Quel Surprise

I’ve been wanting to talk about last weekend, because it was pretty great until the awfulness that was Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday we had plans to meet Emily and Corey at the GM Centre in Oshawa (about an hour east of Toronto) for an Oshawa Generals game.


I haven’t been to a Gens game in a few years, but I know they are always a good time. I find OHL games are usually more entertaining than NHL games because they’re less corporate or something, so sometimes there are fights. Not that I am condoning that behaviour, but it does add to the electricity in the air and makes for some entertaining hockey. I used to cover the Generals sometimes for the sports section of the Durham College Chronicle back when I was in Journalism school (and back in the glory days when John Tavares was on the team), so I am no stranger to the Gens — though I haven’t been following this year and have no idea how they’re doing. But they won!


It was a fun double date.


I appreciate the photobombers in the background.

My oldest pal!


Winnie was actually born under Emily’s next-door-neighbour’s air conditioner back when we were about 10, and lived in the barn in her backyard until she was old enough to leave her mother (who was a stray) and we got her. Emily and her family were quite sad to hear about little Winnie, and Emily actually made a donation in Winnie’s honour to the humane society so that a cat can be fed and looked after for a year. I was touched. I am truly amazed at Emily’s thoughtfulness sometimes.

Just before the game started, my friend Sherrie and her man Will appeared behind us out of nowhere. It was so unexpected that it took me a minute to recognize them. You know how when you see someone you know completely out of context and you don’t register who it is? This is why I’m so bad at celebrity spotting. If I were to see my coworkers randomly out on the street I doubt I would recognize them. Emily was all “Look who’s here!” and I stared at Sherrie for a moment thinking “Who is this beautiful person who I’m supposed to be excited about see—OMG IT’S SHERRIE!!!” and then I really was excited.

They said they heard we were going to the game and thought it might be a fun afternoon activity. But they were sneaky… My birthday was on Tuesday, March 1st, but because Emily’s baby shower was on Sunday the 29th and our friend Dawn’s daughter’s 2nd birthday happened this past weekend, I moved my birthday celebration to this coming weekend, the 12th. It was no biggie, but Emily and I had been talking about how the four of us should do dinner after the game. I excitedly told Sherrie and Will to join us, and Sherrie was all “Oh man, sorry, we have plans…” which was disappointing.

But when the game ended their “plans” fell through and they were suddenly able to come for dinner. The six of us headed over to Avanti Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in downtown Oshawa. We were talking on the way over about how we hoped it wasn’t too busy and we would be able to change the reservation from four people to six people — and then we walked in and I saw our friends Renee and Dustin sitting at a table for 10. At first I didn’t understand what was happening and I was thinking what a coincidence it was that Renee and Dustin were out for dinner at that restaurant at the same time as us! And then I was like waaaaaaait a minute.


Those sneaky minxes planned a surprise birthday dinner! Our friends Joanna and Lisa joined as well, two more surprises I had no idea about (I know Dawn and Mark would have been there, but they were in the Dominican Republic, lucky jerks). I had ZERO inclination AT ALL that Emily and Evan and been secretly collaborating for a week about a surprise dinner for me. Those tricksters. I am almost more surprised at how good Evan was at hiding it from me.


That was obviously why Sherrie and Will were also at the Gens game. They never had any plans! They really got me.

No one has ever planned a surprise party for me before and I was totally blown away. I felt so loved! And a bit embarrassed at all the attention. But I am a jambon so I liked it. I also feel very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Evan even picked up the most amazing banana chocolate cake.


Which came to the party in my own trunk, and I had no idea it was there. Evan has sneaky skills.

Evan and I started with the margherita pizza, which was delicious.

I also got the Tagliatelle pasta with goat cheese, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and roasted red pepper sauce.


Also so good. Best pasta I have had in a restaurant in a long time. I have been craving it since.

It was so awesome to see everyone. I still can’t get over my friends pulling this together without me knowing, those cheeky cats.


They are the best. We had such a good time.

When Evan and I went to bed Saturday night I spooned my little Winnie one last time (although I didn’t know that at the time). I had a few drinks at dinner, and when I have a few drinks I tend to snore. Evan told me in the morning that Winnie was sleeping in my arms up near my face, like this…


and I snored/snorted in her face so loudly that I woke both of us up. I’m sure Winnie appreciated. I’m glad we had that time together. It was the perfect ending to a great day.

Sunday in the early afternoon I headed to Emily’s baby shower. For the 40 minutes I was in attendance, it was awesome. Our friend Erin flew in from Edmonton for a few days, specifically to attend Emily’s shower as a surprise (lots of surprises happening), and I am so happy I was there to witness Emily’s reaction to seeing Erin. She was absolutely shocked and it was hilarious to see.


The food table looked great, as shower food tables always do, and when I left early Emily and her mom made me take a container packed full of goodies.


I remember Emily saying “But you love shower food! You have to take some!” So I did and I ate cheese and shrimp in the car on the way to the vet while I tried (unsuccessfully) not to cry.

It was such a good weekend, even though it had such a sad ending.


5 responses to “Quel Surprise

  1. Aw your friends are the best! I look forward to meeting some of them!

  2. So sorry to hear about Winnie, Lindsey <3 Your friends are the sweetest and it was nice of them to plan such a great surprise for you. Happy belated birthday!

  3. texasmelrose2

    What a wonderful birthday surprise and I am so glad you had that last sweet night with Winnie. Ugh, my heart breaks for you! <3