Sprizee and I took Olaiya Land’s Holiday Gifts class together tonight. Maybe when we first signed up, I had a notion I’d give all the goodies away, but once in the class it seemed less realistic. Especially once I tried the candied citrus. I knew that would never make it out of my house.
But what I really loved today was the Buffalo Shrimp.
How have I never tried this before? Shrimp a la Buffalo Wing? Delicious. We had these at Sammy’s Grill on Highland while watching the Ole Miss/Miss St game, shortly before driving to the New Orleans airport.
The rest of the meal was okay. After a week of excess, I’d fancied my grilled shrimp poboy would be a healthier version of a beloved fried shrimp. There was way too much mayo on it — I consider it a wash. I was so focused on the Buffalo Shrimp and my un-pictured Jalapeno Cheese Fries (love this convention) that I can’t remember what Mr. T had…oh, wait, it was the Roast Beef Poboy. That was alright, too.
I rallied to stay awake to make it through lunchtime at The Bay Leaf (a new Indian restaurant), but napped most of the afternoon away. I blame the Turkey Vindaloo.
Our big Thanksgiving event for the day was dinner at La Provence in Lacombe, La.
Our family’s menu:
Turkey, Veal, Mirliton stuffed trout with shrimp
Blue Crab Dumplings (unpictured), Salads (unpictured), Pumpkin Soup with Chanterelles (unpictured)
Favorites: Dumplings, Turkey, Bread Pudding
My mom, Mr. T & I started today with a disappointing lunch at The Chimes. There was ketchup on the shrimp poboy! Mr. T was not amused. My crab cake sandwich was missing something, I don’t know what. Serves us right for expecting to recapture our great experiences of March and December automagically.
We followed it up with The Strand, an excellent coffee-house pastry shop downtown. We ate our treats on the waterfront, watching the Mississippi go by and forgot all about lunch. Look at that sunshine! In November!
Dinner was at Roberto’s, to finally introduce Mr. T to a place I loved from my last trip in October. Between the fried green tomatoes, the Sensation Salad, and the fried catfish and shrimp, the trout a meuniere, I rolled out of there.
After a comfortable flight (thanks to 1st class upgrades), we arrived in New Orleans for dinnertime. We hightailed it across the Huey Long Bridge to Westwego to find this legendary New Orleans-Italian restaurant named Mosca’s. Italian food in NOLA is its own sub-genre.
Their Chicken a la Grande was every bit as flavorful as the Sterns promised. (A good pic of the chicken is in this blog post.) We added salads and Spaghetti Bordelaise to round it out. I should’ve tried their red gravy, but someday. We under-ordered out of fear of over-ordering, so we sprung for dessert: Pineapple Fluff. It reminded me of the Dream Pie that motomotoyama makes with her great Turkey holiday dinners. In other words, I loved it.
I spotted this giant iguana from the hallway to our hotel room, right after my final run in Puerto Vallarta. Shortly after lunch, we all taxied to el aeropuerto. Bye for now, Mexico.
I had a long flight to Minneapolis, for a long layover, then another long haul to Seattle. On the MSP -> SEA leg, I sat near a young lady who told me all about her love for Alaska. *adding to list of places to visit next year*
We started the day with plans for Punta Mita. Taxi cab fares didn’t match with what I’d seen on the board at a neighboring hotel, so we revised based on our concierge’s suggestion: Bucerias. We caught the bus, and an hour or so later, found the right umbrella. All for only 22 pesos, a tenth of what we’d wanted to spend on taxi fare. (13 pesos = 1 USD)
We ate lunch waterside & enjoyed the view.
The whole set, here:
Today we traveled to Yelapa. It’s 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, on a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier in south Puerto Vallarta. Round-trip cost less than $25. We arrived at a nearly empty, pristine beach. The water was beautiful and cool. There was a restaurant or two nearby, where we had great lunches — if we wanted, they’d bring our drinks out to the chaises they provided for all-day use. It was fabulous.
Someday, I will come back a spend a whole week here. It’s one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever visited.
A whole set, here:
I meant to update all y’all before I left but here’s a brief note: I’ve been in Mexico all week with motomotoyama & the gang. It’s hot, sunny, and the tide from the Bay of Banderas rolls in about 50 yards from our hotel suite’s balcony. So that’s pretty sweet.
We’re perfecting our slacker ways, but if the mood strikes I’ll send some pictures thisaway.
This morning, we slept in & acclimated ourselves to being in vacation mode, while Sybil Unrest (her derby moniker) was making her way to PVR. I took this pic from our balcony shortly before she arrived.
I have to admit, I loved our Surreal Watermelon decor once I looked closely & realized its surreality (is that what you’d call it?). I kept thinking about the artist. I was remiss in capturing the rest of the series in our other rooms.
In the evening, we had our Through the Looking Glass discussion at Captain Amy’s.
Mr. T & I capped the evening off with the Mad Men finale with Misty, Chris & Jason. The season went so fast, but ended so very well. Mr. Sepinwall dissects the finale here: “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.”
Of teen comedies, a precious few stand a cut above the rest. Bring it On is one such gem — a late-90s oeuvre of SoCal high school cheerleaders. Keaver heard one of us hadn’t seen it, so this provided him the perfect excuse to have our gang over for brunch-time waffles and BACON, Halloween leftovers, and a viewing of the full trilogy. (Oh yeah, there’s more than one.)
Between the lazing about and talking, it took us 5 hours to finish the first movie. I snapped this view of the Needle during intermission.
Today was low-key but it couldn’t have been more perfect — spending time with some of the best people I know. I felt extraordinarily grateful to be there and felt more at home with Seattle today than I have in years. True story.
This is a good life to be living.
Tonight was my ol’ roommate’s 8th annual 29th birthday karaoke. Traditionally, the Friday after her birthday is always karaoke at the Kona Kitchen. I suspected I’d have fun, but I couldn’t have predicted at the start I’d end up covering George Michael’s Faith. There was even a Journey singalong, followed by a boy band reunion.
The boy band ringleader serenades the birthday girl.
One of our favorite neighborhood places is the Latona Pub. Mr. T suggested we stop on our way home. The restrooms have chalkboards inside (graffiti deterrent?) — he joked he discovered my guerrilla marketing campaign. As if!
It made me laugh, so I asked him to go back and take a picture with his iPhone.
I’m glad they spelled it right.
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