My wonderful readers had told me to go in a Cocktail dress... but for some reason, I decided that I was going to wear a long formal gown. That was, until 10pm on Thursday night - 2 minutes to bedtime, when Honey said the dreaded words...."you're not going to be wearing that, are you?"
Don't you just love those words? Words that make the hair on the back of my neck stand-up and go "What's wrong with what I'll be wearing???!!!"
Long story short, I decided to wear what all my wonderful readers suggested. A LBD - strapless that is, with an A-line skirt and tone on tone sequins and embroidery down one side of the dress and along the front and back of the hem.
It was understated and elegant. And seeing that the event took place right after work, most of the other women too were wearing their LBD. There were about a handful of women who wore long gowns... which made me turn to my husband and say, "I'm glad that I didn't wear my long dress." ... of which I immediately regretted because he turned and said, "And you think I know nothing about fashion!". Pfffffff!!!
We got to the Westin Bayshore at 5:15pm - just in time for the VIP Cocktail Reception. Unbeknownst (don't you just love that word???!!!) to me, not everyone was invited to the Reception, we were, because we were guests of one of the Sponsors. We had some wine and some appetizers before we headed to the hall where the Gold Medal Plates were held.
I was originally told that dinner was sit-down - but I was obviously misinformed for dinner was far from sit down. It was more like ... herding cattle - only with amazing food and drinks.
There were a total of 10 stations - one for each of the competing chefs. The chefs had to come up with a dish to complement a particular bottle of wine. No 2 chefs had the same wine.
We then moved from one station to another - getting a substantial wine taster and a plate of the chef's creation. I remember the first 3 stations vividly - unfortunately as the number of wine tasters increased, the faster my memory faded - so much so that I cannot remember what Rob Feenie created that evening. I remember his palette cleanser Sorbet but not the actual dish. Sad isn't it? It's even more sad seeing that Rob Feenie won the Gold Medal of the evening and despite reports of what he created, I simply cannot remember the dish.
Some of the evening's highlights. I met Tracy Cameron - Women's Rowing Bronze Medalist in Beijing. I even got to hold her Olympic Bronze Medal in my hand. I was suprised at how heavy it was. I was also very suprised to see that it wasn't all bronze and that it was inlaid with jade. It was absolutely beautiful - and likely the only time I will ever hold an Olympic medal in my hands.
I also met Steve Podborski, downhill skier, Silver Olympic Medalist. Seeing that my glass was empty, he offered to get me another glass of wine. What a sweetheart! Honey thought he was flirting with me. He was just being nice, I'm sure.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening and what an experience to be had! (I just wish I that remembered it all)