Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tim Finnegan's Wake

Ahhh....what a lovely weekend, despite these flurries that refuse to go away. It's supposed to be 50 this week, though!

Yesterday, I got up nice and early and went to the gym with Regan. We had a good workout and I was ready for the day. Ken was flying in around 4 p.m. so I knew that I could either snooze the afternoon away (which was tempting) or go out and be productive. I had been craving Potbelly's for a good five days and looked up the nearest location near me... One is conveniently located in downtown Naperville where I knew I could spend some time wandering around. When I walked into Potbellys my day got even better when I saw that they had all sorts of fun sodas in the case... including Orangina! I was so excited. I got my sandwich (yummmm.....) and managed to get a seat at the busy store. The music playing was awesome.. some sort of Jack Johnson Live version. Then I looked to my left and lo! there was a guy sitting there singing and playing guitar! He was really good and had everyone smiling as he worked through his set. I threw him a couple of bucks on my way out and left in a superb mood.

Across the street I discovered a spice store full of nothing but *ta da* spices. I have to go back soon with Ken since he does the actual cooking. I kept wandering and saw a sign for soy candles and a sign pointing down to a basement. And at the foot of the stairs was a dog ready to greet customers. I couldn't refuse. So I walked down and found a lovely little shop that makes homemade soy candles. They were so unbelievably nice and showed me how they make the candles and let me test their new product. Of course I had to buy a candle and got a Pink Peppercorn & Pear one. It smells so good. When I checked out, they gave me a free mini version of another type I was considering. I just love shopping in boutique-y places like this. I can't resist buying, though.

I also bought an adorable little stuffed bunny at a different store (for someone's Easter gift) and almost bought Izzy an amazingly cool collar, but wasn't willing to part with $40 for it. :) And yet again, I realized that I am not going to shop at malls for these sorts of items. Clothes are a different matter, but candles, books, jewelry... it's so much better to shop local and interact with real humans who have a vested interest in their own success.

Another great part of my day was that I had a package from Izumi in Okinawa! She sent me "snacks and sweets." When I opened the box, I squealed in glee as I saw the contents!

PUCCA!!!!! How I've missed you!!!!!! And I also really like those little Okinawan cookies. And the crackers.

She also sent me little rice snacks for Girl's Day. I remember being accosted by everything pink and girly for a time leading up to the holiday.

And finally, since she's Japanese, some sort of cracker mix with little fish.

But the best part was that in her letter she sent numerous photos of the people I met at the gym and also some words from them that she translated for me:

"Here's from Mrs. Nosato (she has short hair): Hello, Rachel. I remember I talked to you in my poor English. So that I had to use a dictionary when we met first time. You often came to our gym and run with no words. I wonder...if you can fun faster than 2 years ago. If you have a chance to visit Okinawa, please come and visit us."

My day was going well ---- and then.... I got to go to the airport and pick up Ken. We timed it perfectly and picking up at the international terminal is not nearly as stressful as the domestic one. I could even pull off and park for 10 minutes right in front of the door while waiting for him. We had our hellos and headed back to the apartment to see what goodies he brought back for me. He got me a SIGG bottle! (I might have laid some big hints.... Like, if you see a SIGG bottle cheaper than here, buy me one!)

Our day ended with Josh, Laura, Amy, & Shaun heading over to the apartment and all of us going to Ballydoyle's for dinner and drinks. A couple pints of cider and shepard's pie, plus some Irish dancers, bagpiping, and a little Irish music had me seeing green. It might have been a bit over-the-top, but it definitely made me wish I was Irish or that I could spend excessive amounts of time in Ireland each year.

I am going on and on with this post. I didn't even talk about our training walks or the hotel receptions I attended.

Have a great Monday, everybody! Happy Daylight Savings Time!

1 comment:

Doug said...

oooh. Orangina :)

-Carly (like I posted on Lisa's blog, Doug gets mad if I log off of his gmail when I use his computer)