A Weekend of Celebrations- Homecoming, Valentine’s, and my first Mardi Gras!

Welcome to the work week, peeps!

I had a pretty amazing weekend- probably one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time :). From reading everyone’s tweets and facebook posts today, it sounds like a lot of people had great weekends, even if they don’t remember them today (hehe). Fortunately, I *do* remember my weekend, and I’m pretty excited to “re live” it blogging about it.

On Saturday, I went to FMU Homecoming with a couple of friends from college, Tiffany and Will. Tiffany and I hang out pretty often, but I hadn’t seen Will in forever- like three years or so. Everyone had a really great time hanging out and catching up, even if we didn’t even stay for the basketball games (our alma mater doesn’t have football so Homecoming is in February and it’s about basketball). We watched the golf cart parade, took pictures, ate the catered food, and hung out around campus like old times.

Saturday night, Clay and I went out to Thai House for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day. With Clay’s hectic schedule (he works at night, goes to college during the day, and interns at ACS when he’s not in class during the day) and lack of sleep, we don’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the day like most couples. Sometimes I think others take it for granted that they can just have lunch or dinner with their significant other anytime they want basically, but we really cherish the time we get together, which is pretty much weekends only.

Thai House is one of our favorite restaurants, and in our opinions, one of the best restaurants in Florence. I had the Thai House fried rice and Clay had the spicy curry noodles, which was almost like thai spaghetti. The restaurant wasn’t super packed and we enjoyed ourselves, so it was worth waiting to celebrate. Clay’s out of town next weekend for a programming team competition in Georgia, so this was our last meal out together for over a week, and we definitely made it count.

I woke up to nasty weather on Sunday, so instead of my usual morning run, I cleaned the apartment -my other Sunday morning activity- then braved the crazy, rainy, cold weather to go to a Mardi Gras Party (my first).

I mentioned last week that I went out to lunch with a bunch of coworkers, and while out, I took notes and stealthily snapped pictures of our food so that I could write a review of Local’s Grill for PeeDeeFoodie.com (you can read the review here), and I’m happy to say I’ll be contributing additional restaurant reviews for the Pee Dee Foodie team.

Writing the review was super fun- it gave me a chance to go out with friends, try new restaurants and foods, and practice a totally different style of writing that I don’t get to use quite as often. I love technical writing and working for ACS Technologies- I get to work with exciting technology every day and make a difference because our software is used by churches, non-profits, and schools.

I guess I look at writing a lot like exercise. Technical writing is like running- obviously my primary focus- I guess you could even call it my “sport”. But other types of writing, such as blogging, writing newsletter articles, and writing reviews, are kind of like cross training, and will help me write better all-around :).

Writing philosophies aside- back to the Mardi Gras party.

The menu consisted of King Cake, which is a fun, colorful, tasty cake with a plastic baby hidden inside. The baby represents baby Jesus, and the person who finds the baby has to either make the next King Cake or host the next get together- you could tell everyone was a little apprehensive around the cake until the baby was found ;). We also had a giant sandwich called a muffaletta, veggie and fruit trays, sourdough bread, caprese kabobs, and a few other goodies.

I had a great time at the party (you can read more about it here) and met lots of amazing people. I’m pretty excited about meeting new people and new experiences, and I definitely enjoyed my first official Mardi Gras celebration :).

Now, I’m hoping for a slightly, uneventful, work week. I don’t have any major plans for the week, besides getting my oil changed and meeting with fellow Florence Track Club coaches, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to relax and enjoy some time with Clay before he heads to his conference. I hope everyone else has a great week, too!

Q1.) Have you ever been to a school homecoming (high school or college)? How was it? Since I actually live in the same town as my college, I’ve been to two or three since I graduated. It’s mostly a social thing though, because I really don’t like basketball that much and wish we had football like everyone else.

Q2.) Have you ever celebrated Mardi Gras? This weekend was my first official Mardi Gras celebration (it’s definitely more family friendly than the media wants you to believe), but I hope it will be the first of many :).

Q3.) Do you celebrate holidays on the day of the holiday, or the weekend before or after? Even though we exchanged cards on Valentine’s Day, we do most of our celebrating on the weekends. I’m pretty sure that we’d do this even if Clay didn’t have a wonky schedule, just because the restaurants aren’t as busy and we have more time.

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10 Responses to A Weekend of Celebrations- Homecoming, Valentine’s, and my first Mardi Gras!

  1. Sarah says:

    Sounds like a busy weekend!!! Busy but fun 🙂 Mardi Gras parties are so much fun (and yes family friendly) I’m happy you were able to experience it! I went to homecoming in high school…. best part I didn’t go to prom though! haha

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I didn’t go to prom either, but I did go to homecoming games in high school since I was in band and had to be at every game, lol. Once I left band my senior year, I never went to anything after school though, doing it for 4 years (high school band was 8-12 for us) was enough :).

      Mardi Gras is definitely a lot more family friendly than what you see on TV, no drunken crazies at our party :).

  2. Phewww what a busy but FUN weekend Amy! I have never been to a homecoming… I hope to visit my friend next year at her’s though.. she goes to school in the south 🙂
    I have also never experienced Mardi Gras… clearly I have a lot of things to do in my life. That is on the bucket list too haha

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Maybe Homecoming is a southern thing? I’m really not sure because I’ve not lived outside of the South. I know ours isn’t big just because it’s basketball and SC is not a basketball state like NC is.

      You could always eat pancakes today- that’s celebrating Mardi Gras and very delicious!

  3. Kara says:

    I haven’t really been to an “official” Mardi Gras celebration, but in the past I have made a point to drink margaritas on the actual day, haha! Sounds like your party was awesome!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Haha, we had a drink called hurricanes at ours. I didn’t have one, but everyone said it was tasty :). I really enjoyed the cake, though! Glad you found a way to celebrate too!

  4. Awe that looks like so much fun. I have never been to a mardi gras party, but I have been to several homecomings (high school actually). My college doesn’t have homecoming for anything because we are tiney. A small disadvantage to a small school I guess.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, my college is small too so it wasn’t really well attended (it never is, but nothing there is well attended… anyway). I’ve never been to a high school homecoming since graduating, but then again, I didn’t exactly like high school, either ;).

  5. Rebecca says:

    My weekend was okay. I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but I did have the day off yesterday, and I visited two local tourist attractions, which was a lot of fun. 😀

    I’ve never had Thai food. We have a salad at work called the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad, which has romaine lettuce, chicken, an edamame blend, cashews, carrot, red pepper, and a peanut sauce drizzled on top. I haven’t tried it though. But you be the judge… does that sound like real Thai food? 😉

    1.. Just the Homecoming dances in high school… 11th & 12th grades. I felt awkward about going to MVNU’s homecoming in November… especially since I didn’t walk in the ceremony until December.
    2.. Nope. Unless you count eating lots of candy or donuts a celebration. Hehe.
    3.. Christmas and Resurrection Sunday (Easter), my family would always celebrate on the actual day. Same with Mother’s and Father’s days. Thanksgiving was celebrated on Black Friday, due to everyone’s schedules. And then, all the other other holidays either weren’t put on with so much emphasis, or they were celebrated the weekend before and after.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Oh wow, that’s pretty neat you guys had homecoming dances in high school. I don’t remember us ever having dances like that.

      I don’t think anything at a chain restaurant, especially not a panera bread, qualifies as Thai food. But, it’s really delicious if you can get it from a Thai-owned restaurant (see the pics of mine and Clay’s food, it was great!).

      I read your blog about visiting those places and it looks so cool! You’re lucky to have things like that within easy driving distance, it reminds me of the Bush’s Baked Bean museum Clay and I went to in Tenn.

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