Freezing Outside, Cozy Inside

Dear Liza,

December 21st is always a special day for us. It is the day Grandpa Nelson and I got married! It is also officially the first day of winter, and the longest night of the year. This year, it was also the coldest.

When We Three stepped out to catch our Lyft ride to La Moule for our anniversary dinner, it was near freezing! The Christmas lights on all our neighbors’ balconies sure looked pretty.

The driving was safe, but only because it has been so DRY that there was no water to freeze on the roads.

Our dinner was incredible, as usual. The waitress even brought us glasses of champagne for our anniversary! I had a radicchio salad and moules (mussels) served with buttery garlicky sauce and crusty baguette, and Auntie Bridgett had escargot served on focaccia bread with a creamy, yummy sauce.

Grandpa had pommes frites (French fries) and a fine glass of Merlot.

We shared and laughed and had a great time. It was a fine way to celebrate 48 fun years!

We got home and lit the candles for the fourth night of Hanukkah while enjoying the Christmas lights. Never miss a chance to celebrate!

Happy Everything!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Old Pal

Dear Liza,

When you were here in April, we couldn’t take you to our local HobNob because they had closed. The business-killing Pandemic and the owner’s own fight with Covid caused this fun local favorite to close up shop.

But now a new place has opened up in the same building. It is called Old Pal, and is run by Jeremy Larter and Emily Bixler. According to the website, they have an environmental approach to food, using low-carbon footprint, local, organic ingredients.

Co-owner Jeremy, busy on opening night!

Last week, we got to attend their opening. It was delightful and delicious.

The interior has been redecorated to be more modern, with deep blue walls for accent and white ceilings for brightness. The ping pong table is gone, and there is a check-in desk right by the door to eliminate the awkward entrance.

The furnishings have cleaner lines with smaller tables. There are no booths, which makes the space feel bigger, but also creates some echo. The art is very earthy and woodsy, adding to the ’land-friendly’ vibe.

Since we are three, we were seated at “The Godfather Table”which seats four. We were served by Marika, who brought some wine and answered our questions.

I had a Narragansett barratta, which is a creamy cheese wrapped up in mozzarellas, set in a tasty splash of strawberry and basil with pickled rhubarb. Eaten little by little with the crusty bread from Ken’s Artisanal bakery, it was like a very rich cheese sandwich with touches of jam and pesto.

Grandpa Nelson had wine and Auntie Bridgett had a big salad, and we chatted with neighbors as they came and went, eager to hear news and their opinions of the place.

Old Pal is a new friend, and I’m sure we will spend many happy hours there, eating and chatting and watching the world go by.

Love,

Grandma Judy

David and Da Nob

Dear Liza,

This past evening, we got to go out to our favorite local place, The Hobnob. The evenings are getting cooler, but we sat at one of the new outside tables because of social distancing. We wore sweaters and jackets.

Auntie Bridgett and I went inside to see David, our favorite server, and order some drinks. Full of fun, stories and southern charm, David is one of those fellows who lights up the world.

As we enjoyed his conversation, I couldn’t help noticing his new ear art. When I mentioned them, he pulled them out and told us their story. A friend of his owns property in Camas, Washington, with large Carnelian deposits. David was able to chisel out a good sized piece and the use his lapidary skills to create these beautiful pieces.

See why we love him?

Besides hanging with David, we all enjoyed the sunset, passersby on 34th Avenue and glasses of wine.

When our evening out was over and we headed home, we realized that this was probably our last summer-ish evening out. Cold weather and even rain is predicted for this weekend, and Fall will start next week.

Love,

Grandma Judy