So, Mike took all of us and some of our partners (and one other lady, Monique, that he "felt like he should invite") out to dinner tonight. I had no idea when I walked out of my room how amazing this would turn out to be.
So we went to this family-style Italian restaurant across the street from our hotel. Our waitress was this hilarious black girl (I'm not being discriminatory... it just helps understand her attitude and it becomes important later in the story.) named Dee. She came out and introduced herself and explained the family-style dining (we get two appetizers, two salads, two pasta dishes, two meat dishes and two desserts, then we all share them). Then as she was walking away Mike stopped her. Now, I should tell you that Mike loves to take people out to dinner and refuses to let anyone else pay. He's just a great guy that way. So anyway, he stops Dee and said just loud enough for everyone to hear so they wouldn't try to go behind his back and pay, "I'm the only person at this table that has any money." Dee's face lit up and she squealed and ran around and gave him the biggest hug from behind and said, "Oooh! My kind o' man!" The look on Mike's face mixed with the unexpected behavior of our over-energetic waitress was too much, and we all just about died in giggles.
Dinner ended up being fantastic... but way too much food. For starters we had two salads (a caesar salad and a house salad), onion strips, giant mushrooms covered in some sort of breaded topping, and crab cakes. I could have easily eaten enough to be content. However, knowing that there was much food yet coming, I resisted. The main course included lobster ravioli, lasagna, chicken parmesan, and chicken marsala. I ate as much as I could while still leaving room for dessert.
All during the main course we just sat and talked. Sue dominated the conversation, and man am I glad that she did. She told us the most amazing stories of things that had happened in her library (she's the director). Everything from a Mexican guy who washed his hair in the toilet to a guy who chased a 12-year old around the parking lot with a belt to a registered sex-offender who came into the library, pulled up his picture on the sex-offender website and showed it to the person sitting next to him. Let me tell you, Sue is a riot.
Finally came dessert. Strawberry cheesecake and vanilla bean ice cream with toppings on the side. Typically I'm not the biggest fan of cheesecake. It's just too rich to take more than a few bites. But this stuff, man oh man. It's fantastic. Utterly fantastic. It was so light and delicious. Mmmmm...
Anyway, so Dee came out to give Mike the check. He looked at it and asked her if tip was included.
Dee: "Yes. 18%."
Mike: "Make it 20."
Dee: "Are you sure?"
Dee: "Are you sure?!"
Mike: "Unless you don't want it."
Dee: [puts out her hands in a "stop" signal] "No, no, no!"
At this point, she squeals again, runs over to Mike's side, gives him a side hug and pretends to kiss his cheek. Then she straightens up and starts to leave. But not before Mike gets his say. In a loud voice he hollered after her, "I didn't get a real one!" We thought it was going to end at that because she was busy looking over a bill at another table, but as soon as she finished she came back over, very visibly prepped herself, then leaned over and kissed Mike on his outstretched cheek. We all laughed and clapped. As Dee left this final time she remarked to the rest of us, "Now he can't say he didn't have chocolate for dinner."
I'm not sure I've ever eaten or laughed so much in one sitting.