Again, this is actually Wednesday’s prompt, but I have a best restaurant moment that I’d like to share. At the end of September, a visiting professor from Ireland invited me to lunch. Dr. Matthews visits us often as she collaborates with several professors here at UF. She coordinated with me and IOM3 (the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining) for the career workshop last year, and she also coordinated travel arrangements for Dr. Jones to judge a competition in South Africa back in October. Dr. Matthews is overall very friendly and kind.
We went to Olive Garden, which is my favorite chain restaurant. I ordered the mushroom ravioli and water, and she ordered the Mussels di Napoli and a peach iced tea. Obviously, there were breadsticks and salad because I cannot have an Olive Garden experience without either. The breadsticks were a cardinal sin for me because I was still pregnant and trying to do the “no bad carb” thing to see if it would make a difference in the baby’s weight. (If you reference his birth story, you’ll find that it did make a difference after all. I have the consulting physician to thank for her suggestion.) We chatted about many things, including plans for the holidays and different traditions between the U.S. and Ireland. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t know what to talk about because she’s an engineer and I’m not, but it turned out just fine. For dessert, the waiter talked me into a slice of black tie mousse cake — another bad, naughty no-no, but no worries! Dr. Matthews had the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and we brought my boss a piece of tiramisu. (It was a shame he didn’t make it, though I can’t remember why not — an appointment perhaps?) Overall, I had a fantastic time, and it was very heart-warming to have a professor take a lowly secretary out to lunch. Perhaps I’m not such a lowly secretary after all? 😉