I know Monica through Allison so, after church, she and I headed down to Cienfuegos on 6th and Avenue A where the shower was taking place. When we got there, I couldn't believe how neat this little restaurant was! It's so eclectic with its whimsical Victorian chairs and tables yet it had the open-air feel of being on a Cuban beach. It was such a neat contrast and I loved it! As people arrived, I got to meet more of Monica's friends who are absolutely awesome. When she and her fiance, Shaun, finally got there I just felt so extremely happy to be there. It was kind of odd how overwhelming that felt but I truly did have this very happy feeling inside. At any rate, talking to everyone was so very interesting and I had the best conversation with a couple of people about Chicago and San Francisco, two cities I've considered moving to in the distant future. I kept noticing Shaun getting up and getting things for the table which struck me as odd but I thought maybe he was just really friendly with the people there. Well, it turns out that he owns Cienfuegos...and several other places in the city! I had NO idea that he was a restaurateur. I also had no idea that he lived in Italy for several years and speaks fluent Italian. I was totally blown away by his stories and he is an amazing contact to have in the restaurant business. Not only is he totally cool and down to earth but he's so smart and has true, lifelong passion for the industry. He also grew up in Marietta (that I did know) and I probably knew him when I was younger and didn't realize it. This world is so small sometimes...
We enjoyed a fabulous lunch with awesome cocktails, watched Monica open her sweet gifts and ate the most decadent chocolate fudge cake:
It was the most fun baby shower I've ever been to, I can say that hands down!
Afterward, we had to take off and get to another party at Sarah and Xavier's place. Sarah is a friend of ours from running and she's one of the coolest women I know. She's totally granola yet she's married to a popular French mixologist whom Allison and I had yet to meet. They were throwing a party in their apartment garden and let me just tell you...it was beautiful! I can't believe we didn't get a picture, grrr.
As soon as we got there, Xavier greeted us with a special white cosmo he'd made which was freaking delicious (I expected no less, ha!). We met a bunch of their friends, mostly French, and sat outside talking for so long. One of Sarahs's best friends, Abi, had us absolutely cracking up and it was honestly so fun. After a while, we got to talking to Xavier and, as if I haven't been blown away enough by meeting certain people lately, it turns out everyone there was in the industry. Xavier is actually the head bartender at Daniel (where I recently dined for my birthday) and his buddy that was also there is executive chef at Bagatelle. I mean, honestly...it's like these people/events keep falling into my lap and it's incredible! We chatted for a while about the business and, from that conversation to what we discussed with Shaun, it was a pretty awesome afternoon. I guess we'll see where these things continue to lead... ;)