Saturday, Day - Despite being up til nearly four, I rolled groggily out of bed at 9am. I was immediately greeted by a ton of text messages (thank God people have figured me out and no one actually called - I'm a text message kind of girl). There was a really sweet one from my Mom:
"I still remember the morning you were born..." followed shortly by: "Granted, it was a LOOONG time ago..."
Of all the Galacticans (our name for our gang of gaming geeks), David was the one with the longest drive home, so he'd just gotten a little motel down the street from the house. He and I met for breakfast. I took him to my favorite little Pacifica cafe - Nona's Kitchen - which is in a little shopping mall on the surfer's beach. They serve great homestyle food but with a gourmet twist.
I met David through our mutual friend Davy, at an all-day board game day, and he was one of those people I knew instantly would be my friend. Mostly though, our interactions were around gaming. It was unbelievably nice to spend two hours lingering over our coffee and just talking - about life, things he's done and seen, spirituality, and of course, gaming. It was kind of one of the highlights of my weekend.
After breakfast, I went back to bed. Ha!
Saturday, Evening - The finale: Restaurant Gary Danko. I got dressed up (sort of business casual, actually; GD is remarkably laid back to be so nice), and took the train into the city, then hopped into a cab to go across town to the restaurant.
(My cab driver, Josef, was from Ethiopia and hilarious. He would go from joking with and teasing me to screaming out the window at the next car. I gave him a big tip.)
There was no room at the bar when I arrived, so Marise, her boyfriend Jason and I stood in a corner drinking cocktails while we waited for Shawn. They seated us right at six.
I will do a full Gary Danko review soon (maybe later today). Fortunately, Jason's an awesome photographer so he took tons and tons of pictures. Not a single one has people in it, because none of us could focus on anything but the food.
The food! Our server, Michael, was fantastic, and they even had a special vegetarian menu that I could order from. I got a full five-course meal, although I ended up leaving some on my plate from each course. I had a fig salad with fennel and red cabbage; a crispy egg on a bed of polenta, chanterelles and deliciousness; perfectly-cooked risotto with butternut squash and peas; their cheese course (I got five choices because it was my birthday!); and dessert. For dessert, I had the chocolate souffle with two sauces, plus they brought out a little lemon dessert for my birthday. PLUS, I had two bellinis.
The conversation around the table was fun and warm and my friends (I think I may have mentioned this) are bloody awesome. It took three hours for us all to finish our meal, and then we all waddled home. (I got another great cab driver - this one a cranky old man from Russia.)
All in all, I'm going to call it:
This was the best. Birthday.