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This Day in My History


2001:
  How the Other Half Lives
2002:
Addicts vs. "Civilians"

2003:
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2004:  My Heart Bleeds for You

2005:  Get a Life, Part 2


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WHO ORDERED THE CARDBOARD?

28 February 2006

In the interest of saving people from the awful experience we had yesterday, I will warn you now:  do not eat at Derf's Cafe in Santa Barbara.  Or perhaps we just came on a very. bad. day.  We had eaten there only once before, the day after Tom and Laurel's wedding, when I remember the brunch as being quite nice, the servers friendly, and the experience a very pleasant one.

Maybe I was high on the mimosa then, or the adrenalin of the wedding the day before.  Or maybe, as I said before, yesterday was just a very. bad. day.

The day had been, up to then, lovely.  The weather was glorious.

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View from Alice Nan's deck

After breakfast, we drove over to the convalescent hospital where Walt's mother has been for the past couple of weeks, following her release from the hospital.  She had fallen and fractured her coccyx and needs to be able to move around again before she can move back to her senior citizen complex.   She's doing well, but at 92, she's not exactly as robust as she once was.

Tom and Laurel met us at the hospital and we all just sat around and chit chatted with each other, while Grandma listened and occasionally chimed in.  I took lots of video.  It's wonderful to see how good Tom and Laurel are with her.  Laurel had decorated her space so it doesn't feel quite so cold and impersonal.  Tom visits her frequently and calls regularly.  He is part of her "care team" with Walt's sister and is up on all the issues, problems, and decisions.

We were there about an hour or so and then agreed to go to Derf's for lunch.  It's a small place.  The last time we were there we had eaten on the deck...

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But it looked like there was a chance of rain, so we went for an inside table.

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This place is a small sports bar, so there was the requisite huge TV off to the left of the photo and a bunch of guys hanging around the bar itself.  There seemed to be only one waitress to serve both the inside tables and the deck and she acted like she was on her first day of training.  She also never smiled.  Not once.

The six of us sat there for a very long time before she even asked what we wanted to drink and it was a lot longer before we finally got our drinks.  By then I was ready to attack the bar myself.  How much trouble is it to pour 2 glasses of water, 2 beers, a lemonade and an orange juice?

When she finally took our order, she disappeared forever.  I swear it was 40 minutes before the food arrived--we all had ordered some sort of burger--she got two of the six orders wrong and I don't know about the others, but my hamburger was only warm, the meat was the consistency of cardboard and the cheese, which was once melted, was now just this rubbery blob.  The bun was stale.

She never did come back to see if we wanted more to drink until Walt's sister's fiancÚ went to ask if she could please refill our water glasses.  You can see from the photo how far from the bar the table is!

It was definitely not a shining moment for Derf's Cafe and I don't know that I would be real anxious to go back there again. 

But after brunch, we went back to Tom and Laurel's house to see the progress they are making on the monumental remodel they are doing.

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I was pleased to note that, with some judicious trimming, they seem to have been able to save the huge avocado tree that dominates their back yard.  (We also came home with some avocados.)

We still had a long drive back to the Burbank airport.  The weather was perfect and, though we expected to hit a lot of Sunday afternoon traffic, we didn't.

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After a 2 hour wait for our plane (we had gotten to the airport very early), we had an uneventful flight back to Sacramento and were home in time for me to write a journal entry, put together the Says You video and still get to sleep by midnight.

If I were writing a review, this would have been a 4-star weekend.  (Well, except for the cardboard burger at Derf's!)

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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