Ugh. I’ve adjusted to being home but my brain is still out West. Wishful thinking, I guess. So my dad came to visit this week – I basically guilted him into it because it’s been awhile since the kids have seen him. I kept the kids home from camp so they could spend the day with him. They planned to go to the nearby zoo and then to the town center (nice, big outdoor shopping area). I get a call from them about 10 minutes before I was planning to leave work for the day. They had lunch (sushi, no less) and now they can’t find the car. Oy. I drove to the town center and picked them up. Then we drove slowly through the garage – there are four of them, I figured they had the wrong garage – until, lo and behold, I found the car. Yeah, dad, you’re not losing it are ya?
Anyone, when last I posted we had found the perfect pies from the perfect pie shop. The next day, after a peaceful, comfortable night of sleeping indoors with a bathroom I didn’t need a flashlight to find, I woke to the nightmare that is my birthday. I shouldn’t sound so melodramatic. I actually like my birthday unless someone dares to ask me how old I am and then I have to figure out how many times I’ve turned 39. We’re up to 5 times at this point. This means 43 – most people forget to count the actual year I turned 39 when trying to calculate my age.
I try to be on vacation when my birthday occurs. Since it falls in August, I can usually manage to plan to be away when August 2nd rolls around. To me, nothing’s more depressing than having to work on your birthday. So even if we can’t be away, I take the day off and do something special for myself. I highly recommend this strategy.
The reason I’m rather dreading this birthday is for two reasons. First, I never mentioned my birthday to my hosts and I don’t want them to feel obligated to do anything special. I try to downplay the day and verbally announce that I don’t think of the day as anything special. Second, my husband has been dying to get back at me for what I did to him on his last birthday. We had taken him out to a very nice restaurant for his birthday dinner but he decided he’d prefer Dairy Queen for dessert. No problem, we drove over to the nearest Dairy Queen and everyone ordered cones and blizzards, etc. After we all had what we wanted, I decided that he needed to be sung to by everyone in the store. This meant all of three tables but it was still necessary. I raised my voice and announced to everyone in the place that today was my husband’s birthday and would they all please join me in singing the birthday song. I believe we sang at least two verses. Ever since, my husband has been threatening to retaliate – even more so because as I was outside getting the car, a rather large man insisted on giving him a birthday hug. That pushed my husband over the edge and has kept me worrying about what might occur today.
We ended up going into Salt Lake City and touring the Mormon temple and the surrounding buildings. I won’t comment on another’s religion except to say that the architecture we saw was beautiful and the history of the Mormon settlers is fascinating. For those of you who’ve never traveled through Utah, the land is dry and very harsh. I thought about what we drove through and couldn’t imagine attempting those miles without paved roads. The settlers attempted to farm in arid, desert climates and had to contend with icky things like rattlesnakes and scorpions. Those people were made of strong stuff. I could never have done it.
On a food note, I dragged everyone to Bruge’s because we had all seen it on Man vs Food so it must be good, right? Besides, it’s my birthday and I knew there’d be really good chocolate there. One thing we either didn’t realize or simply forgot about was that they only sell one sandwich. It’s called the Machine Gun and is “a hearty lamb merguez sausage served on a French baguette stuffed with our world famous fries and topped with Bruge’s favourite Andalouse sauce …. give it a shot!” It was delicious, although spicier than I was expecting. But that’s all they sell unless it’s dessert waffles – but I’ll get to those in a minute. So not everyone in our group was thrilled and I apologized at least 5-6 times. Then I sat down and enjoyed my machine gun with gusto and some lemonade soda. I think if I ever got to go there again, I’d order just the fries, or frites as the French and Belgians call them. There are lots of interesting sauces to try with them, including the SLC famous fry sauce. Fry sauce is just mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together. I’ve been making that for years but I just called it Russian dressing.
After we finished our “guns”, we shared the Torpedo waffle. This is two layers of thin, oval Belgian waffles with two bars of melting Belgian chocolate in between. Let me just say I’m so sorry I shared this with others. The experience was over too quickly and I wanted more, damnit. Next time I’ll know better.
My day finished nicely with a quiet dinner at home and the two heavenly pies we brought from our new favorite place, The Village Inn. I did get sung to, but only by my family and our friends, and I got a lovely card my kids made and had everyone sign. All in all, a lovely 5th annual 39th birthday.
Next: headed back into the wilderness