Last week (Tuesday) we celebrated Eva's birthday in fine adult-like fashion. That is to say, there were no pinatas, screaming children running through Chuck-E-Cheese, or fear inducing clown shows. I did surprise her somewhat by taking a full half-day off from work and taking her downtown to an Italian restaurant for lunch.
A friend of mine from work suggested we try La Foccacia which is down on South Alamo in or near the King William district. We made it in just after lunch and just before dinner, so we had no waiting and super fast service.
They had two lunch specials, a Chicken Marengo that Eva had and a Fettuccine alla Luigi which I had. Both were wonderful, and we were very pleased with our server, a young UTSA grad who was very attentive and Johnny on the spot with tea refills.
As I mentioned, we were there between crowds and we couldn't help but notice a table of gentlemen enjoying drinks and conversation. At least one of them was associated with the restaurant because he called out instructions to the staff several times. It reminded Eva of our time living in Italy and the man who owned the hotel and ristorante near our villa in Caravigno. Good times.
Later in the afternoon, we stopped by her Mom's house for some cake I had picked up earlier from Lucy's. Good stuff.
We raced home just as the sky was opening up and unloading a torrential downpour to find a box covered in plastic just outside our gate. My son had sent flowers - tulips for Eva's birthday, and she loved them! They filled two vases and still look good 5 days later.
I had to break down and go get some new glasses. I had decided to go with the progressive lenses which meant I was probably going to have to spend more than what you normally get at My $39.95 optical. Instead, we went to a place in Ingram Park Mall called Visionworks. I found it hilarious that they still had me in their computer system from back when I purchased glasses at the same place in the early 90's. We had a really nice lady help with my order and during our conversation, found that she lives in Somerset and loves our new favorite pizza place, Constantino's.
So the way this place works is, you buy a really outrageously priced pair of glasses but then you get a second pair for free. I say outrageously priced because I guess I just expect all glasses, regardless of quality or prescription to cost exactly, $39.95, and not a dime more.
The regular glasses I got will be ready in a week or so, but we were able to pick up the sunglasses I ordered the same day and I could not have been happier at spending $528.00 in one sitting. I was able to "get" the progressive lens thing right away, and suddenly understood how it all works. And, most importantly, don't I look cool sporting Harley-Davidson sunglasses? I seriously can't wait to get the regular glasses so I'll be able to watch TV and look down and read the keys on the remote without having to take my Birth Control Glasses off.
We visited friends from the old neighborhood while we were waiting to pick up the sunglasses, and our friend Ruby mentioned that there might be a place in Wonderland of the Americas Mall where they sell artwork. We are looking for a large painting for our living room so we've been checking out a few places lately with no luck. Well, we never did find the place she mentioned, but we did walk around the mall. I haven't been to that place in a decade or more, and it actually looked nice and not overwhelmingly scary.
You never know who you might spot, and we were somewhat surprised to see Kenny Rogers taking in an afternoon walk. I like his purse.
Inside the mall, there was entertainment in the form of square dancers or cloggers, I'm not sure which. I can tell you this; those people were having fun. This was Saturday afternoon. I can just imagine what these people had in store for Saturday night!
By the time we got out of that mall (they have a huge Burlington Coat Factory, and I needed some new ties and shirts and such), it was already time to eat something. So, on our way home we stopped at Bolner's over off of South Flores (SoFlo for you hipsters).
We enjoy Bolner's and the generous portions which we promptly fill a to-go container with before eating the normal sized amount of food. Brisket and chicken is always good with green beans and mushrooms. Those pickles are good too.
We ended up buying a bag of dog bones for Gracie. They sell off these huge, meaty bones for a dollar a pound, and then depending on your dog, you can either give them raw or cook them. I boiled up one of these things and Eva tossed in a bullion cube for flavor. That would prove to be a mistake later in the evening when she (Gracie, not Eva) farted under our bed. It was so obnoxious that it woke me up.
Anyway, I gave her the bone and she sat out in the yard and worked it for an hour or so. She was so concerned that someone might try to take it from her that she had her front paws spread out in this weird position that would allow her to quickly maneuver herself and her bone away from anyone trying to grab it. I could hear the coyotes off in the not-so distance, and I think she would have taken out a few of them if they had made a move for that bone.
Next time, I'll give it to her earlier in the day so she can have plenty of time before bed to enjoy it.