And a good evening to you after a FANTASTIC DAY in the Mother Country - so much fun tonight! After a great day at work (cross stuff off the to-do list, baby), Lynda, Jenny, and I rolled down to the Canary Wharf Ice Rink, for one of England's most time-honored traditions - ice skating in the rain...
So we rolled out of the office and over to the rink, where 12 quid buys you an hour on the ice and these UBER-stylish, 100% hardened-and-guaranteed-not-to-fit-you-no-matter-what-you-try skates. As you can see, the girls looked quite excited about the prospect of going Bonnie Blair on the ice. For the record, Jenny and I took a photo like this as well, but I raised my skate to show my bindings and accidentally stabbed my wife in the leg. Yep, all class...
Mercifully, the rain did hold off, and we had an absolute blast. The music, however, struggled a wee bit. We started with 3 Christmas tunes, the third of which was...wait for it...wait for it...Amazing Grace. Knowing that this is really more reserved for funerals, I wondered if God was trying to tell me that being on the ice was a bad idea.
It then went to generally random rock, featuring classics such as "We Built This City (Marconi plays the mamba - Rice, I couldn't help but think of our performance at Russellville)" by Starship and "Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals. Yeah, that's what happens when good i-Pods go bad...
The good news was that there were only 3 of us on the ice most of the time, meaning that, as long as Lynda and Jenny stayed at least 20 feet away from me at all times, there was little chance of me breaking their kneecaps with a wipeout (I had 3 classics, for the record, all with a solid fan base that was waiting to watch me eat it and knowing I wouldn't let them down).
Jenny was like Apollo Anton Ono out there - you should have seen her! As she WHIPPED around the rink, she said, "This is a lot like roller blading, only a bit more slippery." Honestly, I hope the kids get that kind of balance and logic (YEARS FROM NOW, FAMILY-KNOCK ON WOOD-DON'T GET EXCITED). So we decided that, once I get my balance on track and learn how to do a sit-spin and triple toe loop, we are going on the road. We've already started on the choreography.
After an hour of "burning up the ice," we met 3 colleagues at the bar attached to the rink, called "The Moose Bar." Team Maple Leaf, this place was straight out of Regina and gave me the warm and fuzzy feeling of "The Loose Moose" in Toronto. If they'd had Keith's, I would have wet my trousers.
The girls all got mulled wine, while I stuck to Staropramen (gearing up for this weekend). In the photo, you'll notice five gals, 4 I work with, 1 I married: Katrina (from Oz), Fiona (from the UK), Lynda (from South Africa), Carolina (from Venezuela), and Muffin Puffin (from the Sunshine State). We hung out for a bit before the girls bounced, at which point JT and I crossed off another "must-do" in London - Wahaca Mexican!
Now don't get me wrong - I am very much a "you don't eat Mexican food outside of the US because all the good Mexican cooks are working there!" kind of guy. However, this place was off the chain. They bill themselves as offering "street food," which basically means you get fresh food as it's ready ("market style" they call it). Check out Muffin Puffin with tequila and sangrita!
After that, it was back home, where I came home to a birthday present from H-bomb! H, you rock the party that rocks the pinata - thank you SO MUCH! As you can see, your gift of liquid gold comes highly prized and will be chilled for the appropriate moment. SO COOL!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
(a soon to be sore) Sam and Jenny