But a quick summary of a memorable week? That I can handle. Here goes:
First, my grandfather turned ninety. Or, rather, he hadn’t turned ninety yet but we celebrated it as if he had turned ninety (by eating bison, as one does) which means that for all intents and purposes he is ninety.
Appropriate for the occasion because it is in Perry, Utah,
where the Davis clan first settled after emigrating from Wales.
|Bison steak — tasty but tough|
|Raspberry cheesecake — tasty but way too much|
Inevitably there was a speech in which my grandfather told us what he knew about old age (“He who has the most birthdays wins!”) and the origin of my dad’s nickname, Dibber, which my nieces and nephews now call him instead of Grandpa. Naturally, I took notes: Once upon a time, my grandfather was a youth and ran with a crowd who thought it was cool to call each other by their last names. So my grandfather became “Davis.” But over time that became “Daver” and eventually evolved into “Dibber.” Years later, when my grandmother was pregnant with my dad, she decided that if the baby was a boy, she would call him Dibber. The baby was a boy, and she did call him Dibber. The end.
|El abuelo, mid-speech|
|El abuelo, post-speech|
One of the great joys in life is eating hot Liege waffles right out of the grill. They’re warm and sticky and supremely delicious (what ball of butter, flour and sugar wouldn’t be?). Alas, they also failed to cross the Atlantic as successfully as their more pedestrian cousin, the Brussels waffle. Sometimes I can find pre-packaged Liege waffles, but I’ve never found a place anywhere outside of Belgium (specifically, the Gare du Midi) that made them as they should be made.
Until last Saturday. Turns out some blessed souls (a.k.a. three guys wearing bow-ties) set up a kitchen in an old trailer and sell beautiful, authentic Liege waffles in the parking lot of the Dan’s grocery store in the Olympus Hills shopping center in Salt Lake City. The trailer is called Saturday’s Waffle (surely a bad pun on a Mormon cultural reference, Saturday’s Warrior) and they’re only open on Saturdays from 8am to Noon.
I got up at the crack of dawn and went out in search of them, determined to (1) find the place, (2) eat a hot waffle, and (3) get enough additional waffles to share with all the friends I was meeting up with later in the day for brunch and lunch. (In other words, I ate roughly 47 waffles that day.)
|The line formed early|
|Yum, yum, yum|
The rest of the day on Saturday was spent
eating waffles catching up with friends from college, mission and work. Sadly, I came away with photos of the food I ate but not of my actual friends with whom I ate it — my priorities may need some rearranging.
|Brunch with Anna at the Oasis Cafe!
Omelete with canadian bacon, mushrooms, onion, herbs, cheddar cheese,
breakfast potatoes, and salsa fresca
|Lunch with Peggy and Mary
Brunch notwithstanding, I couldn’t resist the omelette special:
Crab, avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, gruyere cheese, with hash browns
Later that night I met up with my family and extended family at my great-uncle’s house for the annual Davis Family party. It was kind of like a repeat of the 90th birthday party — it was all the same crew as before, only sans the kids — it’s a grown-ups only party, which I really like. This is always my favorite party of the year. The Davises are all interesting and interested people — the sort of people I want to be when I grow up.
The next morning I flew back to DC at the crack of dawn (I have got to stop taking flights that require me to get up at 4:40am), this time without any of the delays that plagued my flight from Denver. Waiting for me in my apartment were all the Christmas packages that I hadn’t been able to open because of my crazy pre-holiday work travel. I opened everything and had myself a merry little post-Christmas day!
|The lady at the front desk was so annoyed with my
accumulating packages that she called me to have me authorize
her to put them inside my apartment.
After that, it was back to work. Because the month of December had been dominated by one massive work project in New York, followed by a week’s vacation in which I did (almost) no work, I needed to make some serious progress on a handful of other projects that had been neglected. So I worked through New Year’s Eve and fell asleep on the couch at 8:30pm, which was the lamest thing ever. I salvaged some of New Year’s Day by going to an extended spin class and a fondue party at a friend’s house, but then came home and spent the rest of the day (and week) working as quickly as I could and struggling to keep the partners and clients at bay and the new projects from multiplying.
In the margins, I also have been trying to figure out my big travel — and other — plans for this new year. Based on proposals from different friends, I finally decided that I would go to Vietnam and Russia and then buy a condo. But then all the timing of the proposed trips fell apart and now nothing works and probably won’t work and so between that and work I felt very stressed and slept poorly and lost my joie de vivre.
None of which was helped by the fact that I had to go to New York, yet again, this weekend. Not for work, this time, but because I have opera tickets at the Met for Saturday. Normally this would be great news — I had been looking forward to it ever since I bought the tickets last summer — but after all the travel of the past month (the disruption and the expense) and the current demands of work, it was the last thing I wanted to do.
Nevertheless, one doesn’t miss the Met (especially when you have fancy seats and Deborah Voigt is singing), so this morning I boarded the train and here I am — caught up!