Earlier this month, B and I decided to have a no-drinking competition until August. For 3 weeks there would be no drinking at all — not even on Fridays or Saturdays. Guess who won?
BOTH OF US!
It’s true — neither of us consumed any alcohol. Brandon was challenged with his little sister’s 21st birthday and his cousin’s birthday. He was offered shots left and right but turned down anything but water. I was challenged being on vacation with everyone else drinking around me. I turned down wine with dinner and Boston-brewed beer. I was certain that Brandon would crack and I would win just out of stubbornness, but it looks like we’re both strong-willed. During the challenge, we made some observations.
- I still remembered how to flirt.
- There were still injuries – bruised hand from volleyball and bruised knee from walking into my bed.
- I weighed 109.6 lbs the first day of the challenge. I weighed 107.4 on the last day of the challenge. Not a big enough difference to be worth giving up alcohol.
- I really enjoy wine with certain foods. There were a couple times at dinner (with seafood in particular) that I would have liked a glass of wine.
- I say “Ugh, I need wine.” way more than I actually need it. I could have just screamed really loudly instead.
- I only noticed having more energy on the weekends, when I would typically drink more. Other than that, I didn’t feel any different.
- Conclusion: I’ll keep drinking!
- I felt like I took away from other people’s fun to a degree. I still had fun, but I didn’t party as hard. I was well-behaved the whole time and didn’t make an ass of myself.
- Without a doubt, I saved money. In 3 weeks I saved about $300.
- I worked out more and I had a clearer view on life. I read my bible more. It was nice to see other people wasted and think, “Oh, is that how you are?”
- Conclusion: I’m very glad I did it. It kind of made me want to grow up a little bit more. I’m not in college and don’t want to party my balls off anymore. I’m still young and have time to, but it was really nice to wake up every morning for 3 weeks not having a hangover. I never had a wasted day that I sat around hungover. I was always ready to do something and that was nice.
Our original plan was for the loser to take the winner out for an Italian dinner, but because we both won, we planned something totally different. We decided to try Red Orchids, a Chinese restaurant in West Ashley. I was told by several people that they offer fresh, high-quality meals at reasonable prices. The restaurant is located in a plaza with Big Lots and Burlington Coat Factory. Don’t let this discourage you.
The inside of the restaurant is open with lots of red paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The owner and hostess were both very friendly. Upon seating we were immediately greeted by our server, Will. He was extremely helpful when we asked for recommendations. He was very happy to answer all of our questions and did a wonderful job explaining the different dishes, wines, and beers.
The buns were exactly as I expected – very soft, chewy, and doughy. The pork filling had a sweet sauce that did not overpower the sticky bun. It was really fun to try something new.
Brandon chose pan-fried dumplings as our second appetizer.
We had the option of ordering steamed or pan-fried dumplings. Will told us that pan-fried only meant fried on one side for a little bit of extra crunch, so we couldn’t resist. It was perfect. The sauce that accompanied the dumplings was slightly salty and sweet. They were filled with pork and vegetables.
For entrees, we chose a fish and a chicken dish. Brandon was eager to try one of the house specials: “a pair of 18-22oz of crispy snapper fillet, gently glazed with Chinese sherry, cayenne, and marmalade sauce.” Brandon said this dish was very fresh and flaky, however being deep fried with the skin on, every third bite was fishy. I thought the sauce was thick and flavorful and ended up drizzling it on my rice.
We also shared the Hunan Chicken: “sliced chicken stir-fried with mushrooms, peppers, bamboo shoots, and snow peas in Hunan sauce.’ This dish wasn’t bad, but was lacking complexity. We both agreed that we both enjoy foods with several dimensions. If you’re looking for a mild chicken dish, this is for you. The Hunan chicken would be great for those less adventurous or those who can’t handle much spiciness.
Both entrees were served with our choice of white rice, fried rice, or brown rice (for $1 extra). We chose one side of brown rice and one side of fried rice. The fried rice was tasty! Overall, the menu had a lot to choose from. Being that both B and I are not fans of fried food, I think we chose items that weren’t pleasing to our palettes. We both agreed that we’d go back to try different entrees. I’d love to try the lemon shrimp, honey-glazed walnut shrimp, or the garlic chicken.
At dinner, we each had a Japanese beer: Asahi for Brandon, and Sapporo for me. Both were delicious. Brandon’s Asahi was a bit sweeter. I figured I would be toasty-faced after this large beer, but somehow I wasn’t! I did feel a bit dizzy after half a glass though. When we got home, we popped open a bottle of my favorite white wine: Elk Cove Pinot Gris. Here I am with my wine baby:
And just because I can, I had some red too!!!
Off I go to finish getting my wine on!!!
Thank you all for your encouraging words during this competition! A couple times when I really wanted to drink, I thought about your comments and knew I’d be able to make it. XO!!!