Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Old Ladies Gone Wild!

Those of you who know me well, know I don't have to leave town to find adventure. Take my friend Nicole's birthday last week. What started out as a reserved fine dining experience at the lovely restaurant Angelina's turned into a dancing phenomenon at the wildly fun club, Cin Cin. It was definitely a blog worthy night.

Let's me set the stage for what could have been a disaster for Nicole. Seven of us were meeting at Angelina's Ristorante in Bonita, FL. First drop out was Nicole's daughter, who got called into work. Second was poor Pam, whose car broke down on the way and was rescued by another friend along with the melting cake Pam had made from scratch. Pam never made it to the party. Now enter myself and my daughter. The valet opens my door way too fast and the gift bag of wine falls onto the pavement and breaks. Wow, this is not looking good.

It starts to turn around when the lovely group of "mature" ladies and their hubbies down the bar buy our birthday girl and friends a round of cosmo's and the bartender replaces the broken wine. We are escorted to an outdoor table (another kink, our indoor reservation was accidentally double booked). Luckily, we are blessed with the PERFECT night, in a beautiful outdoor setting, surrounded by blooming flowers. In short, the food was fabulous. My butternut squash ravioli with mascarpone cheese were to die for. Myself, cousin Cheryl, daughter Taryn, and friends Suzie and Nicole shared a complimentary Lemoncello and Tiramisu before heading up the road to Cin Cin in Fort Myers.

CinCin is a restaurant-bar that turns dance club in the evening. Now, don't picture a NYC night club. Picture more a lounge with sultry red sofas and a live singer. Since we (not even counting Taryn) were a good 20 years younger than many of the patrons (who can tear up the floor, mind you), let's just say we were "popular" among the men. If we had WANTED to get seriously intoxicated, we could have, because the drinks never stopped coming. Just check out the table full of unfinished glasses!

So we took down the house, dancing to "It's Raining Men" and "I Will Survive" (our requests). They even threw in Beyonce's "Single Ladies." Nicole never left the dance floor, where her very flowy skirt and long limber body had every pair of eyes in the house mesmorized (she's the one who looks like Pocahontas). We even sacrificed Suzie to a slow dance in exchange for a round of drinks. Lesson to my daughter (when she turns 21 of course), always go dancing with pretty friends... drinks are always free.

Thanks, ladies, for a memorable evening. Let's do it again sometime. And, next time, we'll pick Pam up on the way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

UF versus FSU

Let me preempt this post to disclaim that it is not written to incite a riot among my friends, so keep the comments nice! : ) Our family spent Easter on the road, touring Taryn's top two college choices... University of Florida and Florida State University. Technically, UF is her number one choice, for the following reasons: 3 hours from home, extremely competitive acceptance rate, and highly regarded medical school. Before our trip, it was her only choice. We insisted on the tours so she could decide on a back up plan. Why, you ask? At the tour, UF admissions reported that 27,000 students applied in 08, and only 10,000 were accepted! UF's new nickname, "Harvard of the South."

Our first tour was FSU, home of the Seminoles and garnet & gold. The downside: 6 hours from home. The upside: the campus is gorgeous and more condensed than UF, with 450+ acres to UF's 2000 acres. Brick buildings, sprawling lawns, beautiful landscaping, rolling hills. Our tour guide, whom we fondly termed "gazelle", sprinted across the entire campus in 1.5 hours, describing every single building and the statistics, history and contents of each. Post campus tour, our visit to the Gamma chapter of Chi Omega (my sorority from Syracuse) was lovely. Our new friends, Shawnti (FSU cheerleader and recruitment chair), Anna and Brittney, chatted it up with Taryn. She even had a few moments of inspiration from a pre-med student, giving her the low down. The trip was complete with dinner and a cold one (for me and Gene) at Po Boys, in downtown Tally, where we enjoyed cajun gumbo and some very loud live music. College town.

Our first night at UF was spent with one of our favorite Gainesville girls, Alyse. This is our second trip to the campus and our second meal with the daughter of my good friend Karen. Alyse took us to a pretty little mall, where we had yummy bar food (nachos, wings, etc) at Gator Something (it'll come to me). It was pouring when we woke, but alas, campus tour guides handed out Gator ponchos. Luckily, the rain paused and we took a wonderfully entertaining tour around a small section of the campus (can't do the whole thing in 1.5 hours). The campus is immense and very beautiful with large shade trees dripping with moss. Our favorite parts: the humor of the 3 college student guides, the relaxed pace of the tour, and the FLATness. Again, we repeated a visit to the Eta Delta chapter of Chi Omega, and spent a long lunch with Susan the house mother. A lovely, vibrant lady who the girls lovingly refer to as, "Mom." This chapter house is a big one, housing 47 girls! We met Tara and a couple other Chi O's as well, and Taryn was sure she would love to be a Chi Omega.

The long and short... a great time was had by all. And, we now have 2 wonderful choices for Taryn's undergraduate education. Which do I like better? It's a toss up. UF reminds me more of a quaint town, like Wellesley Mass, whereas FSU is more college campus, like Syracuse. If I had to choose... it'd be UF. 2 Reasons: 1) Orange & Blue are the same colors I had in college, and 2) Momma only wants to drive 3 hours!