My favourite part of life is being able to have adventures that leave me with cherished memories. Saturday November 24, 2012 was a day that brought an amazing adventure and memories to treasure. The Special Olympics Alberta were having the S. O. Dance fundraiser where celebrities, such as Olympic gold medalist Jamie Sale, were matched with local Special Olympic Alberta athletes. Blake McGrath, from So You Think You Can Dance Canada was a celebrity Jude for the event. While I was unable to attend the fundraiser, I won an opportunity to have a private five course dinner with five of my friends, Jamie Sale, and Blake McGrath at Sage at River Cree.
On the way to the River Cree I was tense and excited to spend an evening with friends and meet some individuals who were inspiring. Having never met Jamie or Blake, I did not know what to expect. At Sage we were escorted into a small private dining room with a table just large enough to hold eleven chairs. With my friends, we sat and enjoyed the fireplace and beautifully set table. We chatted and drank bottled or sparkling water. Jamie Sale and Craig Simpson were the first to join us. They introduced themselves and I was blown away by how charming a couple they were. Next were Blake and Dyanne McGrath. After they introduced themselves, we all began our dining adventure. All the celebrities were down to earth, and the tension in my body soon dissipated.
After all the introductions the conversations flowed. There I sat listening to Jamie, Craig, and Blake sharing their experiences, including information and lessons that could be applied in any life and any profession. Must admit it was absolutely amazing to be in the same room with The Jamie Sale who I proudly routed and cheered for in competitions and pair skating in the Olympics, Craig Simpson who was on our television many a night when he played for The Edmonton Oilers, and Blake McGrath who I watched on So You Think You Can Dance but also whose music and videos had played on our television and were in my iPod. Their conversations were shared with the entire group and when asked specific questions from our group they were so eloquent and well spoken. Their enthusiasm about reading my book, Ice Rose – A Young Adult Spy Novel made my heart soar.
Sage served us scrumptious courses that included plated works of art such as roasted organic beets with bacon and candied pistachios and grilled Alberta beef tenderloin with whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a veal Demi glacé. A specially selected wine also complimented each course. Our dessert was a chocolate mousse prepared in nitrogen and came to the table crunchy and rich. As we nourished our bodies with the delicious food for the three hours, we enjoyed a wonderful evening with some amazing individuals who we did not even know a few hours prior. The evening was an adventure that I will never forget.
Jamie, Craig, Blake, and Dyanne shared some advice that I will carry with my as I finish editing my Creative Nonfiction manuscript Searching for Normal and send it to my publisher for consideration. Thanks to The Special Olympics of Alberta, Sage at River Cree, Jamie Sale, Craig Simpson, Blake McGrath, and Dyanne McGrath. Thanks to Nicole, Valerie, Rae, Roxanne, Shelley, and Macaela for sharing in the adventure.