Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Home from the Office

Our daughter came home from college for the first time over Thanksgiving. When we got her at the airport, she looked older, but we still recognized her. More important, she still recognized us. In the meantime, she’s already announced that she’s going to Miami for Spring Break to hang out with her older sister. After we dropped our daughter off at the airport on Sunday morning we went to a wedding. We were the oldest people at our table.

Want another sign that we’re getting on? We decided to meet my wife’s sister and brother in law for Thanksgiving at a restaurant. The El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma is a terrific restaurant with incredible deserts, but turkey, stuffing, and potatoes done up as California Cuisine is a bit strange. For one, Thanksgiving is supposed to be big plates of food, not bits of free-range turkey served with candied cranberries mixed with freshly-shaved cinnamon and cloves. The more serious problem is that we could see almost as much plate as food. My wife’s agnolloti turned out to be the best choice and yes, we’d go back but maybe we’re too traditional in our view that Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the food tasting good, it’s all about purposeful overeating.

We spent Friday at a mall in Fairfield where my mother took her only grandchild shopping, so we did carry out one Thanksgiving tradition. If there’s a recession on, they didn’t tell anyone in Fairfield. The parking lot there was full. They also never seem to tell my mother about these recession things, at least when it comes to our daughter. We then went out for Japanese food and I got to complain about trendy sushi that comes deep-fried and often doesn’t even contain raw fish. What’s with mayonnaise and cream cheese in sushi anyway? In any case, this place was so traditional Japanese that their sushi was mostly raw fish, imagine that. I went to one place in Sacramento where they had filet mignon sushi (the beef was cooked). Talk about seriously unclear on the concept. Naturally that place was insanely busy and the little mom and pop (should it be mama san and papa san?) in Fairfield was mostly empty.

On Saturday night, we had packed the station wagon and were getting ready to have dinner at our daughter’s favored pizza place, Mary’s when the rear passenger tire started hissing. Instead of eating, we drove home, tire still more or less intact, and packed everything into the Honda Civic then drove back to another Mary’s then on to one of those airport motels in Millbrae. Most of the place was under construction and we’re convinced that they forgot to put sound insulation on the floor above us. We were in a handicapped room (by accident) and the people above must have been in the Elephant march room. Every five minutes at three in the morning, one of them would do some sort of jig. We never slept.

In fact the one bit of the Thanksgiving that felt like our daughter really was back at home was Friday night when we decided to just hang out and watch multiple episodes of the Office through Netflix’s download service. For the last few years, the pattern’s been that she starts watching something and we start watching with her, hence American Idol, the Bachelor, Law and Order SVU, and I guess now the Office. One of the odd things about Netflix is that I get to see what she’s been downloading :}. The Office is 21 minutes long and I think we watched 8 installments of Jim and Pam, Mike, etc.

We’re well aware that the number of times our daughter will still think of coming home as “home” rather than leaving “home” to visit her parents can probably be counted on two hands. Our older daughter tells us that she’s the only one of her friends who comes “home” for as long as she does. Her friends spend a couple days seeing their parents and brothers and sisters then go have their vacation rather than say staying for a week or more. In a way, it’s a good sign. Our kids don’t need us anymore to the extent that they’ve started to think of wherever they live as home, yet they still like coming home for more than the obligatory amount. I just wish Thanksgiving had been a lot longer. In the meantime, we missed our daughter again last night so we watched two more episodes of the Office (the American version).



At 12/02/2008 03:25:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I think they have that Elephant March room in hotels I've stayed at. It sounds so much funnier and charming in a blog post though. I hope your daughter keeps coming home for a long time yet. Sweet. I love agnolotti or however it's spelled.

Why does the word verification have to be "toebarli"?

At 12/02/2008 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Darn Dale you're right again. It's "agnolotti", though some restaurants spell it "agnelotti". It was dark, I didn't have my reading glasses and I still say that it more or less looked like ravioli.

Yeah, we hope she keeps wanting to come home too :}....or at least until we rent out her room.

At 12/03/2008 02:51:00 AM, Blogger benny06 said...

On T-giving day, Mr Benny and I ate a chain restaurant that served Turkey and Dressing for a decent price. I'm not certain if T-giving food is about overeating as it is about all of the fat foods that we enjoy. We had only one serving of everything, and I was very sleepy later. I'm certain it was more the fat content (and not eating breakfast) that made me sleepy. I might add that I wasn't overly content with the quality of the food compared to home cooking, but it didn't make sense to cook a big meal for two people either.

At 12/04/2008 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I was really surprised by how busy so many rstaurants were on Thanksgiving Evening. Glad you and Mr. Benny had a good Thanksgiving.

I think next year we'l likely go back to the turkey at home. My wife made one anyway.

At 12/05/2008 01:12:00 AM, Blogger MagicBunnySlippers said...

I always wondered how you started watching the Bachelor.

Sounds like a good holiday overall, despite the unfortunate turkey interpretations and elephant marches.

At 12/05/2008 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

yep, we just watched whatever our daughters wanted to watch. I'll even confess to having watched Rock of Love and Flavor of Love along with some episodes of Real World because it meant we'd all be hanging out together in the living room or whatever hotel room we were at for a tournament.

Actually, the turkey was very good. It just didn't feel all that much like Thanksgiving to have it served like that. I just didn't see Pilgrims and Pequots talking about the virtues of slow roasting free range turkey and making the stuffing from whole grain wheat....Actually, though that's all they had in those days so maybe what the El Dorado served was actually more accurate than what I've been getting most of my life.

At 12/05/2008 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Who is secret,
I have no idea who it is and had never heard of the blogger until you asked.

At 12/08/2008 06:20:00 PM, Blogger Ayrdale said...

Stumbled across you. I must be the same vintage...Out at dinner recently went into the men's, stood at the urinal waiting to pee...hope this isn't too out tune with your sentiments, a boy of about 6 or 7 came in, stood there, peed quickly and left before I'd even started...mmm, back onto the Hytrin ?

At 12/12/2008 09:30:00 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

You watched Rock of Love and Flavor of Love??? Oh my GOD???

I tagged you! I hope you can join! Look at my blog for details . . .

At 12/14/2008 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that the child is all but grown up now. I remember all those years back before she was even a glint in the eye. Perspective, they call it.

Glad she visits.

At 12/15/2008 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Ayrdale, Thanks for dropping by...Sadly, I know the feeling.

Maryanne, thanks, been away for a bit, but I'll look for the tag.
Yes, we've even seen more than one episode of Tila Tequila. It pretty much convinced me that America is in pretty irreversible moral decline. On the other hand, it's all weirdly amusing.

yeah, it's gone fast....Hopefully, they'll all always visit.


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