Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Catching up on stuff

I forgot to post about the dinner we had with our friends, Carrie and Jonathan, who are leaving to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (among other travels) tomorrow!

They had a going-away party on Sunday that we had to miss, since Will-sitting conflicted with it, so they kindly offered to take some of their precious time before they left to meet us for dinner in Denver. We decided on Buca di Beppo's, which none of us had eaten at before (that seems like utterly terrible grammar, but I can't think of a good fix right now). It was quite fun, and parts of it were rather unexpected. For one, they take you through the kitchen if it's your first time (I'm sure Buca fans are totally mocking my naivete right now), the meals are served family style (as in, one small order of whatever will feed two, a large will feed three), and the decor is... eclectic. I have to say, the only place that trumps the tacky/kitschy facto of Buca di Beppo's is the Madonna Inn (just click on any of the rooms here to get a small idea). We visited it once when I was much younger, and the only thing I remember with any clarity (besides the generally-overwhelming tackiness) is the men's restroom. The urinal was a waterfall, a huge, fill-up-the-wall waterfall, and it was so impressive (and famous) that an employee gave us a tour when all the men had cleared out. If I remember correctly, the waterfall didn't run all the time, only when you "flushed" it (this could be a result of my over-active memory-imagination, which allows me to remember with crystal clarity events for which I was not actually present). Edit: OK, so apparently I did remember correctly! It's not as pretty as I remembered, but here's a great site if you are dying to learn more about this, and urinals in general.

Sorry, getting back to the real story. So the walls of the restaurant were pretty much entirely covered with framed old-fashioned pictures of fat babies, naked people, old people, and various other photos what would only be considered "art" if someone famous and important told you they were. It looked like somebody's crazy Italian great-aunt just went nuts with the decor, which is probably exactly what they were aiming for.

While Carrie and I caught up on the things since school let out (she and I are in the program together), Jonathan had a great time with my new camera. He took some fairly random pictures of the walls, and some fun action shots of the rest of us :-) He even started talking to the waitress about my little camera's amay-may 10x optical zoom! It was awesome.

The food was quite delicious, especially the chicken Marasala. Overall, it seemed like a pretty good deal and it was great splitting the check, since we all ate everything, so it went right down the middle (well, apparently our bill had a penny more on it, so Carrie and Jonathan paid a penny more tip, haha!). We declined the desserts there, since there was a Cheesecake Factory a few blocks away, and that sounded better than the unexciting dessert options at Buca di Beppo.

Since we were so stuffed, we got a slice of two different kinds of cheesecake, which the nice waitress then cut in half for us, then we cut the halves into half, letting each of us have both cheesecakes and only eating half a slice! It was great-- delicious and not stomach-bloatingly filling, and again, an easy bill to split!

We have so much fun with Carrie and Jonathan, it's just hard because they live about an hour's drive from us (with no traffic), so we can't see them as often as we like. PLUS. They are going to Africa. For a month and a half. Or so. Jealous! They have a blog on their website, plus a place to post pictures, but sadly, I think we'll have to wait until they get back to the US in early July for their Africa pictures.

Best wishes and happy journey, you two!

1 comment:

strive4impact said...

Hey Shannon!

I coud be biased, but I thought that that was a GREAT blog posting!

We made it to D.C. safe and sound (though quite sleepy since we pulled an all-nighter getting ready for the trip... I feel bad for the guy next to me on the plane who probably got a bit of drool on him - just kidding... it was Carrie who had to deal with the drool HA!) Anyway, we very much enjoy our time with you two as well, and look forward to seeing what creativity ShanBrite Designs has in store for us when we get back with our multitudinous plethora o' pictures!

Thanks again Shannon! We'll chat soon!