Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

This morning my aunt and I drove from Holbrook, Arizona down to Mesa, arriving at the RV park just after noon.  We got checked in and settled before I went looking at mobile homes/trailers for sale.  The park manager put me in a fairly nice older house that was just out of the price range I was looking for, then she took me around to a few that were in the price range.  Some of them were in really rough shape.  There were a couple I was considering looking at again tomorrow.  But while I relaxed in my home for the week, I began looking around and the more I reflected on it, the more I thought I’d rather have this place than any of the others.  The manager was hinting she might be able to get the owner to consider a thousand dollars less than asking price.  I think I’ll go tell her in the morning that if she can do it, I’ll probably take the house.

But while I’m waiting to hear whether we can work out a deal, my aunt and I are planning to go to another mobile home/RV park to see what they have to offer.  She’s interested in looking at RV’s too.

Looks like this is a pretty good location, what with a barbecue place, a supermarket and a Dollar Tree a couple of blocks away.  Facebook says there are also two German restaurants nearby.  I haven’t had German food in ages!  I have a feeling that if I do get a mobile home in this RV park, I’m going to be a happy camper.



My aunt has come to visit, and I asked her what she’d like to eat for dinner.  She said barbecue.  So naturally, I took her to RJ’s, my neighborhood’s barbecue place.  She really liked the beef burnt ends (I couldn’t convince her to try the yummy jalapeno sausage).  The folks at the restaurant were very friendly as usual.  When the owner found out she was visiting from Iowa, he gave her a bottle of barbecue sauce.  She was so impressed, my aunt wants to go back, SOON.

We went to the grocery store afterward, and I asked what she would like for dinner tomorrow night.  She said she’s on vacation, so she wants to eat out.  Then, she said she doesn’t cook — she eats out all the time.  Funny, that’s the way it’s been for me too.  I wonder where we should go?

Bought 5 gallons of gas this morning after having driven 175 miles in the new car.  That works out to 35mpg running errands and such.  I drove to Des Moines afterward.  Averaged about 50mpg.  Figuring a 10-gallon tank (I would know for sure if I’d only check the owner’s manual), I can go 500 miles on a full tank.  Thanks awesome!

My aunt Sally and I went out for lunch in Des Moines’ East Village at place called Tacopocalypse East Village.  She had a Korean-ingredient burrito and I had masa fries covered with chorizo and an egg.  We both liked what we ordered, and both felt stuffed afterward.  So much so that when it was time for dinner, we were a little reluctant to eat again.

We spent a few hours walking around the East Village checking out the shops.

I’d heard from a coworker about a great place here called Zombie Burger + Drink Lab.  As it turned out that was only two blocks away.  So we went there for dinner.  And we ordered hamburgers.  Sally had one where the bun was actually two grilled-cheese sandwiches.  Mine was called the Undead Elvis, which contained a fried egg, fried banana and peanut butter.  I know what’s on your mind, but it was actually very good.

When I worked on the road during my past life, I would do my laundry when staying in a sweet suite hotel like the one I’m in tonight.  Knowing I’d have access to free washers and dryers here, I brought dirty clothes on this trip.  After Sally went home, I washed it.  Fun times!


Posted: December 17, 2013 in Random Thoughts
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the cold winter

I spent my last rotation mostly in Ohio.  And it was cold.

I flew into Dayton, drove to Cincinnati and then to Columbus on day one — just ahead of a winter storm.

Woke up the next morning to snow and ice on the rental car, and no ice scraper.  I considered my options, and used a small dust pan I carry in my toolkit to scrape my windows. I worked in town and drove around to a few places before the snow started coming down again.  Somewhere, I lost one of my gloves, but since I had several pairs at home, I decided not to buy a pair.  I’d tough it out for the week.

The next day, I scraped a few inches off the car with my dust pan, regretting my decision about buying the gloves.  The cold wind on my fingers made them ache.  Tucking my ungloved hand into my pockets didn’t help much.  After work that afternoon, I bought a new pair.  But alas — the skin on my hands was already drying out and beginning to crack.  I’d been down that road before.  Even hand lotion wouldn’t stop the process before one or two fingers would be bleeding.

I worked another day in Columbus, then one in Lancaster where I finally bought a snow brush/ice scraper for the few inches that fell while I was in the pharmacy and to carry in my luggage for the rest of the winter.  I drove back to the Cincinnati area, where after working a couple of hours, was sent to a down site in Greenwood, Indiana.

To me, a lot of the pharmacies in which I work look so much alike, they blend in my memory.  But even though I didn’t remember Greenwood, I had the feeling I’d been there before.  Behind the pharmacy sat a restaurant called Roscoe’s Tacos, which seemed familiar.  After finishing work for the day, I stopped into Roscoe’s Tacos for dinner.  Instantly, I knew I’d been there before.  I tried the big sampler special.  The thing about Roscoe’s Tacos was the tacos were good, but they had about a half-dozen flavors of taco sauce.  Of course, I used the Smokin’ sauce.

Went back to the same pharmacy the next day, and back to Roscoe’s for lunch, and drove back to Florence Kentucky to finish up at the place I’d left the day before.  On this day, my sinuses began to burn and I started to develop a cough.

That evening, I had dinner at a restaurant called Mai Tai, which was mainly Thai, but also served Chinese and Japanese food.  The food was great!  I didn’t think much about my runny nose, assuming it was a result of the spicy food I’d eaten.

The next morning, I drove back to Dayton.  I was all plugged up, still with a runny nose and cough.  Luckily, things weren’t so bad I was a bad airplane passenger.  I’m hoping I did a good job keeping my germs to myself.  I still felt OK, otherwise.

That night, I went to a Stone Temple Pilots concert at a local casino.  Had a blast!  The lead-in band was called Not a Planet, and their lead singer seemed familiar.  I later found out he had been the music leader at my church.  It was instantly obvious, but I’d never had made the connection because one doesn’t expect the church guy to be tied with the Stone Temple Pilots.  I liked Not a Planet.  The Stone Temple Pilots is one of my favorite bands.  They have a new singer, and he did a great job.  After the concert, since I was in a casino, I decided to play some slots.  I’m used to losing money on the slots, but for a pleasant change I won a little.  Then I went home.

For the last four days, I’ve been getting over the cold I got in Ohio (I’m hoping I haven’t passed it on to my daughter).  And the cracks in my fingers have been healing.  I should be good to go for my next rotation starting tomorrow.  This time, I wouldn’t mind working in Florida….



So, the first half of my rotation started with me driving down to Wichita in my car to perform preventive maintenance at the two sites I’d almost gone to last month before going to work in the Oklahoma prison site.  A good mileage trip.  I worked at two pharmacies.  I stayed two nights at the downtown Holiday Inn.  But most importantly, I ate at two good local restaurants — a diner and a barbecue joint.

The diner was across from my hotel, called the Doo-Dah Diner.  One thinks of the song Camptown Races when you think of the diner’s name, but a sign inside the diner says Doo-Dah was an actual nickname for Wichita, once upon a time.  I had the breakfast burrito.  Most places fill their burritos with potatoes and scrimp on the good stuff, like meat and eggs.  Doo-Dah’s burrito was full of meat and eggs, light on the starchy filler, and delightfully swimming in cheese and green chili.

The barbecue place was in an industrial, run-down area of the city.  It was called “Pig In! Pig Out!”  I’ll refer to it as PIPO.  At PIPO, you walk in and order your food at the counter, wait for it, then go pick your table.  The restaurant was light on amenities, but a couple of things made up for that.  First, I was entertained, looking at all the flyers for BBQ competitions in which PIPO had competed and the prizes they’d won.  The barbecue was pretty darned good!  In addition, I was entertained by a couple of local blues musicians playing at a table near mine.  They stamped the restaurant with authenticity.

After finishing my second site on Saturday, I was told to drive home; I was needed in Virginia on Monday morning.  I spent the night at home, then flew to Norfolk on Sunday.


I’ve been to Norfolk a few times in my life, but I’m not really familiar with the place.  The first time I was ever there, I was in college, participating in my senior-year midshipman cruise during Christmas break.  I stayed aboard the USS Edenton, then, at the Little Creek Amphibious Base.  My work assignment last rotation had me returning to Little Creek for the first time in almost 30 years.  I didn’t recognize anything there.  I stayed at the Holiday Inn.  But most importantly, I had dinner at an Indian-food restaurant at a nearby mall, called Nawab.  I ordered my chicken tikka masala “Indian” spicy, as the waitress called it.  The food was very good, so I was very surprised that while I was there from 5 to 6, I was the only person eating in the restaurant (there were a couple of folks who’d come in for take-out).




Then, I drove to Suffolk to complete preventive maintenance at a grocery store pharmacy.  I stayed at the Holiday Inn express.  But most importantly, I ate at a Japanese Restaurant next door, called Iron Chef.  I sometimes wish every foreign-food restaurant were a buffet, because at most places, I know what I like when I see it but I don’t know what it’s called.  Authentic Japanese food is the same for me.  I’ve happily eaten plenty of it, but I’ve forgotten what to call my favorites.  So, at Iron Chef I ordered a box dinner full of unfamiliar-sounding foods, having faith I would joyfully gobble them up.  And I did!  I added the seaweed salad, which is a new favorite of mine, but the rest of the box was new to me and very much to my liking.

That night, I stayed again at the Holiday Inn Express.  Because my normal travel-home day is Thursday, and Thursday was Thanksgiving, I was able to travel on Wednesday instead.  I expected the day before Thanksgiving to be a very busy travel day, yet both my flights had plenty of empty seats.  I had an entire row of seats to myself on both flights, something to be very thankful for….