Another fun week on the books. Thursday I met up with two good friends, Andrea and Sofia in Thornton Park for lunch. I am in love with Thornton Park, as are most people in Orlando. It is this nice, quaint, accessible downtown area with brick streets and big trees and old houses and cute boutiques and restaurants. Everything has character. I keep trying to think of a great idea so I can make a bunch of money and own one of those old brick-street houses. Nothin' of note yet.
We started out at Dexter's, which is a restaurant/bar. We had a couple drinks and split an appetizer. We had brie with apples, grapes, and strawberries on toasted french bread. Delicious. After we were finished, we had to decide our next move. It was about 4:30, and both Andrea and Sofia had plans for later on... but it was too early to just go home! Soon enough, their plans were out the window and we were headed for happy hour. We went to several bars, having a cheap drink and moving on. On Wall Street, we were got so lucky! First with the free chips and salsa (thanks to Cantina-- by the way, apparently they have free chips and salsa everyday, so keep that in mind!), then with FREE tickets to the Orlando City soccer game the following evening, which Marco (Sofia's husband) and I had planned on going to anyway! Not only that, I got a free scarf! Marco wanted it really bad, so I begged the promoters to PLEASE "save me a beating" and give us another one. After some reluctance, the guy promoter relented and gave me another one. SCORE! :)
Marco and I with our free SWAG!
The night ended at Ember, with the MAVS beating the Heat in game 5. Awesome! (We true Magic fans don't switch to Heat fans just because they are from Florida!)
Friday I was exhausted from all of our fun on Thursday, but I had made plans to meet two friends at my pool, so I had to follow through! Plus they are two of my favorite friends, so I was happy to oblige my commitment. We had fun chatting and listening to music while the sun kissed us a little. Later that afternoon it was time for the big game! Orlando City lost 2-1 against Antigua, but it was fun anyway. I think I am becoming a bona-fide Orlando sports fan! I guess after 7 years it makes sense.
Saturday morning I got up and got ready to head to my niece's recital in Jacksonville! She is only 3, as I mentioned in my last post, but I couldn't wait to see her on stage. Her dance studio has girls from 3-18, so the recital was full of girls dancing at all stages. She was dressed as a baby lion and it was SO freakin' cute. Anyone with two eyes and a soul would have given her a falsetto "awwww"! I was really into the first act, and we anxiously awaited Evan's performance, which was slotted to occur right after intermission. Intermission came and Evan went backstage to get ready with all the other baby lions. We got a soda and stood around, waiting... only to find out (flick, flick) the lights went out... in the ENTIRE building and in all of the surrounding buildings! There were about 400 guests and I would guess about 100 dancers, at least, so of course chaos ensued. No offense to any of the "dance moms" out there, and I think they'd agree, but the majority of them are a high-strung bunch. I kind of wanted to hide as all of this was going down. After about 20 minutes of chaos, a representative from the theater informed us that the performances scheduled for after the intermission would be incorporated into the 7:00 showing (that's right, there were 2 showings of the recital!), which meant we would have to leave and come back. Long story short(er), we came back and saw Evan do a really cute half-summersault-headstand-thing. She wasn't nervous or anything! She was so proud to be on stage and smiled the whole time. The only sad part was that I could see her looking for us where we had been in the audience the first time around, but since we had to come back we had new seats and she didn't know where to look for us! :( We were waving like crazy, and I know she felt the love anyway.
Baby lion! Wish I had pics from the performance, but it wasn't allowed (I blame the high-strung dance moms.)
Sunday we had a slow morning, just enjoying one another's company. We ran a couple of errands, and soon enough the day had slipped away. I packed up my stuff and was ready to head out of town, when I texted a friend of mine to see what she was up to. It was one of our friends' birthdays, and I decided I really wanted to surprise her. I am IN LOVE with [good] surprises. I got surprised on my birthday last year TWICE and it was the best birthday ever. So, I had to pay it forward. My friend said surprising Dana would be the best idea ever, so I was sold. (Sidenote--I was supposed to already be out of town, so it wasn't really like I was ditching Dana by not being there in the first place.) I was so nervous, just because I knew she would be happy and all of my other friends would be surprised too, yet I didn't want to take the focus away from Dane. I told one friend I was coming so that I wouldn't end up at the wrong place, but otherwise no one knew. I walked in and everyone was so excited! I love my friends, they are the best. Katie looked like she was about to burst into tears-- the reaction was priceless. Dana was really happy and I was so happy to be able to give her a big hug on her birthday. I think giving surprises might be better than getting them-- if not, they are really really close in awesomeness.
We went out and had an AWESOME time. As one friend said, it was kind of like "high school good times". Yes, that fun. There is really something to be said for close groups of girl friends. I have always said don't trust a girl without girl friends. Same goes for guys, really. Through thick and thin, we have all been friends for several years and anything rarely gets between us. There have been tiny bumps along the road, but nothing really huge. At the end of the day, we all love each other very much and there isn't anything I could think of happening to change that, given the personalities and the character of the girls. There is no jealousy, no malice- what ya see is what ya get! There is nothing worse than a friend who secretly has somethin' to say about ya when you aren't around... that is one surprise I do NOT like and I do NOT give!
OH YEAH! Look at this other surprise I got in the mail yesterday!
Poor quality cell phone pic, but you get the idea!