Friday, February 4, 2011

Lunch with Bears

If I'm not gallivanting all over North America, T'liese and I usually get together on Thursdays for a "Play Day." It doesn't mean our kids gather together at the park while we chat on a bench nearby...probably because I don't have any kids. This playing refers to us adults, and we are just nice enough to let Evan tag along. T'liese thinks he's still too young to leave at home alone, even though he is turning one next week.

Today's Play Day meant we grabbed lunch together. We tried a place that has rave reviews called the Black Bear Diner. It was an old-school wilderness diner complete with log wallpaper and servers dressed up as lumberjacks. As soon as I walked through the door, I felt under dressed and thought about going home to put on more flannel. Goodness knows it was cold enough to warrant such clothing! Cold enough, too, for me to order a hot chocolate. What a total treat, considering I never get anything to drink besides water. I sat at our booth and waited for my play mates to arrive, sipping what ended up being a little hot chocolate and lots of whipped cream (just the way I like it!). Soon, T'liese and Evan also came through the log door. I immediately felt more comfortable because they hadn't worn enough flannel to fit in with the crowd, either.

The menu was displayed on an old newspaper. It was really tough picking what to eat, but I decided to go with my first inclination and got the Chicken Avocado Club. With french fries. Oops! T'liese got a lunch portion of their Hot Turkey Sandwich but wished it would lived up to its name by being more hot. We waited about half an hour for our food, too. When a starving one year-old is present, the situation was just begging to turn ugly.

Just kidding...Evan was the patient one. It was my sister and I who kept craning our necks towards the kitchen in hopes that our plates would be on their way next. My sandwich was great, and I even saved half of it for my husband to munch on later. The fries didn't quite make the trip home.

For dessert, we split a Bear Claw. We decided against a fruit-filled variety and just went with what turned out to be a giant pastry with cinnamon roll guts. It was hot and came with extra butter, which only made the entire thing more heavenly. This was definitely the highlight of lunch. Oh so good! We even shared a few pieces with Evan. He thoroughly enjoyed what little he got into his mouth and not onto the floor.

Soon it was time to pack up, bundle Evan in his coat, and head to T'liese's house. We played a game of cribbage, looked at some funny home videos online, played the "Which One" game from a home furnishings catalog, and enjoyed a nice visit. Have I ever mentioned how nice it is to have my sister so close? It's a treat being able to spend time with my best friend any time I choose.

Even if that cute little Evan tags along from time to time, too.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!

OK, fine. I know I shouldn't be complaining about the weather. Me of all people. We are not presently being buried under fourteen feet of snow, unlike the northern half of this great nation. But when I say there is no doubt in my mind that winter is not yet done wreaking havoc, I mean it. And that knowledge comes from checking the weather forecast for my local area today. Forty-nine degrees is our high for Groundhog Day.

Hey, quit throwing things! You just have to remember that everything is relative. Forty-nine is freezing in Phoenix. We have thin blood here, after all. Think of the thousands of Canadians who come here to escape the tortuous winters of Canada! Think of all the small children in town who don't even own a coat! Think of the flowers outside that are meant to withstand temperatures above 120 degrees, not below freezing! No one is prepared for temperatures like what we will be experiencing today. I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid going outside.

Had Punxsutawney Phil been able to remove enough snow to make it out of his tree trunk this morning, he would have undoubtedly seen a shadow. As well as a blizzard quickly approaching from the west. Despite his pessimistic views of the future of our country's weather, I couldn't let this day go by without honoring my favorite movie, Groundhog Day. Any movie so full of clean humor and awesome one-liners gets my stamp of approval. And occasionally, I even realize that there is a greater, deeper meaning to what is going on, and that we all have a chance to make ourselves better each day. Bill Murray just happened to have a few years of repeating the same day to perfect himself. What a great show. Definitely my favorite movie (not counting ones where people randomly burst into song and then dance about).

Happy Groundhog Day, Nation. I hope we are out of this "winter" thing soon. It doesn't look much better any time soon. It's going to be a long six weeks...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Downtown Date Night

Although we usually have our Date Night on Friday, I made dinner at home this past weekend. When Saturday night arrived, we decided to head out for an official date. We even decided to risk trying a new restaurant. There is absolutely nothing good to eat near our house. We usually have to travel five to six miles before something sounds edible. Saturday evening led us to trying a mom-and-pop restaurant in downtown Mesa.

John ordered a hamburger, of course, and also got some homemade sweet potato fries to go with. My French dip sandwich with fries was good, but the bread was so soggy before I dipped that I had a hard time finishing. Texture of food is almost as important as taste for me! As we were waiting for our food, she brought us a basket of complimentary homemade potato chips, which were delicious and tided us over until dinner arrived. We were the only ones in the place until four other groups eventually showed up.

It was fun to try something new, but I doubt we will return. Whether the food was great or not, it doesn't get much better than spending an evening with my sweetie pie.

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