Looks like my blog is turning into "Tales of the Weekend".
So let's get to it, shall we?
For most of us in America, last weekend was a three-day one because Monday was Memorial Day. I know some folk worked the holiday (by choice or necessity) but many of us had the day off.
It's a day set aside to honor those soldiers who died in service of our country. Some honor the fallen with a simple "thank you" sent into the ether. Some make cemetery visits. Some celebrate with cook outs, BBQs, picnics, and other food-based festivities.
For those who don't know the history of Memorial Day, check this out: Memorial Day Origins.
(Not that I view Snopes.com as the source for authentic information but the material seems to include the various stories I've seen and heard regarding the origins of the holiday. So...)
As usual, my weekend was busy but I did fit a bit of downtime into the mix so it worked out well.
Friday was just a day to get ready for Saturday.
I ran errands, talked to relatives and friends about Saturday's activities, and cooked (kale and sweet potatoes). Mostly I relaxed.
Saturday I was up early because one of the aunts called to say we were definitely going to the park by the lake (park #1, same one we picnicked at July 4 last year) and I should get there early because I live closer. (Which is true. I'm less than 10 minutes away.)
So I got out of my warm comfy bed, got a shower, got dressed, packed the food/towels/table cloth, etc. in record time.
An hour and a half later, I was riding past park #1, reading the park's denial of access sign. It was opening day for the new beach and I'm willing to bet there was a line for entry at the crack of dawn.
Part of the problem is that the beach allows 500 swimmers and the parking lot holds 127 vehicles.
It was all fine with me. I wanted to go to my favorite park (park #2) where I was hoping we could get my favorite picnic table, literally a few feet from the lake. The table is also close enough to the restrooms, close to the parking lot, and the view is magnificent.
I called my aunt, told her the situation with park #1, and told her they should meet me at park #2.
It cost a few bucks to get into park #2 (as it would have with park #1, because it was the weekend) but it was worth it.
Maybe park #2 was mostly empty because everyone was so anxious to get into park #1.
What ever the reason, I drove through the park (past the playground, the dog park, the tennis courts) and over to the section where my favorite table sat.
Oh happy day!
The parking lots for that section were less than a fourth full.
I parked and ran down to my table by the lake. It was available. I danced a jig in my head and ran back to my car to get the table cloth.
Then I called my aunt to tell her exactly where I was.
The aunts and grandma arrived about 10 minutes later.
Basking in the praises of the aunties for picking such a perfect location, I helped ferry our goodies from the cars to the table.
Finally we all settled down to grub, conversation, laughter, sunshine, and that beautiful view.
Several hours later, we packed up to leave, making tentative plans to visit my lovely location again as soon as possible. (I'm thinking July 4.)
* * *
The outing with family was the warm-up, as I was expected at K's for another cookout with Miz A.
I was a few hours late but Miz A knew I had an engagement prior to the afternoon BBQ.
The cookout at K's was what the kids call "lit". (See definition number 10: lit.)
There were only five of us: Miz A, K, C, J (a friend of K's and C's), and myself but five people was enough.
We ate, drank, danced, talked, screamed, hollered, and laughed loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear.
Lots and lots of fun.
Sunday was a day of rest, as it should have been.
Monday Miz A and I hit the streets together.
We stuffed ourselves at a new Chinese buffet for lunch then ran off to walk the nearby mall.
A few hours later we decided to head down to the big city to hang out in an area we frequent.
Miz A parked her car down there and got into my car. We hung out with a few of my relatives for a few hours then hopped back over to our favorite area.
It was actually time for dinner by then. There were long lines everywhere but we finally decided on a cool place, literally. It was an ice cream and smoothie shop that also sold real food.
I don't remember what Miz A had but here's what I noshed on:
It was good and filling. I even had enough to take some home.
After dinner, we said our goodbyes and headed to our respective homes.
All in all, it was a pretty cool weekend and I'm thankful.