Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Time flies when mother visits

Wow! It's been forever since I blogged. Sorry about that folks. Wish I had something terribly witty for my return to the blogsphere. So about my absence.

First there was the flurry of activity getting the house in order for Sunny's visitation. Much dusting, clearing of out the garage, a run to the dump following said clearing out of garage. No Sunny wasn't going to be staying in the garage, in point of fact she barely went downstairs but her visit was great motivation to get things done like the hell hole that was our garage.

In addition I spent at least 12 hours gardening. By gardening I mean clipping dead things and pulling weeds, a tiny bit of laying the meager amount of mulch I could afford to purchase. I also swept, rearranged the "patio furniture", and hosed down the cement in the back yard area. Did we sip tea back there during the visit? No. I don't believe she ever even went out the back door. Again, it was a good push. After pondering it for months I hosed down the walls and ceiling of the front porch, and actually scrubbed the porch and steps.

There was also the furious attempt to finish her socks, which I did but just after she arrived. She gleefully received them and I hope she wears them often. They came out quite lovely (details and photos will be in a separate post - okay GWF?).

Being the good daughter that I am, I checked her into her hotel room before heading down to San Jose to pick her up. This included stocking the room with the groceries she requested, nice silverware, paper plates, and a small bouquet of irises.

It was a total whirlwind of eating out (what a treat I tell you!), shopping, showing her various local sites. There was also a party (more details in a separate post as well) to introduce her to (our) society, as it were.

Some of the places we ate at, and thus recommend:

Meal Ticket (Wednesday breakfast)TGF thinks this place is so so and expensive. I really like it and the coffee makes mine taste weak. 10 points just for that. Sunny like it a lot.

Gilman Grill (Thursday breakfast) TGF loves this place, thinks the food is good, price is right. I like just fine but the coffee lacks. Sunny seemed to like the food just fine.

Doyle Street Cafe (Monday breakfast) We both adore this place, though I honestly cannot remember the last time we were there. Lunch here is quite tasty as well. Sunny loved this place. Though it's been a long time the head guy recognized me, which is a touch bonus.

Filippos (Friday lunch) Sunny and I lunched here at their College Avenue location. She loved the decor and since two of the colours were similar to our bedroom colours I enjoyed it as well. She was delighted to see that their menu specified a gluten-free pasta substitute. Made the decision quite easy. Sunny was very happy with her spaghetti alla bolognese, though technically it was penne. I enjoyed capellini vernazza (with shrimp, asparagus & tomatoes with a garlic wine sauce).

Cafe Colucci (Thursday dinner) My favorite Ethiopian restaurant. During Sunny's last visit to the area (April 2004) I took her here and it was on her list of places she wanted to go to this time. I got the Veggie Combo, Sunny ordered her favorite - begue tibs, and TGF was very brave, ordering a chicken dish which she found too spicy but she liked a couple of the veggie dishes on the platter. As Sunny said, TGF went beyond the call of duty. If you are a newer reader TGF is not the most adventurous of eaters and I very much doubt I would have gotten her to this place had it not be for Sunny. She actually ate enough that she did not come home and gobble some Jif on Wonder.

T-RexBBQ (Monday dinner) We had been here once before and greatly enjoyed it and thought Sunny would as well. Their macaroni and cheese is an absolutely unctuous, decadent side that is a meal in itself. Sunny declared their burger perfect.

Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse (Saturday lunch) We attempted to go to Jimmy Beans, a place we like a lot but it was terribly crowded. TGF suggested this place to the great enjoyment of Sunny. A comfortable but noisy place. Basic pub fare with some California flair here and there. Sunny greatly enjoyed soda sampler, made her day.

Gregoire's Takeout (Friday dinner) We adore this place but haven't gotten food from there in forever. Absolutely some of the best stuff. Really. Everyone should go there. Nuff said.

I am probably forgetting one more place (like Wednesday night?!) but there you go, a quick guide to some good to excellent food options here in Berkeley. TGF definitely scored bonus points with a number of her food suggestions, adding to the success of this visit.

I am grateful that there was a pleasant enough hotel across the street from us so that all of us were able to get space and that she had enough room to spread her nest. I am happy that she was comfortable coming over when she wanted and seemed relaxed in our home. The animals and Sunny had a huge love feast which was lovely to see, she made up songs and rhymes for several of our beasts - quite fun.

Overall it was a successful visit even while stressful. It was good to see her, for her to get a glimpse of our life here (she has visited once before but my life here was very different at the time), and to chat at will.


heather said...

sounds like a great visit! glad to hear it. also thanks for the restaurant recap. i always want to know about good eats, especially with mac & cheese. bbq and cheese in one location? such excellence!!

Jennie said...

Yum, now I'm hungry all over again. Glad you had a good visit.

Jbeeky said...

I have difficulty finding Ethiopian, Vietnamese, or other exotic food locations that don't iffy. I end up going to places that other people swear by but find myself gazing at these holes in the wall wondering if they are a diamond in the rough, ya know?

goblinbox said...

Damn, that's a lot of eating out!