Saturday, November 20, 2010

It figures...

So we haven't had any snow yet, to speak of. But right after I book airline tickets to fly to GA for Thanksgiving on Monday, a huge winter storm looms on the horizon- forecasted to hit our area tomorrow night.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Late Night Dinner in Denver

Dev and I arrived in Denver about 8:30. We checked into our hotel (the Hyatt Regency on 15th Street near the mall) and asked at the front desk if there was decent sushi within walking distance of the hotel. The concierge on duty happily pulled out a map of the area and marked 2 sushi places on the map, recommending one over the other.

So we set off walking, map in hand, eagerly anticipating our late night sushi feast.

Unfortunately, we went to the spot marked on the map, but could not find a sushi place anywhere. We knocked around, trying to "use the force" and ferret out the elusive sushi place. No luck. I was rapidly losing patience and becoming grumpy (due to my grumbly tummy) and decided we'd go to the seafood/steak house we had passed when we turned off the main street.

It looked fancy enough. Willie G.'s Seafood and Steaks was the name proudly emblazoned on the sign out front. Swanky lighting and fancy tablecloths promised a gourmet birthday meal. When am I gonna learn that beauty on the outside doesn't mean beauty on the inside.

We really should have left after we had to wait forever for the waitperson to take our dinner orders after bringing us water. Apparently because we didn't order drinks, she figured we weren't worth her time. But I was starving, and didn't want to go anywhere else.

Warm bread and butter arrived, which we devoured like it was our last meal. I ordered a house chopped salad, which was good, but had some unidentifiable spicy ingredient that would pop up every once in a while to make life interesting.

I don't remember what Dev ordered for dinner, but I ordered a sampler appetizer platter as my meal. The crab cakes were ok, but certainly not better than what I can make at home. The calamari was obviously prebreaded (I hate that. Calamari is so wonderful when it's lightly hand breaded and fried- why would you buy the prefabbed stuff?). There was one more thing, but considering I can't remember what it was, it wasn't all that.

We decided to have a piece of bourbon pecan pie for dessert. I thought the filling was way too strong, but the crust was heavenly. The pie crust was the best thing about the whole meal.

We were entertained by some very drunk, very loud guests sitting at a table near us. They lived in some little mountain town, and had come to Denver for the weekend (much like we had). They were in party mode. By the time they left, they had convinced the people at the table next to them to go bar hopping with them.

After paying for our less than satisfying meal, we headed out to walk back to the hotel. I still haven't figured out how to find the hidden gems that I know must exist in Denver. I've got to get in the know. It kills me to go to such a big city and have such a disappointing dining experience.

If anyone has any ideas for good places to eat, PLEASE leave a comment!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me.......'s been a while...again. Sometimes I really hate it that work gets in the way of all the things I like to do for fun.

So, I turned 42 on Friday. There. I said it. To be honest, it doesn't feel that different than 41.

It got off to a very good start shortly after I arrived at work on Friday morning. I complain about quite a few things associated with being a teacher (with good cause, mind you), but sometimes magic happens. You really haven't lived until you've had 200 8th graders sing Happy Birthday to you. It was a good feeling.

The good times continued during my reading class, when my wonderful husband sent one of his students to my room with 2 birthday cards: one from him and the other from our dog, Bear.

All throughout the day my students gave me hugs and birthday wishes. AND the day ended early as my teaching partner, Christi, and I got to leave school early to do some planning. Believe it or not, we actually got some good things accomplished.

Immediately after school, I took Bear to Silt, where we were having him boarded for the weekend. I felt guilty for a minute or two, but then I was ready for my big birthday weekend in Denver!

Dev and I ran home and packed a few more things. Just as we were ready to walk out the door, he gave me my birthday gifts. I am a huge Alton Brown fan, so Dev got me the second "Good Eats" book. He also got me a tripod and an underwater casing for my flip camera. He knows me so well!!

By 5pm we hit the road for Denver! Because he is the best husband on the planet, Dev had booked a VIP package for hotel and tickets to the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Seriously, it was the best present ever.

When we get back from school a little later, I'll tell you about the rest of my trip!!
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