Why this? Well, I had to have something to talk about while sitting in the living room with The Lovely Steph Leann, who is actually (re)watching "A Cinderella Story" starring Hillary Duff. Wish I were kidding.
By the way, Rupert Grint was supposed to be the Chad Michael Murray/Prince Charming role, but had to drop the role to make Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban. Just a random thought.
I used to love crowds. Seriously, I would totally dig parking, walking and enjoying huge concerts, or festivals or large gatherings. I don't mean fraternity parties, or church functions where you'd see 50 or 100 people or something, I mean those huge gatherings where 500, 1000, 5000 people are all gathered together.
Now? Not so much.
This marks the first time in recent memory there was no City Stages here in Birmingham. City Stages was this large music festival typically held in an early June weekend, featuring hip hop acts, country stars, pop and rock stars, folk and indie acts and even more. The last time I went, I was able to see Martina McBride, though I vaguely remember it, and I think I also saw Three Doors Down, though it could have been Nickelback--they really are the same band, I think.
I say "the last time I went", though I did go just a few years ago, but only because I was working for a TV station, was there during the early part of the morning and was out after lunch. Why? Cause I wanted to avoid the crowds.
Maybe its my old age, or maybe its not wanting to find places to park at large gatherings, or maybe its a huge aversion to two hundred cars all trying to leave at the same time from the same place... I dunno. I even heard Hootie & the Blowfish was supposed to perform at a local Spring music festival here, and I had a chance to go on the cheap... and I declined. Too many people, all in a field, everyone standing in a puddle of beer, sweat, urine and Hootie. Just not my cup of tea. I think I tossed in "Cracked Rear View" in Tony Rocki Honda's CD player and jammed out to "Hannah Jane" while enjoying the quiet solitude of The Cabana.
College football? That's an entirely other matter. I'm there.
Speaking of avoiding crowds, The Lovely Steph Leann and I went to The Summit today.
We have a small spectrum of restaurants that we frequent, including Baha Burger, Chipotle's Mexican Grill, Dale's Southern Grill, Jason's Deli, Surin 280, Mellow Mushroom and Purple Onion. Oh, we visit other places too, but chances are if we've gone out to eat, we've visited one of the aforementioned eateries. We're actually afraid to eat at one of these places with Hurricane Rhett or Amarylis by Morning (up from san antone) because of the fabled Barnett Curse that ruins experiences.
Now, when deciding what to eat, here's a typical conversation... stop me if you've ever had this...
Me: What about Baha?
Her: No... I had a cheeseburger yesterday, and I want something a little healthier this time. What about Jason's?
Me: I really don't want Jason's tonight. Chipotle?
Her: Well, we're meeting MZ and her reality show at Pablo's on Thursday night, so I don't want Mexican now.
Me (starting to get a little desperate): Oooh... what about Surin 280?
Her: Too expensive. Mellow Mushroom?
Me: If we can't do Surin, we can't do Mushroom either. The Purp?
Her (rubbing her tummy): Oh, I don't know if I can handle Purple Onion tonight.
Me: Dale's Southern Grill?
Her: I had that with my parents a few days ago. Don't want that again, I don't want to get burned out on it.
Me: Yeah, but I had to work, and I haven't had Dale's in like, two weeks.
Her: I know, I know, but I don't want Dale's
Me (getting irritated): What about Arby's? Taco Bell? Zaxby's? Waffle House?
Her (getting irritated back): Now see, you are just bringing up places that you know I don't want.
Me: So, where do we go?
About this time, The Lovely Steph Leann does one of two things... she relents, and says something like "I don't know, I can't decide." She'll sigh deeply, and say, "Wherever you want to go, that's fine", which puts me in a bad position because no matter where we go, she won't really enjoy it as much as I'd like her too, though this might be a mental thing for me. I'll ask her later if she enjoyed dinner and she'll say, "Yeah, I was alright." Then I'll feel slightly bad for taking her to somewhere she didn't really want to go...
She'll pop up with something like "Um... what about Bella's? Or Zoes? Or O'Carrs?" These are three restaurants that aren't in my wheelhouse, and that I don't really enjoy all that much (that being said, O'Carrs has the most incredible cheesecake EVER). So when she pops up with these, I know she wants to go to one of those. Much of the time, I shoot 'em down quickly... because whereas she might not want to go to Chipotle, she will still at least partly enjoy her meal. However, if I go to Bella's, Zoes or O'Carrs, unless I get the hot chocolate cheesecake with the warm whipped cream oozing down the side, I don't know that I'm finding anything I will enjoy.
But this weekend, I wanted to just make The Lovely Steph Leann happy. I went and got her a chicken salad fruit plate from O'Carrs yesterday for lunch, and today for lunch (I had to work, so we didn't get to go to lunch until 1) and relented quickly, and agreed to take her to Zoes Kitchen.
Zoes Kitchen is a little restaurant that specializes in veggie-filled, pita covered, rolly uppy kinda dishes. But, off we went... to...
Its huge, its expansive, its filled with lots and lots of cars and lots and lots of people and lots and lots of stores and mommies with strollers. Weekends at The Summit are things I tried to avoid. And Zoes was usually a place I tried to avoid...
We weren't at The Summit just for lunch, though... The Lovely Steph Leann actually did have some things she wanted to purchase, namely at a store named Chico's, which meant I had to drive, which meant I had to deal with the traffic. Randomly, we were turning into the lower part of The Summit where Chico's was located, and on the sign that tells you the stores in that section, there was some small writing in-between Saks Fifth Avenue and Panera Bread that caught my eye. Sitting in the turn lane, I squinted and said, "What does that say?"
The Lovely Steph Leann said, "What?" I pointed at the sign and as I turned, I said, "Oooh... it says Peas in a Pod..." She looked confused, saying, "Yeah, Peas in a Pod."
I replied, "All I know is, a store called 'Peas in a Pod' is something I care nothing about. I thought it said, 'Pic in a Poo', and I was about to tell you we are going there, like, right now."
I then proceeded to laugh my fool head off, because seriously, any store that is named Pic in a Poo is a store worth a visit. Just sayin'.