Recently, since I'm still slowly working on building a life in Salt Lake, I've been spending part of my weekends down at the old stomping grounds, visiting family, old roommates, and other friends. I've had quite a few adventures in the course of my recent weekends, including the following:
-On my birthday, I went to dinner with my old roommates to a pizza place, where we all ordered root beer. It was the kind of place that brought out a bottomless pitcher of root beer, and Holly especially enjoyed this fact. She got a little hyper off the stuff and was singing stanzas of birthday songs before each swig. On the way home from the restaurant, we stopped at the grocery store for some sour cream that Holly needed for a cake she was baking that night. However, we told Esther that the sour cream was really an antidote to calm down Holly from her root beer high. Esther, bless her, believed us and spent the rest of the evening thinking that sour cream was a remedy for sugar rushes.
-Last weekend I got to be my dad's date to a university dinner- good company, good food, and a good, albeit loud, jazz ensemble providing entertainment.
-Today I happened to time my three hours at my family's house exactly right. I was sitting in the dining room reading the paper when my youngest sister got asked to Prom, her first date. It was a rather spastic hour. I was glad that I got to be there to be excited with her, answer a multitude of questions about prom etiquette and protocol, and help her come up with ideas for ways to answer her date. This is Utah, after all, it's impossible to just walk up to the person of interest and tell them yes. I was quite gratified that the method she chose was a Maria original that I suggested to her.
-Tonight I fulfilled a goal that I've had for quite some time and went to my own personal restaurant: Maria Bonita's. I had plans to go to dinner with my old roommate Karen and her husband Rich; I suggested Maria's and they agreed to give it a try with me. So off we went. We played a deft game of Phase 10 Dice while we waited for (and consumed) our food. And wow, what food! I am proud to say that the restaurant that bears my name is a very good establishment with good food and very large portions. I'll be eating fajitas for a week.
Karen and Rich are moving across the country after the semester ends, and I'll lose another friend from the general area. But I'll also be able to add another location to my growing list of places I could go visit and crash at a friend's house if I ever visited. It's a pretty impressive list, and I have something of a standing invitation to most of them (incidentally, I was kind of touched at how many people suggested I should visit their town on my next trip). We've got Seattle, Rigby Idaho, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, New York, Toronto, Germany, Liverpool, Korea, and Taiwan. I wish I had the time and money to go to all of those places, mostly to see the people who live there that I care about. It really makes my heart happy that there are so many good people and so many good friends in the world- and more waiting to be met. This one little simple fact makes up for a lot of things in life.