I had the best time last night! Last week Chad mentioned that Bill Maher was coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall…
but that he was bummed because it was the night of his fantasy football draft so he couldn’t go. I asked if he would mind if I went without him. He pouted, then said okay. We have seen Bill Maher once before a few years ago in Tampa, and are both huge fans. I was sad for Chad that he couldn’t go, but I was happy when my friend Christine said that she was available.
I try not to talk too much about religion or politics on the blog because I love and respect my friends and family who have polar opposite views on these subjects, but suffice it to say that I agree with Bill Maher on 99% of things (I think he’s wacko on the non-vaccination stuff, though). Luckily, my friend Christine and I also agree on most things regarding politics and religion, so I couldn’t have asked for a better date.
Christine and I met at Carmel Café in Countryside (technically, the address is Clearwater). I got there a couple of minutes early so I checked in on Yelp while I sat in the car. I unlocked the Global Domination badge!
My friend Kat (of Sneakers and Fingerpaints) had to go all the way to New York City to unlock this badge…I only had to go to Countryside. What do Yelp badges mean? It means I get to say, “Look at me! I have a bunch of Yelp badges!” That’s about it.
I have been to a few fancy Mediterranean restaurants that only serve wine and not mixed drinks (I’m looking at you Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Primi Urban Café) so I was worried that they wouldn’t have cocktails. I was pleasantly surprised to see this huge sign right out front…
and I was so psyched to see Christine!
We were close friends and neighbors when Cal and her daughter were babies, but then she moved 45 minutes away and you’d think it was cross country. We have gotten together many times since then, but it had been a couple of years since we last saw each other. Whenever we get together we talk non-stop…definitely no lulls in the conversation. It was so good to catch up!
Oh, I wore my spike hair comb and bracelet from The Trunk Stylists. Love them, but both Chad and Christine said I had a Statue of Liberty thing going on.
Carmel Café was new to me, but I liked the vibe.
Carmel Café has the iPad ordering system thing that I have seen in other restaurants lately.
First order of business…drinks. Yay for Mod Med cocktails!
I started with a Skinny Poma-Tini, and later ordered the Blueberry Caipirinha.
You know I like my drinks pretty and fruity. Both were delicious, and the Caipirinha was STRONG. I actually drank a few sips then added water.
For starters Christine and I shared the Mezze Platter.
Neither of us loved the Baba Ganoush, but everything else was great and the best thing on the platter was the crispy fried feta. Amazing.
Somehow my entrée order got screwed up. I don’t know if I did something wrong with the iPad, but I intended to order the basil salmon and instead the crab cakes were delivered. Eventually our server fixed it, although Christine had pretty much finished her scallops (I told her to eat and I would talk, and then we’d switch) and my side of veggies was cold by the time it came. I was happy that they had “small plate” options for the entrees, however.
(see, I selected the basil salmon on the iPad)
The salmon was really good, but not very “basily”, and I loved the quinoa dish underneath. The roasted veggies were just okay, but maybe they would have been better warm.
All in all we had a really nice time talking in between bites at Carmel Café.
All of a sudden it seemed like it was past the time that we were supposed to pick up our tickets at will-call, so we high-tailed it down to Ruth Eckerd. I was beyond excited to pick up the tickets and be in a big crowd of like-minded people. My people!
Somehow Chad and I didn’t learn of Bill Maher’s local show until it was too late to get good seats. When I ordered tickets there were less than a dozen left, so Christine and I were in the nosebleeds.
But Ruth Eckerd Hall is not that huge of a venue, so our seats were still fine.
We didn’t care at all. We were just really happy to be there. I’m trying to poke Christine with my spikes here:
The show was awesome and reconfirmed my love for Bill Maher. I left feeling like my cosmic connection with Bill is real. If I hadn’t been in row JJ surely he would have noticed me and whisked me away to Hollywood, never to think of my suburban housewife life again. Sigh. Thanks so much for being my date Christine! You are awesome. Let’s not wait two years to get together again!
This morning I got to sleep in because the boys were still at Joey Z’s sleepover birthday party. Chewie was super sad this morning. He had to sleep in their room alone last night, then when I opened the door to their room and let him out he looked all over for them and then looked depressed.
I made pecan Kodiak Cakes and pesto eggbeaters for my breakfast.
It was sweet not to have to make breakfast for the boys. I also didn’t have to take them to the gym. BodyPump:
Damian, the instructor on Sunday mornings, did the new release: Bodypump 83. He said there would no longer be “official” releases like they used to have which included big announcements and then doing the new release exclusively for two weeks. Since LA Fitness took over Lifestyles, the future of the Les Mills classes is uncertain. An insider, previously a BodyPump instructor at my gym who no longer works there but who I am friends with, told me that they will only continue to have them until their annual license runs out. But Damian had the new release so he just went ahead and did it. It was really great. The lunge track was awesome, in that it didn’t actually have that many lunges. It had tons of air squats and included jumping squats. I was able to get through the whole track without dropping any reps, which I can rarely do during the lunge track. Loved it.
After taking most of the summer off of BodyPump, I was finally back up to my pre-hiatus weights. I felt strong.
After BodyPump I went straight downtown to The Dali Museum for yoga. Of course I checked in on Yelp and was happy to see that I am now the Duchess of The Dali Museum!
What does being the “Duchess” mean? It means I get to say, “Look at me! I’m the Duchess of the Dali Museum!” That’s about it. Well, it also means that secretly I get to feel like I own the place. Lots of people were outside waiting for the museum to open at noon.
I also got to feel special since people arriving for yoga get to go in before the museum actually opens.
Eric Wheeler, a “substitute” yoga instructor at the Dali, led the practice today and it was so good. I think it was the best class I’ve taken there. He’s leading again in two weeks and I definitely want to go back then. I love going there anyway.
After yoga I decided to get lunch at Café Gala in the Dali, since it was close to 2 p.m. and I’m always famished by the time I leave after yoga.
I got the vegetarian wrap to go.
It was delicious, but you gotta love olives, which I do.
I also felt special for getting my museum member discount at the café. Membership has its privileges.
As I was leaving I was sort of overcome by the beauty of the day. I love the St. Pete waterfront so much.
So this post has gone on forever, as usual. I have managed to whittle away the day doing laundry and goofing off on the computer. The boys are watching Independence Day. Chad is working. I’m happy I don’t have to pack lunches for tomorrow and that we get to sleep in again.
Enjoy the extra weekend day!