Time for another Adventures post, stay-cation style!
After 8.5 years at METTLER TOLEDO, I said goodbye last Friday.
Leaving was very bittersweet. Although I was ready to go and am excited for what’s next, it was still hard to say goodbye to the people I worked with for so many years. I always thought it was cliche when people leaving would say “what I’ll miss the most is the people”, but now I get it. Really, what else is there? (Although I’m kind of going to miss excel spreadsheets…#nerd).
To celebrate, my work husband Jim planned a happy hour at the new Bar Louie across the street (side note – Bar Louie has an amazing happy hour!). Big thanks to everyone who made it out to wish me well – I felt so loved. And an extra special thanks to two of my favorite METTLER TOLEDO people: Jenny, one of my very first work friends and true confidant, and my work husband, Jim, who I sat next to for seven years and who is to credit with much of my professional success and all of my daily sanity. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Jenny and a Jim in their place of work.
I miss you guys! But not that much. 🙂
On my first official day of unemployment (I don’t start at Northstar until September 16. 3.5 week stay-cation!), I did what any normal person who isn’t earning a paycheck would do: I bought a road bike!
Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I’ve been building up to this for quite some time, so it wasn’t exactly an impulse purchase. But even so, when I handed over my credit card, I did have a moment of “oh shit, am I really doing this?!” After six triathlons on a hybrid bike and countless “i can’t believe you’re doing that on a hybrid!” comments, it was time to bite the bullet and upgrade. And boy did I ever upgrade!
Between Sunday afternoon when I started this adventure and Monday afternoon when I finished it, I went from a road bike novice to…a semi-novice. Shout-out to my Uncle Yossi for imparting some of his infinite wisdom on me, as well as the crowd-sourcing I did on Facebook! I learned that on the most simplistic of levels, road bikes can be broken down into two things: frame and components. I visited two shops on Sunday, and narrowed down my choices to two bikes.
The first was a 2014 Specialized (my Hybrid brand) with a carbon fiber frame with entry level components for $1400 (tax-free somehow..).
And the second was a 2014 Fuji with an aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, and mid-level (good) components:
I put both bikes on hold so I could consult various experts (see above) before making a decision. I also wanted to check out a third shop, Roll. I could go into a deep discussion of the psychology of purchasing decisions, but suffice it to say that Roll was the beneficiary of my desire to make a purchase that day. If I had gone to Roll on Sunday I’m not sure if they would have earned my business. That being said, Roll was an incredible customer service experience, and they deserved every penny of my business. Brody, the shop manager, spent over two hours with me. Roll focuses on bike fitting, which may be a gimmick for some, but for me and my old lady back, it’s very important. Unlike the other two bikes and shops, I know that the bike I purchased is the right fit for me.
After test riding a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber bikes, I ultimately decided to put on my big girl bike shorts and go for the gold: Giant Avail Advanced 2 (2015). It’s carbon fiber and shimano 105 components (mid-range), and because next year’s model is already in stock, I was able to secure a 20% discount + an additional $100 that I negotiated off the price, for a total of $1600. There is a big part of me that still can’t believe I dropped almost two grand on a bike – say what?! But I was afraid that if I went with a lesser bike, I would regret it in two years and wish I had gone with a better bike upfront. So here’s to hoping this bike lasts me another 10+ years!
I took her out for her maiden voyage today, and let me just say – it was awesome. I really felt the difference between it and my old clunker, especially when making turns and when going up hills. It’s so much more agile than the hybrid – I feel one with the bike. I can’t wait to take her out on a longer ride! Maybe I’ll become a serious cyclist yet! Let’s hope so for $1600…:)
My new employer, Northstar, is opening up a new restaurant right below my apartment! Ever since Betty’s closed their doors 1.5 years ago I’ve been waiting for something awesome to go in that space – and Brassica is exactly that!
Brassica (defintion: group of plants in the mustard family, including cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) is not open yet, but as a new employee of Northstar I was invited to their friends & family meals this week! This gives the restaurant an opportunity to test out its processes, food, etc. in a friendly environment before opening to the public. I went for lunch yesterday, and let me just say – YUM! The menu is inspired by owner Kevin Malhame’s Lebanese heritage, so the focus is on Mediterranean flavors. Sneak peak:
The food was truly outstanding – so flavorful and healthy (minus the fries!). It’s set-up like a Chipotle – you choose the base, and then go through a line selecting proteins, toppings, etc. I opted for a salad, half lentils, half greens, with chicken, one falafel ball, and basically every topping – pickled beets, cabbage slaw, carrots, caramelized onions, etc. etc.! It’s also reasonably priced – you can easily get a solid meal for $10 or less.
In my (somewhat biased) opinion, it’s exactly what the Short North so desperately needs – an antidote to the fancy, pricey, sit-down restaurants. Brassica is accessible, flavorful, quick, and easy. I’m honored to be a part of the brilliant team behind it! Can’t wait to introduce it to the public – for my friends and family, likely on my (discounted) dime 🙂
That’s all for now, folks! So starts three big days of celebrating Pam and Reinhardt’s wedding! Tonight is a girl’s dinner (while Reinhardt has his bachelor party!), tomorrow is nails, lunch, and rehearsal dinner, and Saturday is the big day – starting with hair and makeup at 7:30 AM! And when it’s all over, I’ll be heading south to my “honeymoon” – Florida with my parents and Karen for a lovely week of absolutely nothing. I may or may not hop on this space during that time, so if I don’t – don’t lose faith in me! I’ll be back for my last week of stay-cation after Labor Day.
Enjoy your adventures!