Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surprise Parties and On-The-Spot Lattes

Saturday was my aunt's "surprise" 60th birthday party. I call it a "surprise" party because she knew that there was a dinner being held but she didn't know the extent of which it would be. The day began early when she got her first surprise...we all chipped in to get her a brand new stainless steel range. I wasn't there to witness her reaction but apparently she was at a loss for words. That's a good thing.

Happy hour for the party started at 5pm up at the Gypsy Room which is a restaurant up in Red Mountain Resort. Unfortunately I had to work until 6 that night so I missed happy hour and the pre-aunt arrival moments. Chris came and picked me up from work, along with my clothes which I had to change into. I'm sure one or two drivers passing by that night got a bit of an eyeful as I clumsily switched outfits in the passenger seat of my tiny Honda. When we found the restaurant I was a bit disappointed to learn that we missed the "surprise!" moment and the reaction to my aunt seeing some friends who traveled many many miles to attend the event. Nonetheless, the party was enjoyable, the company was wonderful and the food was delicious. It was great to be able to visit with some relatives I haven't even had the chance to see since I've been home. Plus after we ate, Chris and I went for a walk around to see the huge expansion project that's going on up at Red Mountain and I got to show him our ski hill. He didn't seem all that impressed by it. I think he was expecting it to be bigger than it is...I believe he just needs to ski it to be able to make a true opinion of it. I have nothing but fond memories of that mountain. Well, apart from the time I skied right into a creek.

One more story while I'm thinking about it. A couple weeks ago when we did our quick trip to Kelowna, we stopped at this little coffee shop in Greenwood called Deadwood Junction. I had read an article in a little local magazine which was discussing the new businesses which have been opening the past few years in Greenwood (Canada's smallest city) and I decided to make a stop at one which was mentioned in the article. This one had actually caught my eye when I drove through back in May to pick up Chris at the Kelowna airport and I had made a mental note to stop in the next time I went through. Anyway, we dropped in to pick up some coffee and I got talking to the owners who were new to owning a coffee shop and they were explaining how they both knew nothing about making specialties coffees. By the way, they were probably the nicest people to ever own a coffee shop. But they were having particular problems with perfecting the latte. Since I worked at a couple coffee shops back in the day, I tried my best to explain the ways of the perfect latte. Apparently explaining the procedure was not good enough so they coaxed me into actually preparing one for them so that they could watch. This was slightly nerve wracking...the pressure was on! I hadn't made a latte in about 3 years. Hopefully it was like riding a bike. But I got through it without making a fool of myself and they were grateful for the demonstration. The one downside to this whole event? We had already bought two coffees and now they offered us the latte for free. I can't drink milk and Chris would never turn down a, needless to say that he was quite jittery and restless by the time we reached Kelowna that evening.

Tip of the Day: Don't travel in a small vehicle when your passenger is loaded up on caffeine.

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