I hope my readers had a good weekend. I certainly enjoyed the mild weather. Friday evening Travalon and I went to the East Side Club for their newly resurrected fish fry, and we had catfish with a Southern-style breading. It was good, but the very best part was the brandy old fashioned-flavored cheesecake. We were too full to eat them for dessert, so we took them to go and had them for breakfast the next day. Oh my goodness, were they delicious! We just love having dinner at the East Side Club, with its magnificent view of downtown and the Monona Terrace.
Saturday I had wanted to go see the Holiday Train, and its closest stop was Portage, so Travalon said we could go on the river walk there beforehand. We walked with Rodney along the river and then along the canal, and then we had lunch at a tavern right by the trail. There appeared to be only one waitress working, but she did a great job. We got to the train depot in time to see the Holiday Train pull in; it was covered with lights, but because it was such a beautiful sunny day, we couldn’t really see them. I was as excited as the little kids all around us – more, even – but I was less excited when a stage opened up in one of the cars and a country band played on it for about half an hour. Next year we will have to see the train in the dark, and maybe even ride on it! As it pulled out, Santa waved to us all from the end of it. You were supposed to donate food or money to the local food pantry while you were there, so I did make a monetary donation, since we had forgotten to bring any nonperishable food items.
In the evening, the guys had Steak Night, so I met with some ladies from the Slow Food group at a restaurant called Estrellon, which has a Spanish theme. They have lovely tapas, and the portions for the regular plates are also small, but they are so good that somehow they totally fill you up. The other four had the rainbow trout, but I had the grilled octopus, and we split vegetarian paella. Supposedly the Basque cake is amazing, but we were all too full to try it. I did have a beautiful and tasty cocktail made from a berry that grows in the Basque region.
Yesterday Travalon went to visit his family, so I went to the All-University Choral Holiday Concert with Richard Bonomo and Cecil Markovitch. (We thought Kathbert would be there too, but we never saw her.) This is a free event, and you have to get there early to grab a seat, so I was saving seats for Rich and Kathbert (only it turned out to be for Cecil), and a woman got really nasty about trying to take them from me. Why, I don’t know – there was a free seat right behind us, as I pointed out, so she finally relented and took it. I guess she just didn’t like that one as well. In the evening, Rich hosted a birthday party for Travalon. Kathbert, the Single B-Boy, the Rosary Ladies and Prairie Man, and a young couple from our church came and enjoyed chicken parmesan and black magic birthday cake. Travalon got lots of loot and a very funny card from Jilly Moose that said: “A long, long, long time ago…” and then you open it and it plays the Star Wars theme, and it says: “You were born!” He also got a musical card from Ma and Pa Hat; that one plays “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, and it was a special 50th birthday card. Now that he has been properly feted, it is back to the real world – today he found out his favorite supervisor at work has left. Hopefully he gets an even better one…