charity concert followed by six steps

it was a crazy day as i had to leave chaeli with my aunt in the morning (at my aunts at 8:30am) and head out to run some errands. then it was back home to shower, change and get chaeli (including getting her ready) so we could head over to chuckie cheese for her classmate's party.

oh my god… i have never been to chuckie cheese but… oh. my. god. it was quite the crazy experience. obviously the kids loved it but for the parents? oh. my. god. i can't say that i look forward to doing it again. even though, i know i will. hell – when chaeli is old enough to start requesting chuckie cheese for her birthday, i'm sure i'll end up booking a table for her birthday party as well.

until them, i'm going to spoil myself (and other parents) but paying 2.5 times more at one of those private, indoor playground facilities.

we went straight home after the luncheon party and i made her go straight upstairs for a nap. my plan was to get her down BEFORE my parents arrived – had they had been there, she would have never fallen asleep.

and while she napped, i quickly ran upstairs to get ready for my night out. doug was in oakville for his course but would meet ada, hoa, yvonne, as well as mr. and mrs. tang (ada and yvonne's parents) downtown. hence the need for my parents to babysit.

tonight, we went to the SCAW (sleeping children around the world) charity concert held at the St. James Cathedral on Church St. (just on the corner of Church and King) it's a yearly tradition that we've done most years – i find that it's a great way to kick-start the christmas holiday season. lynette, the reason why there's even a yearly, charity concert in the first place, showcases a lot of toronto talent (as far as the music industry here goes). the performances ranges from classical piano, to a jazz band, and from classical choirs to blues and jazz vocal.

the amazing thing is that there are a couple of young talents that come back every year. one is frances li… and i remember seeing him the first time when he was 12. the kid was just a phenomenal genius on the piano but this year, at the age of 17, he blew us away. this year, he performed a piece that he composed himself. it was incredible. the melody was beautiful but just listening to him play, i could appreciate how complex the notes were. i've only dabbled in classical piano/music during my youth, but this piece was definitely complex for a 17 year old to compose. had no one had told me it was one that he created, i would have asked which famous, classical composer did it come from.

another regular was a jazz and blues vocalist by the name of miranda head. i'm disappointed she doesn't have her own website because i was hoping i could track her future performances. like frances li, she was just a budding talent at the age of 19/20 when i first heard her. she was good then… but her singing has become so much more robust and mature now. for me, she stole the show tonight. she did three songs… and while they were all incredible, her last one, 'at last,' was what did it for me. a few years ago, she would have given a great performance, but now that she's matured both as a person and a singer, she really put some of her own edge into the notes and lyrics. had there been a CD of her for sale tonight, i would have grabbed it right away.

finally, there was a choir called "vocal horizons." their complex harmonies and incredible control of vocal chords had me sitting at the edge of my seat. they did their own version of 'silent night' – i'm actually not a fan of that song but tonight, i heard a version along with a talent that i've not only never heard before, but felt was the best version of 'silent night' i've heard… EVER!

after the concert was over, we headed one block south to colborne street to eat at six steps.

not only was the atmosphere the kind of atmosphere that makes me feel proud to live in a city that has such types of eating establishments, but the menu was truly full of talent. i say this because every dish ordered at our table (there were a total of five varieties of entrees ordered) was well received.

i had the following:

grilled calamari, chorizo, arugula and balsamic dressing

roasted halibut artichoke, fennel, olive basil oil

chocolate samosa, peppered strawberry shutneey, cardamom ice cream, mint yoghurt

everything i ordered tonight was delicious. and not just tasteful but truly well created – i mean, unique in the creation.

the chocolate samosa was one of the most unique dessert i've ever had! i wasn't too sure about the cardamom ice cream but it was wonderful – tasted a lot like chai tea. and the chocolate samosa was to die for! the outside was crispy and when you dove into it, it gave way to warm chocolate flowing out.

on top of that, it was ada's birthday today. and a wonderful way to celebrate her 35th. the conversations were great and fit the mood and food completely. i needed this adult night out.

i needed it desperately!

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