It was either him or me. In the end the burrito lost. Don Pablos Mexican cafe. Outstanding! It all started with Kristen's brother Kent saying, "I'll take you to Don Pablos for some Mexican." I was keen.
So Friday arrives and we're due to catch up for coffee with Ryan and Angele Gerten. We meet at a Starbucks which is located inside a large bookshop, Barnes and Noble - I cite this in my defence in agreeing to meet at a Starbucks. We had a good time. I even managed to get the barista to make me a proper long black. You know you're in a different culture when the flavoured coffees are the easiest thing to find on the price list.
But it was the trip to meet Ryan and Angele that was to uncover the Mexican treasure trove. I spied it from the passenger's seat. I knew that it was my destiny to eat lunch there. So we did. Awesome. They had these options where you got like some of everything. Which I did. Outstanding with guacamole, jalapenos and hot sauce to complement the burrito, enchilada, hard and soft-shell tacos and a variety of other dishes I'd not come across before.
New Zealand needs more Mexican food - thats the kind of campaign bribery that would get my vote.
A host of family and friends calling in over recent days plus Kristen visited her 2 old schools in this area. Still snowing. Drove to Lowell (30 mins) to meet up with Phil Struckmeyer at Impact. Getting back into driving on the wrong side of the road...Got to meet with some of the staff there and hear their stories. Good times.
So we arrived safe and sound in the USA! Its 13 December here - we almost arrived before we left - however, the date was of great moment as it was 3 years to the day that Kristen and I had the DTR talk (Define the Relationship) in the classy atmosphere of "Steak 'n' Shake". So we stopped off on the way home last night to pick up a shake in celebration! It was perfect at the airport when we arrived - just enough snow drifting down from the night sky.
Rhys was entranced by it. The wee man did brilliantly as a first time traveller. He slept most of the way to LA and had good naps on both other legs. The backpack was great, especially for the LA terminal adventure (from terminal 2 to terminal 7) and the "Chicago walk under the runway to our next plane" jaunt. He was a little unsure at first but as long as he could grab my ears or hair or both, he was happy! We got extra seats the whole way which made a huge difference.
I was mostly well-behaved. I did tell one idiot about 3 rows in front to turn off his cell phone (after repeated announcements) as the plane began to taxi for takeoff. I was heard to make comments about the third world conditions at the LAX security check point near enough to be heard. I scoffed chilli fries in Chicago.
Kristen's parents, brother + fiancee and grandparents were at the airport - Rhys woke up just in time to bestow beatific smiles on everyone. He has them charmed. It is great to see evryone again. Today is take it easy day. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Anyway, nothing deep to say.