Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cleansing the Palate

So... this was my view today.  After running around non-stop and laboring for what seems like an eternity, I was finally granted a small reprieve, which I hastily took full advantage of.  Saddled with unbridled determination, my five senses have been overwhelmed with the task of taking in every nuance of my new surroundings.  Hmm... I guess I shouldn't say "new" as I've been here before, but my previous trips had always been laden with an agenda.  Not this time, though.  This time, in lieu of taking the tourist-y route, I've opted instead for the road less traversed to hang out with some of the locals, which also happen to be family.

To celebrate my arrival, my dad and his wife took me out to an Italian bistro not too far from his home.  It was a nice little haunt with great ambiance and an outdoor seating area overlooking a man-made lake.  The day's weather was so perfect that we unanimously decided to eat outside, our bubbly and attentive waitress plying us with fresh, hot bread and herbed olive oil while we waited on our main courses.

Daddy chose well, picking his current favorite: a spaghetti dish that normally comes with meatballs.  However, after befriending the manager during his first visit then submitting a modest request, my dad now gets his spaghetti specially made with links of Italian sausage as a substitute for the meatballs.  Yep, he's cool like that... 

His wife ordered a shrimp bisque topped with croutons the size of hockey pucks and a huge salad.  I wish I had taken a better picture of her victuals, but I didn't want to be rude and hover all over her plates.  She had no idea I was documenting the meal and I kinda didn't want to blow my cover either...

And I ordered the lobster and crab ravioli topped with a bevy of portobello mushrooms.  Can you say absolutely delicious?  Can you say absolutely scrumptious?  It was awesome!  And the serving was HUGE!  I later found out that I was given the family-size dish, but I promise you I didn't order that serving.  Oh, well.  Their mistake was certainly to my benefit... YUM!

On the ride back, I took a breathy exhale.  The sun had just started to dip and the city was beginning to glow with a steady halo of street lights and a vast array of ornamental fountains.  Sometimes it's good to just get away and regroup, recharge... and cleanse the mental palate.  And this was definitely one of those times.  I may get into some of the tourist attractions later on, but this leisure time is doing me good.  The much needed respite before for my next step...

The last bridge to my final destination.

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