The whole purpose of this blog was to get me away from my job, but I have to talk about my job for a moment. Because parts of my job are pretty awesome.
Well, maybe not parts of my job. Maybe it’s the other two or three jobs that have been layered on top of my job.
One of which – helping to run the 244th Army Birthday Ball – culminated in a pretty awesome party.
For about 1,561 of my office’s closest friends.
Some of whom you may know.
I may have had something to do with the organization. And the toasts.
During said toasts, I got to stand on stage with the first female non-commissioned officer who graduated Ranger school and didn’t spit out my wine in a fangirl moment. I call that success.
The Secretary, the Chief, and the Sergeant Major of the Army were up there.
I also stood on stage with a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) who is also a Vietnam War vet and probably one of the nicest humans alive.
And with a WWII vet who still rocks the hell out of his Air Force dress blues and walked out like it was no big deal and introduced us all to his beautiful and lovely lady friend later and #seriouslylifegoals
I am in awe of these people, and so grateful I got to stand up with them.
The meal happened soon after. The Hilton put on an utterly amazing spread, featuring an ancho beef and truffle chicken combo that was to die for.
And a warm apple cake that was about as Virginia as it gets.
Did I mention the starter salad, which was all about Virginia with its fresh apples and Virginia cheddar and roasted peanuts?
The chef is a rock star.
No, seriously. This is a moment where #literally means what it means in Webster.
Andre Cote is a rock star. He shared his exceptional creativity with us and I still wish to God my bosses would have let us serve the apple cake in a mason jar the way he first presented it, because it was Virginia to the core and we loved it.
Chef, the cake was still fabulous. We applaud you.
Did I mention that there were puppets?
In case anyone is curious, we did get permission from the big three to use puppets of them in the show and have them sing a song.
In three years of helping to run this event, I have never seen more calls for an encore performance than I saw for the puppets.
The puppets ended up going home with the people they represented as souvenirs. I’m pretty sure at least one of them would have stolen his anyway #lookingatyouchief #thoseeyebrowstho
I think I’ve exceeded my hashtag quota for this post. But I’m just that pumped.
My team was awesome. The production crew was awesome. The hotel crew was awesome. There’s just way too much to be excited about.
When the excitement dies down, I’m going to compile some entertaining lessons learned from a few years worth of putting on events for thousands of people to share with you. But in the meantime, I just wanted to share the excitement.
Because of my role in the event, I can’t officially endorse the venue, its most excellent chef, its outstanding servers, and its event coordinator who manages thousands of people with an ease brigade commanders would kill for.
But I can tell you, you’ll probably find me here again next year.
Happy birthday, Army. 244 years looks good on you.