What do you do when it is too hot out?
You go and visit a friend. We haven’t seen Ryan, yes the same Ryan as in the Perils of Ryan, since shortly after the semester ended. We really wanted to see him. Our plan was to surprise him at his job and reenact the fancy restaurant scene from the Blues Brothers. Oh, I should mention that he works at a restaurant on a golf-course and it is very swanky. Want proof of the swankiness? There was an unnecessary e on the end of the name; not Acorn Grill, but Acorn Grille. See how that e up-sells Grill? Since I barely own any clothing that would be deemed appropriate and am known for embarrassing people, of late my children, it seemed like the perfect match. We would get to see Ryan and have fun. Thankfully, he had a better idea which would be that we would visit him at the restaurant and eat with him. That we would be relatives of his was only icing on the cake. I couldn’t wait to see my favorite nephew. Sadly, my rather elaborate cover story was not needed.
What was needed was about three hours more time. From my point of view it was like no time passed. We all started talking and gabbing. That sense of family that happens when Ryan, Sara and Zack are around came right back. We ordered food and kept talking. Once Donovan found out that Ryan too played Pokemon he was all “business” about getting a Pikachu from Ryan. Given that Ryan gave Donovan several Pikachu cards, Donovan has high hopes that Ryan can deliver on the digital frontier as well.
A brief moment if you will, the food was AWESOME. Talk about food chubby. We ordered lightly seared tuna sashimi with white and black sesame seed crust for appetizers. A long time, over a year, has passed since we have had any sashimi that we didn’t make, this was a step back to our favorite sushi restaurant. Each bite the right size, the right texture and melted in your mouth. A touch of soy and wasabi added to the bite. Barb ordered a black and blue ‘burger; a blackened burger, with pepper bacon and blu-cheese. Remember the smile from Porkin’ My Wife (http://muketsuhanagames.com/2012/05/17/porkinmywife-com/) , well that smile was back. I ordered the French Dip. I always order those first at any restaurant, my theory (and it works) is that if they screw that up then they will screw up anything. This was no screw up. The sandwich was so big I couldn’t fit it into my mouth. The beef, cheese, fried-onion and horseraddish was otherworldly and this is coming from a guy who eats a lot of French Dips. And let me end with the onion rings, no pathetic anemic Burger King onion rings, but big fat real onions that I used a knife to cut into smaller bite sizes.
Post food we sat, bullshitted some more and got better directions. Ugh, MapQuest had us on a tour of the oddest places to put a house on our way to Acorn Grille, no bullshit-I actually asked outloud if they wanted people to visit with these directions. Turns out there was a very direct path. Our visit with Ryan ended with hugs and him making funny faces. Back home where we encounter three drivers who don’t know how to drive. Over the 50 miles back home we passed and were passed only to pass again each of them at least four times. Very odd and annoying, but ultimately just something that marked that trip home.
We were not even home five minutes when there was a tiny knock and in walked Sara, followed by Zach and Loralye. And there was that sense of “all is right in the world again.” Just like Ryan everything started up where it had left off when they moved. Granted this summer has not been the best for them, once they got everything out, back to making plans, talking food, planning Barb’s birthday, someone go get Dimples, what have you been doing, and so on. Without pause. The heat was the worst part. We hadn’t been home and thus the place was a furnace inside. Ah well what’s a little sweat between friends?
Facing a long trip back to where they are staying before they head back to their summer home they wanted to eat. We wanted desert. All of us wanted air conditioning. Thus, we found ourselves at Applebee’s. I will not bore you with the standard fare that is any Applebee’s, what I will bore you with is that four of us talking pretty much non-stop about what we wanted to do soon. Traveling down the river on a tube, sounds fun as long as we can take care of the sun for me. More plans for Barb’s birthday, where she says she has everything in mind, but won’t share what everything is with us. Talk about barns and modifying shopping carts for powered movement rounded out dinner for them and desert for us. Their visit ended with hugs, a dirty diaper, “see you soons” and some waves goodbye. Nice to know that we have made some lasting friends, it’s been a while.
I think this picture says it all; now who is Patrick? :)