Breanne started a sabbatical from work last Fall, and she has been doing all kinds of amazing things...
from living in Latin America learning Spanish (to add to the Chinese, Arabic, and Biblical Hebrew she already knows) to watching baby sea turtles hatch on the beach to cruising the Galapagos to mountain biking at the Grand Canyon to taking a wilderness survival course in California and SO much more!
Now she is on her way to Philadelphia, where she will be pursuing her MBA at Wharton,
but lucky for us, she decided to stop over in Memphis for a few weeks on her way out!
The Friday before she started her (online) pre-term business school classes, we decided we should have a night out to celebrate the end of her sabbatical. (She's doing the first few weeks of classes here in Memphis, so we weren't saying good-bye yet!)
Sam was so kind to encourage us to go while he took all the kids for the evening,
and we headed off to the Global Cafe at the Crosstown Concourse.
(You can read more about this fascinating restaurant here.)
Sam and I went here last Fall, and I instantly knew I wanted to come back with Breanne at some point!
The current chefs are from Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela, and there are menus from each country.
We pulled up to the Crosstown Concourse, and I suddenly realized I had taken my mask out of the car.
And masks are required at public, indoor spaces in Memphis!
Dismayed, I dug through my purse, hoping to find something I could use as a face covering, and there I found Benson's mask I had taken from him the day before when he wouldn't keep it on!
I loosened the straps and donned a toddler-sized mask covered in dinosaurs, and we were off.
As we stood waiting to order our food, someone walked up to the counter and picked up a stunning drink with a mango carved to look like a giant flower perched on the top!
I was sure it was alcoholic, and I don't drink...not to mention I'm pregnant!
But mangoes are one of my favorite foods, and I could not get over how beautiful it was.
So I decided to ask if they could make a virgin one for me.
I have always been afraid to order virgin drinks in the past, because I'm concerned they will forget and add alcohol, but the bar at the Global Cafe was in plain sight so I could watch him prepare the drink.
He assured me it was no problem, and he started preparing drinks.
Evidently a couple of other people had ordered the beautiful mango-ritas, because he was making three at once.
And as I watched carefully, I saw that he did the exact same thing to every glass. The bulk of the drink was poured from a non-labeled plastic container, so it was unclear whether it was alcoholic. When he called me up to get my drink, I hesitantly said, "I just want to verify...this is virgin, right?"
"Ohhh, I forgot!!" he exclaimed.
My fear had been realized!
He promptly gave the alcoholic one to another customer and made me a new one, this time clearly non-alcoholic.
I don't care for hot sauce and spices mixed with fruit, but the colors were so vibrant I went for it anyway. Taste-wise it's not something I would order again, but we made sure to take lots of pictures so I can learn to cut mangoes like this! It was so beautiful!
We both ordered Venezuelan food--delicious!
After we finished eating, we went inside the Crosstown Concourse to wander around.
It is such a treat for the eyes! It is one of my favorite places to visit in Memphis.
A former Sears Roebuck building, it sat empty for many years until it was transformed into this beautiful, eclectic space with restaurants, art galleries, short-term apartment housing, business offices, and more.
This origami display was incredible!!!
I love the way they incorporated the old with the modern. They have a lot of old Sears Roebuck equipment repurposed in different ways, like as flower planters. Breanne kept telling me to get in pictures. I wasn't feeling particularly photogenic with my pregnant belly, dino-mask, and humidified hair desperately in need of a haircut, but I complied.
It was such a fun night--thanks to the dinosaur mask for saving the day!