A Big, Awesome Day

So. Much. Awesomeness.

Before I get into why today was so great, I need to tell you about the day before it.

Yesterday was a big day for me professionally. I gave an hour long presentation about an important topic at work, and I received a lot of really great praise from a lot of people for it. But that was small potatoes compared to today. That presentation took months of research work, and I learned a ton of new things as I gathered data for my research. Yesterday was the culmination of so many things I had happening in my professional life. And it all paid off. It was crazy stressful, and I lost some nights of sleep, but it was all worth it when it was done. And yes, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

oysterbar

Getting to today

That being said about yesterday, today was even more awesome. The work day started with fancy gourmet donuts and bagels provided by the company I work for. Then, as I returned to my computer, the positive feedback from my presentation the day before continued to roll in. It was such a great feeling being recognized at all levels and across departments for the work I had done. After that really nice start, around mid-day, my manager had an impromptu meeting with me to let me know that the new engineering position I've been working towards was mine if I wanted it — which of course I did, whole-heartedly. So all that work had paid off in many ways. It was pretty amazing.
Then, after all that good news, I was speaking with my wife, Becca, about everything that had just happened, and we remembered that tomorrow (the 10th) was my birthday—which I honestly had forgotten about with all the stuff that was happening at work. So, we had a lot to celebrate! I formally had a new job with a company and team that I really love, and tomorrow was my birthday! We had to go out and celebrate!

We decided to go to a local restaurant called BeetleCat (who's name I love by the way) and it was amazing. This is a seafood joint in land-locked Atlanta, and, on a side note, as an islander by birth, I've been biased towards seafood places since I left Long Island. But any apprehension I had was totally wasted, because this place was awesome. We sat at the oyster bar (where you can still get regular food and drinks too) which I've shown in the image above, and seriously everything was perfect.

Becca and I were sitting side-by-side, close enough to have an intimate experience, but not so close that we were feeling cramped for space with the dining. We sat just off to the side of the wood-fired oven "Esteban" (which I think is a nod to The life aquatic) they have here:

photo_esteban

The dining experience was fantastic. They had good music playing, which was just loud enough to hear if you paid attention, but not too loud to drown-out your conversation. The decorations were spot-on. It was a blend of sea-worthy fish-house and modern, without the campy, over-the-top, crab-shack vibe you get at many of the chain seafood restaurants.

Sitting there we got to see it all and everything was impressive. The food was unbelievable. I don't even know where to start. Everything was better than I could imagine. We had a variety of oysters on the half (which we got to pick from a long list of different varieties), king crab legs, cobia cerveche with creme fraise sauce, lobster rolls, and some delicious house-specialty cocktails. Perhaps, just as important, our waitress was superb. Her name was Chestily, and she delighted us at every step. By the end of the night, she felt more like a hostess or even friend than just the person waiting on us. It was a very nice experience.

Icing on the cake

More important than all of those "in the moment" things I've described above, Becca and I got to have a really wonderful evening together. We were able to connect and enjoy each other's company like we haven't in a while. It felt like I had been transported back in time to when we first started dating. It was amazing (she looked so incredibly beautiful). And that, more than anything else, is why today was so awesome. Yeah, I had a great achievement at work, and yeah, it was my birthday — but way more important than all of that was that I got to have a really wonderful time with the love of my life.

My birthdays to come have a lot to measure up to after tonight. I can't wait to see how they turn out!