Next time I commit to writing a post a day for a week, I’ll make sure to do it when a good friend whom I rarely see is not in town. Although, actually, maybe the timing is perfect. Hallie understands better than anyone that sometimes blogging duty calls. She looks pretty happy to hold my baby while I write a post, doesn’t she?
Our three oldest girls had gone to this wonderful week-long dance camp with a “princess tea party” theme. (The studio’s owners know their target market WELL.) The whole family showed up to watch their final performance, which included glitter and princess dresses and dancing and a tea party. Life just doesn’t get any better than that when you’re five.
I met up with Hallie at her grandmother’s house, and we introduced the babies to one another.
Then we took Hallie to our favorite restaurant in the universe, El Monumento. If you live in central Texas, you need to go there. Tonight. Actually, if you live anywhere in the contiguous United States, you need to go there. Just get in your car and start driving. You’ll thank me when you arrive.
The restaurant has hacienda-style architecture, where you walk outside through an interior courtyard to get from one section to another. If I ever won the lottery and could build my own dream house, I’d take my architect to El Monumeto and say, “Do this.”
You can tell the bartenders what kind of flavors you like, and they’ll concoct custom drinks for you, made from all fresh, natural ingredients.
And they have the liqueur made by the monks in Into Great Silence.
You should see Joe when he’s here. He’s so happy, it’s hilarious. He gets settled into his chair on the patio, gazes out onto the river, and says that this is his real life — everything that happens in between our trips to El Monumento is just a sad illusion.
The restaurant is in the city where my dad’s side of the family has lived for generations (the same area where I recently mentioned that my great-great-great grandmother is buried). The patio looks out onto a small river, and it’s cool to imaging my ancestors walking along the banks in the 1800s.
I think we convinced Hallie that this is indeed the best restaurant in the universe.
Then I drove Hallie home in the middle of a thunderstorm that was like something out of an apocalypse movie. At one point, the rain was coming down so hard that all I could see was a blur of colors. We took shelter under a bank drive-thru to wait out the storm, which was actually kind of fun. Since we so rarely get together in person, I’ll take sitting in a car with rain blowing all around us and the occasional ear-splitting thunder interrupting our conversation.
So, yeah, this is a tough season of life. I can’t promise that there won’t be a few more complaints about bad days here on the ol’ blog (actually, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be). But sometimes we have wonderful, blessed days. And yesterday was one of them.