I've been running like a mad man the last 3 or 4 weeks. Finally I have a weekend at home. Three weeks ago I took the wife to meet her parents for a visit. Secretly they just wanted to see the grand baby, but they made her feel welcome too. The following weekend was the rafting trip and the annual adrenaline rush. Then last weekend was the trip east to pick the wife and boy back up.
Last Friday night I had supper in a little town in South Dakota. Brandon SD, has a little restaurant aptly named the Brandon Steak House and Lounge. I observed that the parking lot was full of locals, I stopped. They offer a prime rib dinner. Its nearly impossible to screw up prime rib so I thought I'd go for slice of beef, rare, the way it should be. They offer two sizes, regular for $14.99 and a larger cut for $18.99. Like any place that cuts its own meat, they left the size of the portion off. I figured the big cut was a 16 or 18 oz slab of fatty goodness. I went for the big cut. This was a mistake. The meal came with a all you can eat salad bar. I loaded up. This was the second mistake. Then dinner came.
Have you ever eaten in a place that offers a 96oz steak and they claim that you can have it free if you can eat the whole meal in one hour? I always wondered if I could do it. I now know, I can't. The hunk of cow on my plate was three times bigger than any serving I every dreamed of taking on. Never less, I dug in determined to make it to a bare plate. My strategy was to immediately drop the home baked roll I had slabbed up with real butter and forget about it. 20 minutes latter I gave up on the baked potato, the trimmings were going to get left behind if I was going to kill off the bloody beef on my plate. After 45 minutes of my best effort, I was beaten, I had a easy 12oz of prime rib left over, a half eaten baked potato, all but one half of the rolls, and I was kicking myself for the plate of salad I ate earlier. I had eaten but I was beaten.
About two hours latter I got a call on the cell. Farmer Tom was wondering what my plans for the night were. As I was headed to a town near him, he offered his hospitality for the night and I pressed on to the goal of a good nights company and a comfortable bed. If he posts a picture that he claims is me sleeping in a very pink girls bedroom, its a fake, and he photo-shopped the unicorn in too.
The next morning he kept trying to feed me breakfast, not knowing of course that I had eaten a amount of beef equal to roughly every cow in Iowa the night before. Mrs. Farmer Tom makes a good blueberry muffin.
I picked up the wife and boy at Boondocks Iowa, that's a real place btw not a pseudonym I made up. I noticed that some things change when you have a baby. I once was able to make road trips in the time that the map said. For example, if the road atlas said it should take 24 hours to make a trip, I could nail it in 19 hours. The plan is simple, stop, stick the gas nozzle in the tank, whip it out (not the gas, the other hose) and help the local fire department put out a 4 alarm fire, get another jug of the DEW, pay and you're on your way.
Thats still the plan, but its more complicated now. Now you get gas, wait for the boy to eat, mess his diaper, and flirt with every female in the truck stop. Then you get to go down the road with the wife insisting that the posted speed limit is way to freaking fast and if you loved and cared for your family like she thought you would when she married you, you'd let the 95 year old man, or is that a women, its hard to tell when you can only see white hair above the steering wheel, driving the 77 Pinto pass you at 22 miles an hour. At the very next exit you have to stop for yet another booby break. This would be GREAT, but the booby is only available as food and not entertainment, since Ipsa Jr. didn't get enough at the last 1hr27min and 36 second break that we took not 49 minutes ago. Only six hours into the trip we stopped for the night in Mitchel SD, (2:45 pm) because somebody said he was tired and wanted to stop for the night. Now to my ears it sounded more like, "Hit the gas dad, I'm a boy with iron britches lets make er home". However since the boy speaks baby, momma seems to be the only one with the gift of tongues and her translation rules.
After a long week at work, I've got the weekend off again and I'm catching up on chores. The master plan is to get some things done and make it to the mountains on Wednesday for some fly fishing, alone. Its good to be home.