She was done with us the minute we got into the car to drive her to the airport, seething with all the fervor she wore when she was two and learning to master tasks like tying her shoes or putting on her own ketchup. "I can DO this!" she'd insist as the ketchup poured over the plate and the string refused to stay snug.
So we left her there at the gate where she still had 30 minutes left til boarding. Kisses and hugs, sure, but she was ready to be doing it on her own.
She even dutifully checked in along the way and we have a sweet shot of her and Nicodemus, both too sleepy to do much than nudge each other. (Thanks, Jen.)
So, childless, we set off on our annual quest to try new restaurants.
For lunch it was The North End BBQ at 1250 E. 86th Street. We'd been meaning to get there but we always think of it late. It's smallish and fills up fast. Now we know why.
It's a contender for best fries in town. I had a salad and collard greens -- an odd combination but the waitress said it was vinegar-y and that made me think of my grandma's spinach, so I had to try it. Jeff had a pulled pork sandwich and jalepeno fries with a Taxman Blonde Abbey Ale.
Still struggling with that extra 10 pounds, I stuck to tea and water, but sampled his.
Every bit, including the service, was stupendous. They play a lot of Johnny Cash, too.
At one point, Jeff asked me if I would come back. Through my veggies, I mumbled, "I'd come back tonight."
We got out of there for about $40 and will be back for dinner with Alison, who's a huge rib fan.
Dinner last night was intended to be a walk into Broad Ripple or SoBro. Instead, Team Jasheway came over with all sorts of cheese and sausage -- chorizo with something extra and elk with blueberry -- so we pulled out all our leftovers and just grazed all night.
Jeff made mojitos for Kirsten and me but he and Duane sampled craft beers and ended with Sazeracs. Oh, and the chocolate shake with Skinny chocolate espresso syrup, Hershey's syrup, Crave chocolate liquer, creme de cacao, coconut rum, chocolate ice cream and skim milk.
For leftovers and "what do we have in the fridge" it kind of rivaled our lunch.
Today we're trekking to Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati. If I don't show up at work it's because we're still lost somewhere in there. I'm confident we'll eventually eat our way out.