Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about the water color program I went to at the library on Tuesday. We followed the teacher step by step to create a small water color painting of two spring blossoming trees. We learned about a couple techniques of water colors and painted to Mozart. The teacher was super well organized and down to earth. Sometimes her classes are free style but this wasn’t but that was fine with me. She planned and paced the course so well and everyone left with a decent spring painting with matted with the color paper of their choice.
On Tuesday I went to a brunch to honor volunteers at my local library. The event was catered and there was something for everyone. I got to meet other volunteers whom I rarely see and met a few library staff members for the first time. Lots of good conversation and at the end we were given a small box of fine chocolates and a $20 gift certificate for a local restaurant.
On Friday I went to a conference for library staff. It was a fairly small affair with an array of small presentations. I saw some on Readers’ Advisory, i.e. how to interview patrons and figure out what sort of books they’d enjoy and some on makerspaces. The makerspace presentations were actually best for libraries that don’t have makerspaces. The information was very basic. One highlight was a session on motivation by the director of the LaCrosse Public Library. She knows how to give a speech as she was upbeat and had great body language. She structured her speech well and had ideas you could immediately put into practice if you were a manager at a library.
Yesterday I attended my nephew’s confirmation. His church is rather small, but the level of community engagement was high. I liked that people knew each other and were truly connected. There were 5 young people confirmed and one was also baptized. They prepared for years and the pastor and youth pastor seemed to know each person well.
I’ve been to Pinstripes for lunch and dinner numerous times and have always been pleased with the food and service. When my sister suggested we go to brunch this weekend, I said I thought Pinstripes offered brunch.
When I got there I was amazed at what was offered. They had a stand for omelettes, one for bagels, one for waffles that you could have topped with cinnamon apples, Bananas Foster, whipped Nutella™, and more. There were buffets with pizza, salads, hot dishes, fries, pasta, yogurt parfaits, fruit, pastries. Mimosas are $4 and Bloody Mary’s are $7. Coffee and tea are available for $4 too.
The place was hopping and it was hard to take pictures, but I’ll return and try to get a few more.
It’s $25 for adults, $12 for kids 6-12 and kids under 6 are free.
We returned to the Grand Mercure on Sunshine Street for Easter Brunch. This time there were 150 other guests and around noon it was chaotic. (So go early if you go.) While there were plenty of non-desserts on offer, the pastry chef did a remarkable job with Easter themes.
I had a wonderful Easter today. First I went to mass with Ed, a colleague, at the little church in the old hutongs downtown. When the other people saw the foreign visitors, a nun escorted us from the plastic chairs outside up to the choir loft where we had a bird’s eye view of mass and were right amongst the 50 choir singers.
After mass, several teachers went to the Hotel Mercure for Easter brunch. I didn’t expect that the hotel would celebrate Easter. I thought we’d just have the normal brunch. Wrong. They had lots of chocolate eggs and rabbits. It was so delightful and just 98 rmb per person. The service is so attentive and helpful.
After brunch I had to go into town to pick up some train tickets for my upcoming Qing Ming holiday trip. Who do I bump into but my old friend Ben, the chef of Bon Appetit, and his three boys, who were getting balloon animals from a clown?
Another bonus was we had sun, behind some haze, but still – sun.
I went to Brunch at Butch McGuire’s Tavern on Rush St. Sunday. The restaurant cum bar is an Irish pub with lots of character. Old time regulars might complain that Butch’s son doesn’t have the same panache or avuncular host/manager, but I’d only gone there a few times and was happy with the atmosphere and service. The bar tenders add a flair with their white shirts and ties, dressing up the place. Yesterday was the last day for the Christmas decorations: colorful, twinkling lights, Disney characters, penguins and a PG-13 Santa.
Car Bomb French Toast
I had Car Bomb French Toast, thick cut bread dipped in a batter with Bailey’s and Guinness. The syrup was infused with Jameson’s. I couldn’t resist the tongue in cheek name. The French toast didn’t have a strong alcohol taste, though the addition of the whiskey was a good twist.