Thanksgiving long weekend went very well indeed, at least until the last few hours of the holiday break: 2 excellent church services, perfect weather to drive back and forth to the city to see my parents, the joy of knowing we were able to help them out with some errands and shopping, cooking Thanksgiving dinner together to share with a family friend, an unexpected phone call from my son and some delicious restaurant meals, along with a restaurant adventure.
Although the trip there and back took place completely in post-harvest Great Land of Brown, we spotted the occasional field of voluntary canola or winter wheat greening up the scenery for a few seconds as we raced past it. We arrived in the city earlier than expected and had time to have our dinner before going over to mom's and dad's.
We opted for a newly renovated Himalayan venue that used to be a somewhat rough and tumble buffet. It has been renovated into a much higher class, quality dining space with a marvellous menu and a fairly extensive wine list, the buffet now offered only at lunch time. Reservations are normally required to gain entrance to the place now, but because we were rather early the maitre d' whipped a Reserved sign off a table for 2 and seated us immediately. As it turned out the couple who had reserved the table for the evening phoned shortly after we arrived to let the restaurant know they would be half an hour late. It gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy our meal and the ambiance of the seating area. I ordered basa fish with vegetables and my husband a lamb dish. We were treated to papadum with a small tray of mango dip and sweet yogourt cucumber dip and we were given freshly made naan with our main course. My plate arrived with a most appetizing bowl of cauliflower in a hot tomato sauce and a potato/green pea/black eyed bean salad, saffron rice, while the basa fish with hot tomatoes, green peppers and onions came on a separate, steaming hot cast iron tray. My husband's lamb stew was freshly made, lovely to look at as well and he enjoyed the same salad as myself. We dawdled over our meal because the atmosphere was so pleasant and it was an unexpected treat. Had we been unable to score a table we would have been stuck going to the chain fish and fries restaurant next door.
Thanksgiving Monday was a good day for my parents. We took them to the recycle so they could get rid of a lot of junk and then shopping for some clothing and hardware store goods. Dad managed to get out of the car and walk through all the stores but he was incredibly tired out when we got home. In the afternoon we all cooked dinner together and a special family friend came to join us for the meal. We had a great visit but I could see dad wilting by the time we all left for the night. He was very excited that his grandson telephoned from the west coast. My mom was delighted that the "boy" would take time to call in the midst of his incredibly busy work schedule. Way to go son! haha
This morning before we left I took mom shopping for a few more items. Dad was so exhausted he really wasn't feeling well, so my husband stayed with him while mom and I got one of our rare chances to go out alone. We even took time to go for coffee before we returned and mom said she felt like our short time together was a holiday. She is so restricted with caring for dad and I feel badly for them both. He can't get out that often and pays for it every time he does and she is bound to the house because of his needs. He panics when she leaves to go out on the bus on her own because he is afraid she will have an accident and never come back and then what will happen to him? (dad has reached the stage where everything is about him and him alone, but that happens often with age and we all just roll with it) Mornings like this one are what make me wish I lived closer and could take mom out more...and dad too, to get him out of that condo more often for shorter periods of time.
Before my husband and I drove back through the Great Land of Brown we looked for somewhere new to have lunch. My husband said he was in the mood for Lebanese food but wasn't sure where to go to get it so early in the day. Only a few minutes after he said that I noticed "Genuine Lebanese Lounge" on a restaurant sign, so we whipped into the parking lot to go in and check it out.
Hahahahaha.......it was a lounge all right. It was a sheeshah lounge and the hookahs were in "full bloom" by the time we left the place. When we arrived there was only one small party of young men enjoying their pipe of tobacco with mint oils and the place is well ventilated, so we hunkered down with our menus and ordered our shwarma meals. To say the wait was long is giving the place too much credit...it was incredibly long, although the food was more than worth the wait. The problem for me was that as we sat and waited with our drinks, more people were arriving to smoke. Along with the sharp mint odor, green apple and orange blossom smoke began to seep out from under the ceiling ventilators and make their way to our table. Within about 30 minutes my head was beginning to spin just a bit and my stomach began to dance about somewhat dangerously. Another 15 minutes and my husband asked me if I realized that my entire body was vibrating. Ooh, yes, I certainly did realize it!! About every 3rd sentence I would forget what I was saying. Here I thought the 1970's had ended long ago for me, but here I was in a hookah lounge not even needing my own pipe to feel very strange indeed!! About the time I had my wallet open to put down the money for our drinks and flee the place for fresh air, our missing waiter materialized with our plates of food. It was quite fabulous fare but unfortunately I had to wolf it down rather unceremoniously to settle my stomach. As soon as I downed the last bite I left my husband on his own to finish his meal and pay the bill while I stumbled outside.
Was it my imagination or had the colours on the street signs and buildings reached a new intensity during my time inside the restaurant? Did the air smell different than before I went in? Had our car changed shape somewhat? I fell into the car, rolled down the window and tried to just relax and stop vibrating physically and mentally. When my husband returned he took one look at me and started laughing uproariously. I mean, how embarrassing, how totally humiliating is it to be in that condition from simply sitting in a sheeshah bar and not even be smoking the hookah???????
Obviously he would be driving us home, laughing all the way. It took nearly 5 hours for me to completely regain control of myself. I never HAD to actually do any drugs in the '70. All I would have had to do was just be in the same room as someone who was smoking any kind of drug and blowing the smoke in my direction in order to buzz myself halfway into the following week.
Sigh...... Embarrassing....humiliating....and at my age too.........I have never seen my husband so enjoying my discomfort. Even the Great Land of Brown seemed to have taken on a more incredibly interesting appearance during the drive home. I couldn't close my eyes to rest. It was like they were glued open. Sigh..... I am never going to live this down.
So, quite a weekend. I am grateful to have been able to spend time with my parents; I just could have skipped the middle 6 hours of today, thank you very much!!! hohoho!