Full of Surprises

December 6, 2009

Last weekend, I was full of surprises.  D’Arcy’s birthday is just two days before our wedding anniversary.  (I like to tell him I’m the best present he ever got!)  Some years, I have a hard time coming up with anything special, but that wasn’t the case this year.

For his birthday, I managed to pull off the X-Ring surprise.  Our anniversary surprise was, in my opinion, just as good!

The opening of the Tourism Conference happened to coincide with our anniversary.  My parents moved in to our place Saturday afternoon to look after the kids (and a full house, I might add!) while we headed to the city.

I had made 7:00 reservations at Gio’s, the restaurant at the Prince George Hotel.  We had tried to go there for dinner back in the summer, but it was closed.  The Halifax tree lighting was that night, so there were people everywhere downtown.  We were running a few minutes behind (surprise…) so we called to say we would be about ten minutes late.  The hostess sounded relieved.  As it turned out, there was a rowdy party from the Turkish Embassy who were having some cocktails before heading to a black tie event at the World Trade & Convention Centre.

We made our way through the crowd and were seated at a table next to some of our regular B&B guests!!  When we went out for dinner on my birthday in June, they were seated next to us at a different restaurant!  They joked that they were starting to think we don’t really work!  We told them it was our anniversary and they sent us some wine.

If you are in Halifax and have a chance to try Gio’s, we highly recommend it!  The food, the service & the atmosphere were wonderful!  To start, I had the scallops while D’Arcy had the oysters.  I had the lobster as a main course and D’Arcy had the swordfish.  We topped it off by splitting the “bing, bang, boom” and the waitress brought over two glasses of champagne.

Dinner at Gio's

All the while, I was asking D’Arcy what time it was and he started to suspect something was up.  When dessert was served, I produced a gift bag and presented it to him.  He wasn’t impressed that I had brought a gift because he hadn’t, as per our normal protocol, bought me anything.  I told him to trust me; that I hadn’t bought him anything.

D’Arcy & I met back in 1995 while working together at the Granite Brewery on Barrington Street which is now the Henry House.  Throughout the years, D’Arcy has commented that he thinks it would be fun to wear our work shirts from back then (which still hang in the back of our closet) and go have a beer.  I normally roll my eyes at this suggestion.

But last Saturday, when he opened the bag and found our shirts (actually both his; mine must have been tossed at some point), I said, “Alright, we’re in the city – let’s go have a beer and wear our shirts!”  He laughed.

We walked to the pub where D’Arcy knew, because it was Saturday night, our friend Mel would be working the bar as he has for the past 15+ years.  (Mel actually took our wedding photos!)  When we got in the door, D’Arcy greeted Mel by saying, “Okay Mel, I’m going to take tables eight through fifteen!”  It was then he realized that our friends Rod & Keltie were sitting at the bar – also wearing their old shirts!!  Oh what fun we had with that!  Brenda, who had also worked with us, was able to be there and I don’t think we’d seen her since Evan was born!  My only disappointment of the night was that our good friend Denise ended up getting sick and wasn’t able to come like we had planned.  I had been so looking forward to getting caught up with her!

A few of the family also joined us, so it was a great night!

With Rod & Keltie

Some family!

Some former Brewery staff: Brenda, Rod, Mel, Anne, D'Arcy & Keltie

We closed down the pub and ended the evening with a donair, just like the old days.  It was fun being out in the city again and seeing our old friends and I hope we are able to get together sooner than ten years next time!

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