Today is Emily’s mother’s birthday. 78? Will figure that out later. So our big plan is to have lunch with a crowd in Petaluma. About an hour out, unless traffic hits. We meet at 11. So, what is Emily doing here at 1002? With no sense of urgency, she is “getting ready”. We woke at 830 and she says we can be out by 930 or 10. That’s a fantasy. She is very slow in the morning and that’s with me doing all the morning chores. And she wonders where Marika gets it. I don’t. We will be late, only question is by how much. If lucky we will get there by 1130. If extra lucky the rest of the gang will be very late as well. I believe we have an 11am reservation. The angst awaits. I am sure Emily will be yelling as if it’s my fault very soon.
All that worry for nothing. We were about 15 minutes late and the restaurant did not have their shit together. So we were about one minute late for seating. Late, but not late.
Small table for 11. That means there would be a minimum of two conversations going at once, each end of the table. More like three at times. I sat in the middle next to my father in law. So injoined to the left and right but mostly kept grandpa entertained. And no one thanked me.
One thing for the place we ate brunch, they are not bashful with serving size. The servings were gigantic. The plates were extra large and the food was stupid big servings. It can be difficult to describe. Emily ordered biscuits and gravy. The homemade biscuits, two, were the size of cantaloupes. Then you get gravy. The fried chicken serving was t he whole bird. Plus fries. I ordered corn beef hash with two eggs over easy. The serving size, not so bad. Except it included one of the huge biscuits. And potatoes. A pile of potatoes equal to the pile of hash plus half again more. I decided upon seeing it I would not eat either. I gave them to my little nephew Dennis. He is 6’5 and 250. He needs big food.
The lunch really was fabulous for grandma. I don’t know what else she has going but when 10 relatives come together to celebrate your birthday, then you know you’re a big deal. But she had the fabulous time. There were gifts, of course. But Emily made her a shadow box with all her grand kids names in it spelled in scrabble tiles. That one made her tear up. Like I said, fabulous.
After a long brunch we all wandered off into Petaluma to browse and shop. And by we all, I don’t mean together, we all ended up together though six of us who went all in different ways to get there.
Petaluma is a small town near the coast. Since we are in CA the real estate here is ungodly expensive. But the town is a really nice place to visit and the people I meet here love living here. We have discussed actually living here. There are many craftsman type houses for sale. Could probably afford a small house. But, the town is isolated and difficult to get to so there would be no viable commute. Too bad.
We shopped and walked through town for a couple hours. Went to the furniture store we missed last time. Hit the thrift and clothing stores. Every time we passed a bar, there are many, I suggested browsing in there. No one wanted too. A true shame.
Emily ran across a few things she could not live without and now does not have too. Beth did the same which really ticks off her husband. I suggested she buy more. Hank needs to be desensitized.
Eventually we got all shopped out, so we said our goodbyes and headed home. Our trip back was just great. For a change there were no back ups on 121 or 12 or 80 in Fairfield. That’s just not normal. I guess we just got lucky. If it was like that every day I could live here. But, the traffic is usually (think always) backed up to the max. So we are still aimed at Auburn. The trip home was an hour. Versus the ninety minutes this morning or the two hours a few days ago.
Got back home. Emily has three classes to take online, has a deadline of tomorrow. She started in on that. I went to the store for dinner stuff. We had decided on homemade pizza. Not too tough a row to hoe.
Only caveat, I wanted cauliflower crust. Fortunately, we have an over priced foo foo grocery store in town. I went there. They had three different types of cauliflower crust. The only good thing about that store. They have everything cool, all way too expensive. But they draw you in when weird ingredients are needed. I hate the place passionately. But I got all my groceries for the pizza for only $36. I said way too expensive.
Home again. Emily had finished her classes already. So we built pizzas. Got the stones into the oven and hot. Made sauce and created two pizzas. They are beautiful. Into the oven they go and we should be good in 12 minutes.
While waiting, I made cocktails. I had picked up a new recipe recently and I wanted to try it with a decent rum. Yesterday’s attempt with bad rum was not as good as today’s try with more flavorful rum. Today’s drink was way better than yesterday’s. Always helps to experiment in order to improve your results.
So we finished dinner and relaxed. Watch Sunday night bad TV. About 15 minutes later Marika got here. She only works weekends now so comes home on Sunday night or Monday. Tomorrow we are headed to the Marin Headlands to go on a hike. She has found a reasonably short hike we can all enjoy. Only 5 miles or so. Should be fun. Even Emily is going to go. And she never goes on hikes. So it’s a super special day.
So Marika helped herself to pizza. Which she loved. She brought home some late harvest Chardonnay (awful) and asked me for a cocktail too. She did not like that Chard either. She also skipped the salad we made. WTH? So we all sat and watched tv while Marika ate.
This is the end to a nice day. Just kinda relaxing and watching and chatting here. Special and not.