Yesterday afternoon I picked the boys up from camp and we booked it straight to karate. I think they tried to get extra dirty today, since we had dinner plans after karate.
They cleaned up in the bathroom a little before changing into their karate clothes.
After karate I cleaned them up even more and made them put on clean clothes. I hope they passed as presentable because we were headed to an event at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Tampa.
It was a tweet-up for TBO.com, the online presence of the Tampa Tribune and WFLA, the local NBC affiliate. I am a news junkie and follow all of the TBO.com tweeps, so when I saw this tweet-up announced about a month ago I immediately put it on my calendar. I realized it was a Thursday night and that the only way I could go was if I could take the kids. I try really hard not to get a babysitter on a Thursday night, since that is Chad’s long-standing pool night and therefore I should not schedule events on Thursdays. However, if I can take the kids, it’s all good. I figured a pizza place was okay for kids and Thursday night is our pizza night anyway. I warned them to be on their BEST behavior.
When we got there right at 6:00 the place was already hopping with TBO tweeps. We signed in and they told the boys they could have one of the cool “Newschannel 8” pens that looks like the reporters’ microphones.
They had one long table set up next to the bar area and told us they would be bringing food out to that table, but that we could sit anywhere on that side of the restaurant.
We grabbed a smaller table right next to that one so that I could kind of keep the boys out of the grown-up bar area.
Everyone was so nice at the event. The social media guy for Anthony’s, @fsuToby, introduced himself right away as we had seen each other on Twitter as the event approached. He was really funny and took it in good spirits when I accidentally tweeted his handle as @usfToby (big oops). Turns out his wife went to USF, so he’s used to the rivalry.
I was kind of bummed that they did not serve liquor (I would have had JUST ONE, I promise), but I guess this is a thing in upscale Italian restaurants? I got my usual drink from “only beer and wine” places…
I was having a great time talking to some Yelp friends (hey @carloseats!) and meeting people. Cal was really not into the scene.
Even though they were going to be providing free food, I decided to order off of the menu since I brought the boys. While we were waiting for our order they started bringing food out to the main table.
Salad and Anthony’s special wings, which are smothered in caramelized onions:
I snagged a little salad and one wing each for the boys, and suddenly Cal was much more into the whole event.
I kind of felt guilty for taking food off the main table (even though I had been told to do so) when our server brought us a tasting plate of all the goodies just for us. Seriously, Anthony’s was AMAZING last night with the customer service. Our server, Leah, was super sweet and took good care of us.
Our tasting plate had a meatball with a dollop of ricotta, one of the amazing wings, a rib smothered in peppers (spicy!), and some sort of rolled up marinara thing? Not sure about the item in the foreground there, but it was tasty.
Mack is the best sport ever. He is always willing and happy to pose for a photo. If I ask him to stand next to a glass door and hold a plate so that I can get a picture in the good light, he just does it with no question. He’s my sweet potato.
For the pizza that we ordered, I let each boy decide what toppings they wanted and we got half and half. Half with just sausage (for Mack) and half with sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms (for Cal). When it arrived, we could only ooh and ahh over how awesome it looked.
Well, we could only ooh and ahh until we started stuffing our faces with it.
They kept bringing more and more food out…I think they brought out multiple items of every thing on the menu. Cal had really wanted to order the “Philly Cheesesteak” pizza, but Mack didn’t want that, so when they brought that one out to the main table I got a piece and we each had a bite. I forgot to get a picture, but it was really good. We also each took a bite of a piece of the vegetarian cauliflower pizza…
crappy picture, but it went like hot cakes. I had heard from my friend Meghann (of Meals and Miles) that this pizza was amazing and she was right. Very buttery and garlicky and really delicious.
Everybody seemed to having a great time. See the tall guy in the gray shirt?
Like, taller than everyone else in the room?
That’s Steve Jerve (@sjervewfla), the WFLA Newschannel 8 meteorologist. Yeah, Mack and I met the weather man.
So cool! I am a WFLA news addict, so I was excited to meet him. Total annoying fan moment, but that’s why he was at the event…to be on display. He was really nice, even though I interrupted him eating and then dragged Mack into the picture. Mack had no idea who Steve Jerve was, but like I said, Mack is always a good sport. I had to lift him up or I was afraid he wouldn’t be in the frame with Steve Jerve.
We had eaten more than our fair share of food and the kids were starting to turn into pumpkins, but I was holding out for my friend Laurel who had a GPS problem and was running late. Right as I was texting her that we were leaving, she arrived.
Sorry we didn’t get to hang out Laurel, but it was good to see you!
Thank you so much Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and TBO.com for hosting such a fun event! Definitely #welldoneTBO! Well done to the boys also, who were very well behaved and didn’t embarrass me at all. Cal kept all of his spitballs on the down low.
Luckily for Laurel the party went on for more than another hour, and I kept following the fun on Twitter after we got home. I have been having fun ever since tweeting with some of the TBO people who I finally got to meet in person. I even sort of geeked out this morning when Leigh Spann (@leighspannwfla), the morning meteorologist on WFLA started following me on Twitter. I promise not to refer to them as “weather charlatans” again, now that we are friends IRL.
So that was last night. Fascinating stuff continued to happen today…don’t change the channel.