Good morning from sunny, but freezing, Lake Charles. Ken is taking a shower before we hit the road so I thought I'd try to finish up Florida before we get to our next destination. It's a race against time - we'll see who wins. (My money is on Ken).
Friday morning was Christmas and Joan and Bernard's 51st wedding anniversary. I woke up to find a gift on the kitchen table from Ken. It was a beautiful hand-made journal. I had seen it in a store in Athens and when I was busy getting yelled at for taking a picture of the cat in the basket, he was next door buying it for me. The pages are made out of completely recycled materials and it is bound and covered in leather with a beautiful design hand carved into the leather. It has a huge stone in the center and it is so pretty I don't know what to use it for. Something that nice should have extra special thoughts inside. My husband is just too sweet!
We headed over to Joan and Bernard's house and they were just sitting down to lunch with Charles and Lori and the kids. We hung out until they were done eating and then we had a chance to catch up with the Brooklyn contingency. It was a wonderful afternoon. Charles made a plane out of an egg crate and he and Ken and the boys went out to try to fly it.
When they got back inside it was about time to go back to the RV and get ready for dinner. We all got dressed up (I even put on lipstick!) and Ken, Mom, Ingrid and I headed over to the restaurant. The drive over was beautiful. We drove along the water and through some neighborhoods with huge houses. Charles' brother and his wife and son were also at dinner and so there were 13 of us when all was said and done. The restaurant was lovely. They were so fancy that although there were white linen napkins on the table when we sat down - they came around with dark napkins for people wearing dark clothing so as not to get the wrong color lint on their clothes! I must say that is the first time I ever saw that happen!
They had split the tables into one table of 6 and one table of 7 because we were at at the back of the restaurant where a long bench seat ran along the entire wall. The thinking was that everyone would have to get up and out to let any one person out if they put the tables together. We were sort of like 2 separate parties but I guess it made sense. Charles and Gordon and their families were at one table they referred to as the kid's table and the rest of us were at the grown up table. It would have been nice to all be sitting together - but such is life.
Oddly enough, the food was only good if you didn't order fish. Kind of sad since the name of the place was Charley's Crab. It seems Ilene ordered her fish dry - not well done but dry as in no sauce etc. Her piece fish, as well as Ken's, came out like shoe leather. Without knowing the other was doing it - they both sent their food back. Bernie was NOT pleased. In a place this fancy they really ought to know how to make fish 'dry' and also not to assume that because one person asks for it that way that everyone wants it that way!
I had duck and it was delicious! Mom had scallops that were amazing. Everyone had a lovely meal except for the fact that one person at each table had to sit and wait for their food. And they waited a long time. Almost as if their ticket went back into the queue instead of coming out next. Our waiter was horrible, too. He never came back to see if everything was okay. When Ken wanted to send his food back, he had to flag down a different waiter. When we wanted more rolls or needed more butter (because our waiter couldn't be bothered) we flagged down anyone we could find. We never had our water glasses refilled and no one seemed to care. Not the busboy, not the waitstaff, not the manager who brought over the replaced fish dishes. For such a fancy and expensive restaurant - they should have better staff and be prepared for holidays. All that being said - a great time was had by all and we toasted the happy couple and laughed and talked and ate and walked out smiling.
We said our goodbyes and when we got back to the RV we changed into comfortable clothes and wandered down to the boat. We hung out on the bow for a few hours, just enjoying 'being there' and then called it a night. It was a very merry day!