Friday, December 3, 2010

Ooh La La: San Francisco French American Chamber of Commerce, La Soiree

I had been anticipating La Soiree for about two months. I was excited when I got my ticket in the mail. I was excited to buy something new and fancy to wear to the event. The night before I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa.
I had to work all day prior to leaving for the event that started at 6:00PM. I was lucky enough to get off work an hour early and thank goodness. It was one of the worst days at work that I had had up to that point. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I left and headed strait to my friend Cocodoodle's house (not her real but one that she has had ever since seeing Coco Before Chanel together about a year ago, maybe longer. I am bad with the passing of time). After a few minutes of trying to convince her fine food obsessed sister to hop in the car with us, we were on our way.
We reached Livermore by 6:00PM and I thought, 'Great, we are making pretty good time. We will be sipping French wine and eating pate in another hour or so. At the very latest another two hours or so.'
Famous last words.
It was one of the first heavy rains of the season. While I might be a decent driver in the rain, those around me on the 580 were not. We finally reached my brother's apartment around 7:30PM. A little later than I had hoped but still early enough that we might still have a decent time. I had Cocodoodle call for a cab when we were about 15 minutes away from his place. Our plan was to leave my car there and take a taxi to La Soiree so we wouldn't have to worry about how we would get the car back to the apartment and everyone could be a little more irresponsible and no one would have to worry about being sober driver, we would let Yellow Cab handle that. We got through to Yellow Cab and an automated service let us know that our taxi would be there in 15 minutes. We gave them my brother's address, planted ourselves under umbrellas in front of his apartment in our fancy clothes and waited...and waited. After 20 minutes I called the service again. This time I reached an actual human. His only words for our taxi not being there, 'Oh, its on its way.' Click. No apology, no indication that we would be on our way anytime soon....nothing. While stranded in front of my brother's apartment we witnessed a family of raccoons sleuth and sneak from one apartment to the next across the street from us. It was strange to watch and the creep factor rose when they became aware of us across the street and all four looked up at us and froze all at once. Ten seconds later they were on their way again. After 35 minutes of waiting for the stinkin' cab, my brother's roommate walked out of the apartment.
'Hi, I am Don's sister, do you remember me?'
'Oh yeah...uh...hi...' (hesitantly)
'I just didn't want you to think that we were some creepy stalker girls standing in front of your apartment. We are supposed to meet my brother at the Metreon and we are just waiting for our cab'
'How long have you been waiting? You will never get one out here'
'35 minutes, they promised to be here in 15.'
'Do you guys want a ride? It is kinda on the way the where I am going'
I wasn't about to be polite and modest...who knows when the cab was going to get there?
On the way we compared stories about how unintentionally funny my brother is. She asked me why my brother will laugh loudly, alone, while watching TV. I had to admit that it was a family thing, both my mother and myself do it. It takes awhile for those that know us to understand and accept it.
We had FINALLY arrived. We took the elevator to the fourth floor, past the neo-goth teenagers, past the concession stands. We found my brother on the balcony (with one of the most amazing views of downtown San Francisco, by the way), in the rain, about 2 sheets in. His best friend may have already been at 3 sheets. Cocodoodle and I had to catch up quick.
I wanted to get some food in me first. The first table I went to had a chicken liver pate that sounds like dog food but tasted amazing. Not as amazing as the spinach terrine that was next to it. That dish was da bomb! I filled my glass with an unknown red (decent but not great) and took a walk around the place. The balcony was gorgeous but other than that the venue kinda stunk for the event. The way it was laid out, people ended up bottle-necked around some of the more popular tables, preventing others from getting by. It made mad- dashes for wine almost impossible. Next was a white, and another red. We were starting to get loosened up (ok, I was starting to get loosened up, Cocodoodle kept asking me 'Do I seem drunk? I am already drunk') We hit on another glass of red that I was sure was my favorite, Pinot Noir. What I wouldn't give to have been more attentive because that glass was fantastic! The best of the night.
Finally good and lubricated, I took in the fabulous of it all. Beautiful people speaking French everywhere (Note to self: Put that birthday gift of audio French to work and learn the language already). A strange Shakespearean nymph looking creature, on stilts! Marie Antoinette face painting unicorns on grown men when intoxicated. The men, not Marie Antoinette...
I wish we would have arrived earlier. I wish the venue would have had a better flow. I wish there would have been more desserts (although I was told that there were lots more there before we got there, drats). Other than that, this is definitely something I would do again. I am already making plans for next year.
Oh, I almost forgot the best part. At the end of the night we got our groove on to the DJ that had the strangest mashups but, after all the wine, seemed to be works of art. I also got to see that my brother could add another terrific genetic trait, that again skipped me, to the list. On top of getting the height, fast metabolism and piano player fingers, he gets to add 'sweet dance moves'. I never knew the kid could dance. When I dance I look like I am seizing and swatting at flies at the same time.
Completely unfair!

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