but it was great!   Coolest idea ever.

stack of cards--before they were opened

stack of cards--before they were opened

 

cards on display

cards on display

Saturday night was the big bowling extravaganza.  Once again, I was thrilled with the turnout:  Cory/Bobbi, Lindsey/Luke, Steph/Drew, Kim, Red, Jeff/Erin and the kids all came out.   And we had a BLAST.   I actually won the first game (well, on my lane) with a personal high of 122.  Yes, 122 was my personal record AND the winning score on my lane.  We’re clearly not professionals!   It was such a fun night and I have TONS of pictures (some I took, but mostly taken by Macie and Elyce).  Here are some highlights:

 

Circle Girls

Circle Girls

Cory and the chicks

Cory and the chicks

 

Red and I... fine as hell

Red and I... fine as hell

 

the obligatory self-portait

the obligatory self-portait

After bowling it was off to Rock’s to meet up with some boys.   They were there for a UFC fight, which –honestly– sucked the life out of me, but once it was over, the party was on!!    

 

Kfish showed up

Kfish showed up

And so did the Siemsens

And so did the Siemsens

 

Drew)

Clennon and Drew stopped by for a drink (Not pictured: Drew)

A SUPER fun night with many of my very favorite people!

Sunday–  Superbowl Sunday!!!   I gotta admit that after such a long week/weekend, I was a little spent.  I went to a Superbowl party at Ron’s and had a great time– good food, lots of drinks, lots of laughs.    We watched the game, got out the 3D glasses during the commercials, the boys played poker, etc.   But after the game was over, I CRASHED!  It wasn’t time to go home yet, so Ron let me sleep in the back room while everyone else continued hanging out.  Turning 30 will do that to you.

Monday–  My actual BIRTHDAY!!   I took off work, lounged around the house and hung out with Kyle most of the day.   We didn’t get going until after 2 in the afternoon, so we just had a late lunch and went to the mall.  OMG– I couldn’t believe how many stores have closed at the mall.  So sad.  After lunch, we piddled at the bookstore for a bit and then I went to O’Charleys to have dinner with my mom and he met his mom and step-dad for dinner.  

Since I had a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry and just got a side salad and a slice of chocolate (dare i say “birthday”) cake for dessert.   It was PHENOMENAL and HUGE!!  My mom got me a bunch of much-needed gift cards and my brother sent up a  “SO IL” hoodie.  It was perfect.

After dinner, I met Kyle back at my house and we went to see The Wrestler.  I liked it a lot… it was pretty much exactly what I expected. Plus, it had a killer late-80s hair metal soundtrack.   Shopping, eating, a movie– what a perfect day to spend my 30th bday.

So, folks— there you have it.  The 30 days of 30 experiment fully documented for your reading pleasure.   The 30 days aren’t officially over yet, though.  I’m heading to Chicago for the last leg of my birthday celebration.    I hope you all have enjoyed following my little experiment.

30 days of 30: Week 3

I’m almost on the home stretch in my 30 days of 30.  Here’s how week 3 played out:

Monday–   Drinks at Boltini with Scott, Kurt & Charlie.  I was drinking Pear Gimlets, which I fully intent to re-create at home with the Pear vodka I got as a gift.

Scott got me a book of T.S. Eliot poems to help me with my resolution to appreciate poetry.  Kurt photocopied a poem for me later in the week, too.  Books are some of the most thoughtful/personal gifts you can give someone, especially if it’s something you enjoy. I’ve been reading the poems before I go to bed and I’ve certainly gained a better appreciation for the craft.  

Food Note: I highly recommend the goat cheese crostini and the pretzel “fondue.”  Not your average bar food, but oh-s0-good!

Tuesday–  Dinner with Kelli D. at Olive Garden.  Kelli is a childhood friend of mine.  We recently re-connected and through the magic of facebook we stay in pretty close contact. But it was nice to see her in prson for a change and to get an update on her kids, work, etc. It was her first day going back to working nights after being off for a long time, so I’m glad we were able to hang out, even for a little bit.  

Wednesday– Dinner and drinks at Flat Top with Bridget.   She got me the coolest Juno card.  It speaks the line about being cool w/o even trying when you open it.  Awesome!   We then went back to her house for the LOST premiere.  We’re both huge fans and it was nice to watch with someone as crazy, er, dedicated as me!  I also got the opportunity to meet her super-cool boyfriend and their dog Oscar.  Fun night (once we figured out how to open the wine bottle. lol.)

Food note:  We didn’t have dessert at Flat Top, but the guys next to us had some sort of molten chocolate/ice cream concoction.  It looked soooooo good.  I never have room for dessert when I go there, but it might be worth a try.

Thursday–  This was officially Erin’s day since we missed our date earlier this month.  I had lunch with my besties– Steph, Erin, Kim at Houlihan’s.   Including me, this represented half of the email circle, so I guess you could say we had a quarum.   It’s never a dull moment with those girls and I love them dearly.   

Friday– Bobbi and I had planned on going to see The Dark Knight because it was allegedly going to be re-released in the theaters this weekend.I even held off watching it on DVD because I was excited to see it on the big screen.  But apparently it’s not playing here.  So Bobbi, Cory, and I did our usual Friday night happy hour at Bunny’s.  I met their friend Jamie, who was super nice. It was fun and low-key and just what the doctor ordered!

Saturday–  Because of the (relatively) early Friday night, I was uber-productive Saturday during the day.  Then I went to Fat City to celebrate Kristin and Muffy’s birthdays.  It was good to see everyone, but I think I might (gasp!) be getting a little sick of the bar scene.  Shocking, I know!

Sunday–  No one had signed up for today, and I was okay with that.  Cory and I talked about maybe going bowling, but decided to wait for another day when more people could come.  

I stayed in bed reading until noon.  My mom came up to deliver my computer desk (a  Christmas present that was still at her house!), we went to lunch and I’ve been reading, writing, and messing around online ever since.  So, I’m officially marking this day on my 30 days of 30 calendar as Cari day!

ATL: Day 1

The first day in Atlanta was a success. Our fight was fine. We made it to the hotel in time. We got a portion of the booth set up. Had a great dinner at La Tavola. Lasagna was the special tonight and I had a half order of it with a half order of the ravioli. The lasagna might have been the best I’ve ever had. Except my moms. It was obviously a very rich dish, but felt light on the palate. Wine was good. Appetizers were good. Dessert was good. Conversation was good. Kent slapped me on the back a couple of times. Weird.

I realized, again, how much I think I’m missing by not knowing about academia sooner. I think I would’ve made a wonderful academic. L said: “your next bf should be an academic” Screw the next bf, why can’t *I* be an academic? But what would I study? I’m not sure there’s ANYTHING I like enough to devote that kind of time to. At least not anything that would pay the bills.

I think that’s part of the problem though. When I went to college it was clear: you go to school so you can get a good job. No one told me that the “good job” could be at a university somewhere. My college experience prepared me for little more than a corporate job. What’s the academic challenge in that? Where is the pursuit of truth? Of new ideas? Of alternate perspectives?

I think my jealousy has just gotten the best of me. Once again, it seems as if everyone has led much more interesting, cultured, fulfilled lives than I have.