Michigan ~ Day 84

Is it really already Wednesday? The days are flying. I guess that’s a good thing.

Scott’s off, and I’ve been stripping the floors down in the cafe. I’m putting the finish down next, after I finish my delicious lunch of corn pasta, salmon, and goat cheese. I think Jason would be proud of all the scrubbing his minion did.

Benjamin came back yesterday, and I had a chance to catch up with him for a bit. We’ll have beer on tap in six weeks! I didn’t realize it was so soon! Of course, I’m pretty bummed out that I can’t have any, but I’m really happy for Pond Hill and especially for Benjamin that they’ve managed to move this along so quickly.

I went back to ballroom dancing last night =) I’ll never be able to listen to Pink’s “Try” ever again without wanting to dance a triple two step. I was doing alright, until we started on the sequences with no hands. Here I go again with my little dance-is-metaphorical-for-life reflections. We rely so much on what is tangible. Sharp right turns are easy when your partner pulls your hand in a certain direction to guide you; not so much when your only clue is a subtle nudge or two at the shoulder blade and you’ve only been dancing with the guy for 45 seconds. Of course, the instructors make it look so easy, but they’ve been dancing with each other for a long time, and little nudges mean as much as the more obvious tug at one’s hand. It’s the same thing with one’s prayer life. If we’re not keeping in touch constantly with God, He’ll nudge us in the right direction, and we’ll still dance off in the wrong one, because we’re not used to the nudges; we’re busy looking for the hand tugs. Or we might head off in the totally right direction, but go too far. A good thing at the wrong time can become a wrong thing – though still not a bad one. There were instances where I managed to interpret the direction of the nudge correctly, but danced too far, and my partner had to “run after [me].”

Ok, enough dancing reflections. Back to work.

~ six hours later ~

I just realized I haven’t blogged about Portugal – except for all of those panoramic shots – or my last day in Cinci, or my last week at work. I don’t have much time to do any of those justice, but here’s a bit:

In Portugal, we were one night in Lisboa, two nights in Fatima, one night in Porto, one night in Braga, and our final night was back in Lisboa. We got pretty good at the public transport thing – I say “thing,” but of course I mean, “bus,” but what makes me say, “thing,” is the design of the side mirrors which look like antennae, and the rounded angles of the bus make it look like a giant blue and white caterpillar. With butterflies painted on the side. Yeah. That thing. The entire experience was simultaneously incredible and extremely draining, by the same token that it was both too long and too short. It was great to see so many places…!!!! It was tiring to spend so short a time and sad to see so little of each place as a consequence. Still, I haven’t gone abroad with Mama and Papa since high school, so overall, quite the success. The two best parts of the entire trip, for me, were 1) sitting in the sun at Fatima, watching Nino and Yena run around and blow bubbles while Mother was at the internet cafe doing research, and 2) going Port tasting(!!!!) with Unc. I brought home eighteen small bottles of Port from Calem, Kopke, and Quinta do Noval respectively, and I fully intend to have a Port tasting with Marybeth and Steffy when I get home.

We got home from Portugal on Monday the 6th. On Tuesday the 7th, I had dinner at Metropole with Marybeth, Steffy, Brett, Nathan, Kody, Pat, Teresa, Josh, and Emily. Josh and Em and Marybeth were the first ones there, and Josh asked if I was worried about anyone not showing up. “Nope!” I declared happily. It was a legitimate question; making a reservation for ten at Metropole is a serious business. College and work have gifted me with some truly wonderful friends. Dinner was, of course, delicious, and my only regret is that my only interaction with Jared was a quick goodbye. He’d seemed stressed; I was sorry for that and a little worried that it wasn’t the best time to try to get his attention, but he did smile when he said hi/bye, so I guess it was ok. The Iron Man 3 group included Josh, Emily, Teresa, Regina, Dan, Jennifer, Ashley, Brad, Julz, and Travis. It should have also included Mike, but I – sadly – turned off my phone after receiving a text from him that he was on his way, and thus missed the subsequent texts asking if we were at the 10:30 or the 11pm showing. “I didn’t realize you had so many friends!” quipped Josh. Very funny, Kuya. But ok, I get what he means. To be able to see seventeen of your favorite people in one night for things as structured as dinner and a movie is a blessing, and such a far cry from the attempts at organizing groups for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland back in the day, and having only one other person show up aside from myself each time… Lol.

My last week at work was… interesting. With the exception of Matt and Zach, everyone that I worked with in that week was only a week old, both BoH and FoH. I sincerely hope they’re doing alright. I was guilt-tripping Josh for not being there on my last night… That went well… And since I had the closing shift on Saturday night, and Chef and Zach weren’t up for going anywhere due to Sunday lunch, I ended up at Tap & Go with Jared, then we joined Mike at the Tavern – Mike’s great when he’s tired from Ruby’s and already more than slightly inebriated upon your arrival – then left Mike for a last stop at Yesterdays; where else? I wasn’t intending to drink anything, which should have been easy since I can’t have beer, but I foolishly asked for rum in my ginger ale, and consequently am beholden to Jared for it. I should have known that would happen. Meh.

Anyway… Talking to Nino on the phone is even more fun this year than last year. Of course it is. It’s also sadder in some ways, like when he decides he actually doesn’t want to talk to me. Lol. Oh well, I’ll see him in a couple of weeks when I head down to Columbus for my doctor’s appt. I miss Yena and Migs especially when I’m practicing Kali. From what they tell me, they’re very much ahead of me =) Which is good. It will feel like it did back in the day when Migi and Paco were the ones teaching me Tang Soo Do.

All of the new interns are really nice. I confess, though; I’m still gravitating toward the old crowd. Yes, of course that’s normal, but maybe it’s my personality, too? Some of them are super outgoing, and I can fake that for a bit, but then it wears me out, and I don’t feel like staying up late before a Mother’s Day shift in the tasting room, you know? I know, give them some time. But I’m really, really looking forward to Josie and Lexy and everybody coming back, and Blissfest, which is sure bring in even older interns.

Well, I’ve had a long day, and tomorrow’s another long day, so peace out =)

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