You’ve got to have friends

16 03 2008

After checking in to the conference hotel, unpacking, and settling in, we met up with Sue, Dave, Frank, and Bonnie in the foyer. Lots of hugs and shrieks all round! And miles of chatter as we walked to the nearby restaurant…

While some people in our little group see or chat to each other regularly, others don’t. For example, I hadn’t seen Bonnie since a conference in 2004, Frank since 2006, Sue and Dave since 2006 (though I email and chat with them fairly often).

On Sue and Dave’s recommendation, we went to “Oliver’s” which is REALLY close to the hotel. I had a Washington Apple cocktail (apple liqueur, whiskey, and cranberry juice) and Blackened Salmon with mashed potato and asparagus. The cocktail had almost no apple taste that I could discern, but was OK. And the salmon was a little overcooked and dry, which was a shame as Pacific Northwest Salmon is an absolute favourite of mine. I don’t like salmon half cooked, which is how some restaurants do it (i.e. still raw in the middle), but equally, overcooking something as delicate as salmon is also a no-no. The blackened spices were nice and hot, which suited me down to the ground.

Washington AppleĀ Cocktail

Our poor waiter – Brody – has to be congratulated on serving such a rowdy and over the top mob! After starting to take our orders, I asked if we could have separate billing and he obliged graciously. Of course, separate billing gives him a bigger tip load at the end, but he deserved it.

It’s really interesting how a group of 6 people who haven’t seen each other in person for some weeks, months, or, in my case, years, morphs and changes the groupings over the course of the evening. When we were walking to and from the restaurant, at the restaurant itself, then to the local Rite-Aid and ATM, the pairings and conversations danced around like some strange bee ritual. I’m sure a sociologist or human behaviourist would be fascinated by the combinations, breakaways, joinings, etc.