Music: Shiny Disco Balls – Who Da Funk
Drink: Whole Milk
Mood: Excited

We’ve got the ticket to the grand celebration, and everybody’s dressed to kill, so come together for the love liberation, and get that glamourama thrill…

Oh my. OH MY. You don’t even know…you have NO IDEA…the weekend I had. Lordy goodness gracious.

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Everything started out pretty normal. Ya know, like seeing Condoleeza Rice!

Last week was my company’s annual huge conference at the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal. I got to go to the Friday morning session which had some amazing speakers. This amazing and funny professor from Tulane, the guy who used to be George Bush’s speech writer, and then the last speaker to lecture was THE Condoleeza Rice! Oh my GOSH, she was the most amazing speaker! Before she walked out on the podium, I was like 20 feet from her! She is one smart, smart lady. I hope she runs for office!!!

And oh man, was she funny. She opened with:

“Lots of people ask me if my life has changed now being out of government. I still read the paper every morning, online. Except now when I read it, I can just be like “Oh, that’s interesting.” and then just go about my day.”

In the question and answer session someone asked her what proof she was given while in office of alien life. The entire ballroom was in disbelief at such a question, and the giggles were rampant, and I just hoped it wasn’t an actual fellow employee.  You could tell Dr. Rice wanted to laugh, but she handled it with grace and a lot of wit!

Upon leaving work that day, I stopped by the mall for a new pair of Sperry’s and then was off to St. Augustine to visit Mark for the weekend! Sarah and I met Mark and Tiffany at Lauren’s wedding back in September. Tiffany was in the Bahamas making her wedding plans, so I went up to St. Augustine to keep Mark company 🙂

I arrived and we had a cold Stella, then it was off to dinner. He took me to this AMAZEBALLS place on the intracoastal called Cap’s, where he proposed to Tiffany. OMG this place was SO cool! It was right on the water, had trees growing through the roofs and decks. We had a beer in the bar waiting for a table and enjoyed the neat-o place.

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We sat outside on the deck, and I was introduced to having French fries with this peanut sauce very similar to what Mark was used to from living in Holland. One word = YUMMY! Wow, I am never using ketchup again. He actually gave me a bottle of it he had at home to take with me.

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We had some oysters and then my Caesar salad came…

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HOW COOL IS THAT? I didn’t even want to eat it cuz it was so neat! I had some wine and flounder for my main course. Then I had to pee in the COOLEST bathroom ever!

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The walls were covered in old record album covers, magazine pages, newspaper clippings, all protected by clear plexiglass. It was sooo neat! After dinner we resumed our place at the bar to watch some soccer matches, which was kind of crazy cuz it was snowing SO bad where they were playing, crazy.

We went back to Mark’s and drank some scotchy scotch scotch and listened to epic 80s music 🙂

I think we drank a little too much scotchy, because the next morning Mark and I couldn’t move off the couch. We watched some movies and such as he made this AMAZING spaghetti sauce for us for dinner, I wish I had taken a picture of it cuz it was amazing. After dinner we ventured out of the house to see the new movie Olympus Has Fallen which was REALLY good, seriously go see it!!!

After we got home Mark introduced to me to the show Game of Thrones on HBO. I usually don’t like shows like that, but I was HOOKED after the first episode! I was even able to have my nightly milk and cookies because Mark had some for me waiting because him and Tiffany know about my nightly ritual 🙂

A good night’s sleep, and I was ready to head back to Otown for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill! My company’s conference is always the week of the Bay Hill tourney and all the people and Newport guests that come get to go each day, and employees get to go one day and bring a guest. I always bring my bestie Jon because he is such a huge golf fan. I am NOT a golf fan, but its still a fun day…my company always has this VIP chalet on the 9th hole that’s raised up with seating, and they serve lunch and free drinks. Jon and I usually end up hanging out at the VIP skybox on the 17th hole, its about a story or two up with stadium seating and a bar with more free drinks.

I meet up at Jon’s, we hop in his car and we pick up Kerstin and Kristin and off we go!

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Kerstin was going to be partying at a friend’s house in the community neighboring the Bay Hill golf course before her and Kristin went to the tourney, so they invited us to come with them for a few pre-drinks.

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Jon parked at the tennis courts next to the house. After a few drinks, we walked over to the golf tourney a few blocks away and entered at the 17th hole, and went up into the skybox.

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Crazy mailbox we saw on the way

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It was a great beginning to what we thought would be a great day. We made friends with the bar tender and he let us behind the bar for a photo op.

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We were like, wow this will be the greatest day ever!

We both hadn’t really eaten anything yet, so our plan was to hang at the skybox for a while and then go to the VIP Newport chalet on the 9th hole for grub in a bit. We stood around talking to people, the bartender, just enjoying ourselves and watching some of the pro golfers come around to the 17th hole where we were. Well, being that it rains in Florida pretty much every day, soon enough it started raining. We were like, no biggie, we will wait it out, because the bar is covered and so is the stadium skybox seating. Jon and I were hanging at the bar, and the rain got worse, so they suspended play till it stopped. Well it got worse. And worse.

Jon and I still weren’t getting wet though, but it was coming down harder and harder. But we have lived in Florida a long time, and usually after a heavy downpour the sun comes out and it gets hotter than it was before, so that’s what we assumed was going to happen. Boy were we wrong.

Standing at the bar, seeing it get worse and worse, we turned around to see the huge screens on the 17th hole and it said “Warning – Seek Immediate Shelter – Severe Weather Approaching”. We were like uh that can’t be good. I turned to say something to Jon, and I could see a lake over in the distance and could also see the far side of the lake. I turned the other way to say something to someone, and then when I turned back, I couldn’t see the lake anymore, just like this wall of water. Before I could react, we get slammed with water and go from being dry to completely soaked in a split second. We didn’t even have time to react! Before we could even think, we just ducked down beside the bar and I saw the posts of the skybox moving, I really thought it was all going to collapse and we’d be swept away. As we ducked, we pulled the fabric of the bar cover over us, but it ripped out of our hands and flew away. Table cloths, drinks, bowls of food, all started flying away. We ran into the stadium seating under better cover. It all happened in seriously a second or two!

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SOAKED!

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We sat down completely soaking wet, and I was shaking hard from the cold cold rain! The bartender, in a rain jacket, ran up to me and was like “You forgot your drink at the bar!“ My drink, it didn’t fly away! Yay! Jon and I were watching the storm with everyone else like ‘Where did that come from!?’ Sitting with everyone we watched the insane storm, which pretty much immediately flooded the entire 17th hole.

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It calmed down a bit, then started back up again. Then my fellow employees were getting texts that the Newport VIP chalet was collapsing! Upon that news, security was making everyone evacuate all the temporary tournament structures, like the chalets and skybox we were in, and the course! But its RAINING! HARD! We were going to have to walk all the way back to the house in the rain?! They give us garbage bags to cover ourselves, I put one on and took my new Sperrys off and had them covered under my garbage bag I was now wearing. We leave the skybox, and the bartender gives Jon an unopened bottle of vodka, and we were off in the rain.

Being that I had shorts on and no shoes, with the garbage bag on me and just my head poking out, I looked like I was naked under my garbage bag. I ran past a large group of people huddled under a large tent, and I could tell they saw me, running in just a garbage bag, and I yelled “This is craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!!!!” as I ran by and they all erupted in laughter.

Its pouring. We’re soaked. And I am wearing a FREAKING GARBAGE BAG. But we had a bottle of vodka. So we started drinking it on the way back to the house. I told Jon as we both just kept laughing that “Well, this is one thing we have never done before!” We saw a guy at a stop sign along the way in a pick up truck and asked him if we could hop in the back and he could give us a ride two blocks to the house. He said NO! What an ASS! I hope he got a flat tire later. UGH. Kristin and Kerstin were somewhere at the tourney, so we had no idea if they were even going to be at the house. The house we knew no one at because they were Kerstin’s friends! I ring the bell, and a girl we met earlier there answers the door and I am just like, “Uh…can you help us please?” She was such a dear, she brought us tons of towels and a hairdryer. We shared our story with the people there, and hung out a while.

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The sun finally comes out, and we hear from Kerstin. They are back at the golf course, someone they knew had access to the trophy suite room for Progress Energy employees and they informed us we could get in there as well. Well, my paper ticket for the tourney that was hanging on my lanyard had fallen off in the rain! So we decided to go back and try it! The girl that answered the door drove us the few blocks back to the tourney….party is back on!

There were no longer attendants checking tickets, so that problem was solved. We get to the trophy suite and there is like no one there except the girls, a bartender, and a few others that weathered the storm inside the suite. We made a few new friends, ran into some people we knew from UF, started enjoying ourselves again, and then security came and informed us that the entire course was going to close down due to the terrible storm. Then I saw it…mac & cheese on the buffet! I started piling a plate I would then take with me during our evacuation 🙂 The bartender gave the girls several bottles of Arnold Palmer wine and potted plants, and off we were! Where else will this day take us?!

Walking back, eating macaroni and cheese with only one fork we were all sharing, a 15 year old in a golf cart drove up to us and were like, “Need a ride?” All four of us get on the golf cart, with our wine bottles and mac and cheese pile, and off we were back to the house, laughing all the way there.

We get to the house, and one of the men that lives there was like “Wow, that was some storm. The tree that fell at the tennis court next to the house almost hit a nice Chevy Volt.” Jon and I just looked at each other. CHEVY VOLT = JON’S NEW CAR! OMG!!!! We all ran out of the house and found…

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See my mac and cheese plate?

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OMG!!! CRAZIEST STORM EVER!!! The tree just grazed the bumper and dislodged it….a few feet over the car would have been totaled! While Jon was on the phone with the insurance company to arrange a tow and stuff, what were we going to do with ourselves? Plank on the tree!!!

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And then I fell off the tree, and scratched my arm. BAD. I was tyring to tell Kerstin what happened to my arm, but she cared more about posing for a pic.

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This was a pic of it the following day. See Kerstin, it was BAD!

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And somehow, unbeknownst to me, Kerstin managed to open the bottle of wine. So we drank wine and ate mac and cheese while Jon handled the crazy car fiasco. We go back to the house, and the party is over. Basically they said that famous line, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Um. But. We have no car….so we had to call for a ride and wait while we sat in the front yard drinking our wine and laughing like crazy about our day.

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We had dinner in Baldwin Park near Jon’s, we were all looked like hot messes having been rained on, soaked, and on a tree. I spent the night at Jon’s, and that was the end of the craziest Sunday. EVER.

I was pretty tired on Monday, so therefore I was pretty useless.

Because, God knows I need more, I have been buying clothes like CRAZY for spring, summer, my upcoming cruise, and my upcoming Paris/Stockholm trip. H&M has this new line called “Conscious“ which I have become OBSESSED with. Their current line for spring is all navy and muted lime green colors, my favorite color! GREEN! So of course I have been buying like EVERYTHING. But I am anxiously waiting for this to come in:

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My favorite article of clothing in my favorite color! I must own.

I have bought this polo and cuffed shorts amongst other things. The cuff on the shorts is the same print as the polo…I plan to wear it with the green blazer with the sleeves rolled up with vintage 70s RayBans.

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What do you think of this, too much? Obviously I wouldn’t wear the pants AND the blazer at the same time. I can’t decide if I like it…

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I had lunch with my friend Michelle today, one of my oldest and dearest friends! We had yummy salads at Jason’s Deli and did some major catching up. I love that girl! We gossiped and dished and talked about life 🙂 It was so good to see her!

We starting to talk about fitness, and then talked a lot actually about my nightly milk and cookie ritual.

Michelle: How many cookies do you eat a night?
Brandon: Well, its definitely not just 2 or 3.…
Michelle: ::Laughs:: Seriously, how many?
Brandon: Well, ya know when you slide the cookie tray out of the bag, and there are like 3 or 4 rows…
Michelle: You eat a whole row don’t you?
Brandon: Yes.
Michelle: ::Big laughs::

I am just so hooked! I can’t stop. Michelle thinks its because I associate going to bed with having milk and cookies, since I have done this my ENTIRE life. I say its because I love the soft milk-soaked cookie in my mouth.

Some busy weekends ahead! Will make for fun blog updates 🙂 What do YOU think I’ll be doing?

And now, back to my milk and cookies.

Goodnight disco stars, wishing you champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

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xo

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