Monday, December 28, 2009

Utter Gluttony

I spent the Christmas holiday in Savannah, Georgia. I will post a proper discussion of that visit under a different post (or series of posts), but, I have to tell you that the fifteen hour, two day drive to Savannah to accidentally eat at The Wilkes House was nothing short of well worth it! Even though we didn't go to Georgia JUST for this event, it was a very nice way to punctuate the end of our trip.

I heard that The Wilkes House is on that 1001 Things To Do Before You Die....or 1000 Places to Eat Before You Die or one of those bucket lists, a list of which I clearly have not yet perused. But, based on full Savannah-local and family authority, I now can scratch eating there off the proverbial list. My life is more full (figuratively AND literally) as a result of waiting in line just shy of TWO HOURS to partake of Pure Southern Food.

The street is paved with grey brick -- NOT cobblestone as their website says (that makes me CRAY!ZAY!). The houses and apartments along there have those classic scenes of Savannah we all know so well: trees adorned with draping Spanish moss (that I learned is not really moss, it's an herb). The weather was cold and wet, the only warmth coming from spots of sunshine breaking through the buildings, which is where chilled bodies rotated shifts to mollify.

Once we got inside, we took a good look around and picked up on some unusual things immediately.  For example, across from where we stood awaiting our turn to be seated, was a good size dining room, tables sat from four to ten people.  Clinking of dishes and chatter were the most noticeable sounds.  Clinking of dishes struck me as odd.  Lo and behold, there, directly across from us, was a cafeteria-style door like when we were in high school and you had to take your tray to the wash staff.  Then I noticed patrons bussing their own tables, carrying their dishes to the wash staff.  Interesting...we get to wait in line all this time for a quick meal then clean up our own mess.  I'm not above cleaning up after myself and I am very grateful for all service staff (I used to be in the business, too), but I was pretty taken aback at the notion that this world famous little place wouldn't accommodate staff to help clean off tables when patrons were done with their meals.

The Seven of Us are given the green light that we could be seated, so we snaked through the busy, noisy dining room into another part of the house with a similar size dining area.  I'd venture that eight or ten tables that could seat up to ten people each were in this second dining room.  If your party is fairly small, you are seated with other smaller groups (similar to hibachi-style seating).  Our Seven didn't have to share a table, which was covered in food.  I mean COVERED in food!  At each sitting was a glass of sweet tea (if you wanted unsweet tea or water, you had to specially request it) ,a big white plate flanked by flatware.  Bowls and bowls of southern foods: polka-dotted the tabletop:  collared greens, rhubarb, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, lima beans, macaroni and cheese, and oh so much more!  To my surprise, waitstaff was there, and they were bringing MORE food on plates:  fried chicken, ham, corn bread, biscuits, beef stew and oh so much more!  It was almost offensive the amount of food that was served, (coming from a food addict, you KNOW I'm making a statement here!) knowing there's no way one group could eat all that food.  I couldn't help but wonder what happens to all the leftovers since it's against the restaurant's policy to take it home.  I took a picture and labeled some of the foods I could identify/remember.  If you want to see their menu for daily meals, click here.

It goes without saying that we left absolutely stuffed.  My mom raved about it for days.  For $16/pp, I'd say it was worth it.  Still wish I knew what happens to all those leftovers....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Southern Style Christmas

Notes from my trip to Savannah:

15 hours in a car ain't so bad.

You know you're in the south when you're offered pork chop biscuits with a side of grits for breakfast on the fast food breakfast menu.

Not even the temptation of receiving gifts from Santa AND the Tooth Fairy could coax My Eldest into surrendering The Floating Tooth. *sigh*

Rockband on XBOX = way f*cking cool. What a good time! I need it for Wii now (yes...NEED it! *ahem* Jackie's January Birthday Gift?!)

Ain't nothing like a holiday fire -- IN THE OVEN! Now I know what to get my brother for Christmas next year (a fire extinguisher).

"El Cheapo" is the name of a gas station in Georgia that's run by Middle Easterners. Vaguely reminiscent of Texas?  hahaaha

My Little One is interested in Spanish. On this trip, she asked me "How do you say 'phenomenon' in Spanish?" I think that's pretty phenomenal! (For the record, I looked it up and it's 'fenómeno'.)

Words of Wisdom from My Eldest: If you divide losing by losing, you're gonna get losing.

Latin Mass is quite interesting. I want to learn Latin now.

I need to get together with my side of the family more often.

"Sherlock Holmes" was a great movie.  Guy Ritchie did a superb job on this one, as did Robert Downey, Jr.  I'm glad he's clean and back in the spotlight.  He's always been one of my favorite actors (kind of like Patrick Dempsey.  I've loved him since forever ago!).

I am not a NASCAR fan, or a car race fan in general, but I got a little tingly driving through Talladega, AL. And, no, I haven't seen the movie.

Paying approximately $70 for a hotel room to catch about five or six hours of sleep is money well spent, especially when four people are involved!

The Wilkes House = Not quite worth the wait, but a good experience nonetheless.

Juliette Gordon Low House = a better time than I thought it'd be.

Driving into Dallas in the snow is almost magical.

Savannah is romantic all times of the year, it's just a matter of degree.

Candy being made is a fun thing to watch, as is picking out taffy, watching revolving candied apples, watching carriage rides, My Little One trying to pose like Marilyn.

Next trip to Savannah has to be around Halloween time so I can do the ghost tours!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Guess It's Time To Do This....

I added one of my very favorite Christmas carols to the blog (finally). Most of who know me personally know that I'm not a big fan of the hustlingbustlingholidayseason. But...this song is perfect for what Christmas is about for me & my family.

Kelly Clarkson does an exquisite job with this song. Enjoy & Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Which Disbelief Delineates

My Eldest is at that milestone age where she's seriously questioning the logistics of all things Santa.  She's actually had it figured out since age five when a lady at her school wore a fake Santa suit and tried to play it off like she was there real thing (REALL?!  I  Anyway, this year the questions are more intense.  The more we discussed it, the more she caved.  She admitted that she's afraid if she doesn't believe and Santa IS real, she won't get a gift.

Soooo... we got invited to a Santa Open House on Sunday.  My Husband knows someone whose dad is a jolly looking man and as a ministry of sorts each year, he opens his home up to boys and girls, dresses up as St. Nick and chats with the kiddos. 

The day before, My Husband's company holiday party was at this jump zone kind of place, where, of course, Santa would be making an appearance.   He, too, was a jolly looking Santa and My Girls loved seeing him.  My Eldest even got a little shy.

About a week before these weekend Santa events, My Eldest and I were at Target, just the two of us, walking quietly through the produce.  She initiates in a rather smiling-voice, yet authoritative-lawyer voice:

Eldest:  Mommy, you and Daddy  just put presents under the tree for us, right?  There's not really a Santa.

Quick on my feet and with a tinge of ambiguity in my tone, I reply:

Me:  You're right.
E:  Really?!
M:  Yes.

My Eldest stops to think about this for a few seconds.  She's kind of giddy about what was just said, but I'm not sure why.  I guess because she'd figured it out on her own.  Unexpectedly, she fires back:

E:  You're kidding.  There really IS a Santa.
M:  What do YOU think about if Santa is real or not?  (<~~~ turned the tables.  Good job, huh?  Oldest trick in the book.)
E:  I think he's real.

We continue to walk and mere moments (but seemed like ten minutes) later she re-interrogates me:

E:  I think there's no such thing as Santa.  Am I right?
M:  Yes.  I told you earlier, that's right.

She just giggles, still uncertain, wheels turning in her head.  We finish our shopping.

On Wednesday night, we do the whole Christmas decorations violation to our house.  Toward the end of the feat, My Kids were to and fro' from their bedroom while I was picking up leftover boxes and whatnot to store until after the holiday has passed.  I proceed to tell My Husband and MIL the story of The Santa Interrogation.  My Eldest wanders to the living room and hears me relaying the story.  Suddenly, she drops to her knees and begs me not to tell the story.  She felt so embarrassed about it, confessing that she's afraid to not believe because if there IS a real Santa, he might not leave her presents.  So we broke open the subject and talked about it together.

With a silly, awkward grin on her face, she itemized the entire process:

Mommy, you put the presents at the fireplace.  Daddy, you eat the cookies and drink the milk.  Mommy, you write the letter from Santa. 

My Husband looks to me and says to her:

What would it take for you to believe that there IS a Santa?  What would PROVE it to you?

She hmms for a second, then offers:

He would have to draw a picture of all his reindeer and sign his name, you know, autograph it.

After going through the mechanics of 'how do you know that's really Santa's signature', My Husband pulls out an invitation to this Sunday Santa Soiree.  We were invited to a Santa Open House.  This Santa has a specialty in kids who are wavering in their belief -- the magic is not working anymore.  My Husband then asks My Eldest if she'd like to go, and she leapt at the opportunity.

H:  If you don't believe in Santa, why would you want to go?
E:  To see if he's the REAL one
M:  Well, what about yesterday at the company party?  Didn't you see Santa there? 
E:, that wasn't the real Santa
M:  Why not?  How do you know?
E:  Because that guy was missing a tooth.

So.  There ya have it.  Sunday Santa is real because he has all his teeth.

Just Wondering...

Do strong and courageous go hand in hand?

If one is strong, does that inherently mean they possess courage?

If one is courageous, does that mean one is inherently strong?


Friday, December 18, 2009


Friday Night.
Valet park.
Meet with KBD.
Luna de Noche.

Piña Colada.
Fish Tacos (orange roughy).
Stroll through North Park.
Watch an INCREDIBLE movie.
Leave inspired.


by William Ernest Henley; 1849-1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Music Minute: Cannonball ~ Damien Rice

Because Damien knows how to sing the soul's stirrings best.

Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
Still a little hard to say what's going on

Still a little bit of your ghost your witness
Still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed
You step a little closer each day
Still I can't say what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball

Still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannon

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to cry
So come on courage!
Teach me to be shy
'Cause it's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna scare her
It's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna lose
It's not hard to grow
When you know that you just don't know

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Smell R O S E S

Congrats to the Longhorns!
Nest stop:  Pasadena.

Editor's Note 12/7/09
Per KBC -- see correction. 
Thanks for picking on me KBC!