31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 11 – Cafe Zen

Cassie: “Where do you want to eat?”

Me: “Cafe Zen”

Both: LOL

There was a time where that conversation wouldn’t end with a laugh but with an “oooh, let’s go”.  See, Cafe Zen had been referred to us as some of the best sushi in the city. I tried it and I agreed. The Spicy Tuna Roll being perhaps one of the best things on the menu. We have visited there a lot. Facebook memories from my birthday will contain many memories from Zen. The first time we brought Thomas we completely forgot food for him. We figured that we would feed him edemame and hope for the best. He devoured them. Later we brought Henry and laughed as he chewed on a lemon unphased. Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, or simply being hungry it was always a good day to go to Zen. (Except for our anniversary. They were closed the first week of July every year for the holiday).

This of course all came to an end one day in March of 2016. The exorcist comes to mind when I think of how horrible I had food poisoning. I couldn’t bring myself to eat sushi for months. I still have not gone back since those miserable days. A place full of great memories is no longer someplace we can go because I won’t risk another bout with that mess.

But we will always have pictures and videos to remember the good times by.

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 10 – The Rest of the Bands

Considering I hit our two favorite bands, I might as well include the rest. (Especially since this is the year of the concert.)

We are bound to see a lot of musical acts considering that when we go to Disney World we tend to go during the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. At eat to the Beat we have seen Sugar Ray, 38 Special, Tiffany, Dennis DeYoung, Sister Hazel, and Richard Marx. I may be forgetting a couple. There are also people who we have heard but we never sat and listened to.

The awesome story about Eat to the Beat was Everclear. Often when they would come on the radio Cassie would ask “Is that Evercler?” I would always say yes. Well, one time when in Biloxi seeing someone else (probably Goo Goo Dolls) I noticed that Everclear would be coming to the coast. I had wanted to see them but completely forgot until someone on the day of the concert checked in. I thought to myself that perhaps I would get lucky one of these years and see them at Eat to the Beat. Well, the very next year was my lucky year. Not only did they go, but they were scheduled to be there on a day that I was already planning on being at EPCOT.

Eat to the Beat is not the only way we see music together.  We have seen bands at Jazz Fest as well. Bruce Springsteen was a weird one because it was all folk music and none of his hits. We also have seen George Thorogood, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, and Rod Stewart (far enough away so I could also hear Ludacris as well).

Outside of special events, we have seen Counting Crows (both with Goo Goo Dolls and without). The show here was strange because they didn’t play Mr Jones. We have also seen Bastille, Train, OAR, Journey, Def Leppard, Richard Cheese, Chicago, Better than Ezra, Gin Blossoms, and REO Speedwagon.

Of course the best concert ever will have to be the I Love the 90’s tour when in a few weeks we will see Tone Loc, Young MC, Salt n Peppa, Color Me Badd, and Vanilla Ice. 🙂

 

 

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 9 – Rush

Well, if her favorite band gets a plug, I might as well give my favorite band a plug as well. I have been a fan of Rush since I was in middle school. The first concert I went to was the Roll the Bones tour. It was a great set list despite that album not being the finest of their collection. Bringing Cassie to her first Rush concert was definitely amusing. As it typical, most of their concerts tend to be a bit of a sausage fest. For a quarter of the men, it might have been the first time they had actually seen a woman up close that was not a blood relative.

She had a good couple of laughs during her first concert (I believe it was when she was a few months pregnant with Thomas at the time). During Spirit of Radio, there is a drumming part and pretty much every guy in the audience did some air drumming.

The next tour it didn’t appear that they were going to be coming to New Orleans. However, as luck would have it they were going to be in Tampa the day before we had already planned to go to Disney. They would be playing in what was known at the time as the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater (I only remember it because the name was just so odd).  So we leave a couple days early and for some reason I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have to the speed limit and I wound up getting a ticket. So this turned out to be one of the most expensive Rush concerts. Thomas had been born by then. And one of the sweetest memories of the concert was when I was standing up and watching and he kinda tugged at my arm and wanted me to hold him. It was a great moment.

The next day they were going to be in West Palm Beach Florida. I was half tempted to get tickets to that show as well. However, I decided against it.

Of course shortly after returning home from Disney, Rush announced that they would be extending the tour and that they would go to New Orleans anyway. So, AWESOME! I got to see Rush twice in one tour.

We saw them a couple more times since then.  It was also funny. She was watching the movie “I Love You, Man”.  I initially wasn’t going to watch it, that is until i realized it was basically a Rush movie. I sat and watched the whole thing.

Just as I have been glad to share experiences with Cassie’s favorite band with her. I am also glad that I could go with Cassie and enjoy my favorite band with her as well. And I am also glad I was able to share it with Thomas as well. (Though it is probably safe to say that there is no Rush song that she knows better than me like I know I’ll Stay With You by Goo.)

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 8 – Goo Goo Dolls

We have seen a lot of bands together, especially this year. However, the Goo Goo Dolls definitely deserve a post of their own. I have known and liked them since before Cassie. However, i had never seen them in concert and was clearly not as big of a fan as Cassie is.

Cassie has traveled far and wide to see them. She has friends across the country who enjoy the  fandom together. And since we have been together I have joined her on some of the trips to go see them outside of New Orleans (from down the highway in Biloxi to Dallas, Tx).

If there is any one song of them that would be “ours” it would have to be “I’ll Stay With You”. Part of that is because for a brief period of time before landing my job at Pan American Life I worked at Radio Shack to help make ends meet. They had a promotional CD that played through the store through one quarter and one of the songs on that CD was, you guessed it, that song. It never got tiresome (I think it is one of their best songs) and when they moved on to a different CD I managed to keep the old one and I gave it to Cassie.

I have sung it at Karaoke a few times, but only when she was with me. It is probably the only Goo song that I know better than she does. I will never get tired of hearing the song because whenever it comes on I think of her and it makes me smile.

 

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 7 – Trophies

You don’t always stay at one job for your entire life. But for Cassie and I, this is an understatement. We literally started off our marriage with her losing her job. When we got back from our honeymoon, Cassie found out that they had let her go. She instantly became my trophy wife. IF you count shift work for the New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau, I believe she has worked in 5 different places since then.

Not to be outdone, after I left Pan American for a higher paying gig, I then moved on from place to place and have worked in 4 additional places since then. For about a good 10 months I was a trophy husband.  And for a while, we were both trophies to each other! How did we celebrate that? Of course, we went to Disney World.

I remember one time I jinxed us. I went to a coworker at Pan American and said “You know what is nice? Cassie and I are finally at a place where we can start putting money away. It is so nice to feel financially stable.” Less than two hours later I had a trophy wife again.

It happens and it can be stressful. But we love each other and always find a way to make things work. It is so nice to have someone who will love you through the bad times as well as the good times.

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 6 – The Proposal

To be honest, Cassie and I had planned to be married long before the day that I got down on one knee to propose. Even prior to selecting the date, we had discussed that eventually we would like to get married and have fat little babies together.

So when we toured the Elms Mansion to see how they would be as a wedding location, we fell in love with it. It was so beautiful and the food was delicious. It was a perfect place for our wedding. We also had decided that we would try to get married on they luckiest day of the century. July 7th, 2007 (7/7/7). They were available so we put our names down and reserved the spot.

However, I still needed to “make it official”. My Grandmother had passed a couple years prior. After discussing things with my Mom we decided that Cassie having the engagement ring that belonged to my grandmother would be perfect.I took the ring to have it resized and appraised to be ready to go for our next trip to Disney World.

I made reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Prior to the meal, everyone takes pictures with Cinderella. I said a couple words to the photographer. Cassie had no idea what I was doing. So after we posed for our regular pictures, I got down on one knee and gave her the ring because she was my princess. Most people do not get the opportunity to get their engagement shot photographed. This one was perfect.

Later, on another trip, we were watching the fireworks show in front of the castle. I believe it was “Wishes”. I noticed someone getting down on one knee. and getting ready to propose. We made sure to take some pictures of them as as well and then we got their email address so they would be able to also have the memory of their special day as well. Paying the magic forward is what Disney is all about.

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 5 – Costumes

One of the things we enjoy about going to Disney World in the fall is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It is the one time of the year where adults can dress up in a full costume. I have my creative sparks here and there but Cassie really shines at the costume design. However, typically when we get to the parks, people always want to pose with me for pictures. It is a lot of fun. Here are some of the examples of the costumes we have worn over the years.

In 2016 we did go for a little less flash than previous years. We had seen Finding Dory and wanted to dress up like the characters. I was Marlin, Cassie is Dory, Thomas is Nemo, and of course Henry is Hank (the septopus). My stripes were made with black and white duct tape. Only a few people noticed that my fins were of equal size so that I must be Marlin and not Nemo.

 

In 2014 we dressed up as the characters from Pinocchio. You can pretty much guess who is who. I almost stole her apple.

This may have been our best year. We went as Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Thomas, Cassie, and Henry were Jake, Izzy, and Cubby. I, of course, was Mr. Smee. I went all out this year. I both shaved my beard AND wore women’s pants.

This was one from 2012 when Cassie was pregnant with Henry. We made our costumes but went ahead and bought one for Thomas. If you notice, my vest has a “Hidden Mickey”.

There’s a snake in my boot!

 

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 4 – Eddie Izzard

Cassie introduced me to Eddie Izzard. I had never heard of him before she gave me one a DVD to watch. I was surprised that I had never heard of him because his type of humor is right up my alley. So obviously when he was going to be coming to Tulane around our first wedding anniversary, I had to get tickets. I managed to land spots in the second row.  However, I had no option to print them at home.  It said I had to pick them up the day of the show at will call. I found this very odd.

We arrive to the show early to get the tickets. I give the person my information and we get our tickets. We then got our backstage passes for the meet and greet afterwords. This was the reason that the tickets had to be picked up at will call. Except, I had no idea that we were getting a meet and greet on top of the regular price of the tickets. The look on Cassie’s face was priceless.

We go to the meet and greet. They had food and an open bar. I said hello to John “Spud” McConnell (who had a part in one of his TV shows.

When we sat down to the meet and greet I asked a question:

“What is the stupidest question you have ever gotten at one of these question and answer sessions?”

His response:

“Probably this one.”

Frankly that was probably the most perfect answer he could have given.

And then Cassie got to take a picture.

When we were walking back to the car, she called her mom and said “I have the best husband ever.” I just hope that I can always live up to that title.

31 Days of Cassie and Dan: Day 3 – What link?

It is no secret that Cassie and I are huge Disney fans. We go as often as possible. My common joke while driving for Uber and Lyft is that I do it to feed our Disney habit. It usually gets a laugh.

We had both been prior to our relationship. One of the things that people like to talk about is their favorite or least favorite rides at the parks. For the longest time my least favorite ride was “It’s A Small World”. I currently will go on it because I see how much my children love it and I love watching them enjoying themselves on it. However, previous to us having children, I really didn’t enjoy going on it at all.

The same cannot be said for Cassie, who really enjoys the ride. So one time she went with her Mom and told me that she would call me when she got on the ride so that she could make me suffer through hearing the song over and over and over again.

I was on my way to the gaming store when I decided to give her a call and see how the trip was doing. When she picked up the phone all I could hear was laughing and the sounds I dreaded hearing. I literally called her as she sat down in the little boat. So I told her, “It must be our link.”

At some point later we were having a discussion on line and Cassie said to me “link?” as if to suggest that we had just witnessed another example of our link working. Oblivious to what she was saying, my response was “What link? I didn’t get a link.” She then explained it to me and we had a laugh.

So now when we have another example of our link, at least one of us will respond “What link?” and the other one will say “I didn’t get a link?”

Just another reason why we were meant to be together.

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