Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dinner with 12 strangers

I'm writing this post from my ultra modern, very hip hotel room in downtown San Francisco. Not kidding...it took five minutes tugging and pulling on the overhead shade until I finally discovered that it was actually plugged into the wall. This was my first time to lower a shade by the push of a button. Two of which are on either side of the king size bed I have entirely to myself...and void of any five month old baby alarm at 3:00 AM. But while I'm enjoying catching up on extra sleep, I do miss my boys...all three of them. Wade is earning his "Father of the Year" award this week and wrangling both Henry and Sam solo in Stillwater, while I'm enjoying four back-to-back nights of uninterrupted sleep.

So, not only is this trip (1) my first time to be away from Sam, but it's
(2) the longest I've been away from Henry,
(3) the longest I've been apart from Wade since we married,
(4) the first experience I've had with electronic window shades,
(5) my first time to visit San Francisco,
(6) my first ADRP international conference...that's Association of Donor Relations Professionals for those of you reading that aren't work colleagues..., but I also took
(7) my first limo ride tonight. Make that STRETCH limo...complete with six empty champagne glasses and 12 strangers from across the globe.

ADRP, knowing that many of their conference participants were here alone, organized dinner parties at a number of exquisite restaurants in the downtown SF area. I signed up for the Italian restaurant, Michelangelo's, tonight, and a seafood place for tomorrow. After meeting the rest of my party in the hotel lobby, being the good stewards that we are, the group opted to take a limo to the restaurant in lieu of a cab. For a mere $10 per person, the limo would take us to Michelangelo's and back. Never mind that I was sitting on the laps of perfect strangers during our route!

And the evening just gets more interesting...

During dinner I was surrounded by a Canadian, someone from Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Connecticut, southern California, and Italy. Then, much like complimentary sopapillas served at Mexican restaurants, we received complimentary GUMMY BEARS after our meal. No, that was not a typo...GUMMY BEARS were actually served with amaretto cookies following our entree. Henry would have LOVED this! Although the gummy bears were quite bizarre, the restaurant owner and chef explained that the sugared bears are what have made the quaint Italian restaurant so famous. Would you believe that he actually receives phone calls from the east coast from people asking, "Are you the restaurant with the gummy bears?" The lesson I learned from tonight's dining experience - if you have 10 or more in your party, it's easier and cheaper to take a limo, and if I ever decide to open a restaurant, I need to serve complimentary tootsie rolls following the meal.

Sadly, there will be no pictures of my experiences in SF because silly me forgot my camera. Wade - this means you should be taking pictures of the boys for me while I'm away. :)

Until next time...

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