Today I found myself with the monkey at Santana Row to see the performance of a local band called So Timeless. They play a mixture of classic R&B, soul, funk, and hip-hop. Jonah Johnson, the band's front man, is a tireless and magnetic performer....always active in the community and promoting. And he and his sister Alexis Rose (who does an insanely good rendition of "Natural Woman" by the way), combined with the band's stellar sax player and other members, put on a great show. I was very happy to stumble upon the news that they'd be performing today.
I asked my best gals Nicole and Kelsi to come along and bring their munchkins, and luckily they were both able to make it on short notice. AND the sun came out just in time. Quadruple score!!
Honestly, just being OUT and able to enjoy a bank holiday was new to me. I have for years worked at jobs that did not allow for the day off, so it was such a nice treat to feel like one of the normal people who gets to enjoy that happy little bonus nugget of a weekend. It's so relaxing to just sit on the grass and take in a show in the middle of a Monday afternoon.
Now, poor planning had me arriving at the show in a semi-starved state. The food options at Santana Row are many, but I wanted to stick close to the stage, so my choices were limited. I pretty much went for the very closest option, which doubled as
Today's New Activity: Lunch at Pluto's
I've heard this place has great salads. And salad *would* be the obvious, best choice for a vegetarian, but nay. I was definitely in a Saturn's Garlic Potato Rings (sometimes referred to as "french fries") and Macaroni and Cheese mood. (Man I hope my son has not inherited my ridiculously childlike food palate. I mean it's fine if he has for now. I just hope he outgrows his.)
A word on their salads, though: while I think it's great that they're made to order and you are able to choose from a nice selection of salad fixins, I think there's something very odd about tossing piping hot meat on the top of a salad, which is an option that most customers go for. It must be amazing though, because the line for salad was 5 times as long as the line for sandwiches, kids meals, or sides...so they must be doing something right in that area.
What I found very annoying about Pluto's, however, was that the ordering process was entirely chaotic. On the menu you're supposed to read while standing in line, it says that if you're not ordering a salad you can go directly to one of the other lines. However, nobody is standing in any of those other lines, so to do so you just look like an idiot who somehow doesn't see that there are 184 people in line ahead of her (or worse, a deliberate line-cutter). Still, I followed the one brave-souled woman who had ventured into the "sides" line and waited 14 minutes while the man who was tossing salad meat onto and off of the grill and was WAY too busy to also be saddled with additional responsibilities tried to find time in-between meat duties to take our orders.
And here's the weird part...people who had their already-tossed salads in hand began to pile up in line behind us...like I don't know if they were supposed to hold out their salads for the meat guy to top them off, or if they wanted meat-free salads and were just waiting in line to pay. It was totally confusing. And all I wanted was mac and cheese and fries, both of which I could see and could have scooped right into a container if they'd only let me. But instead I had to wait for Meat Guy's attention, have him write out a ticket for it, which immediately went to the end of a loooonnnnng line of other order tickets, stand in another line to pay for the food, then wait another eternity for somebody to come along and scoop some starchy goodness into a container for me. Did I mention I was semi-starving here?! I know I sound like a whiny brat, but it really kills me when there is a good concept for a restaurant but such poor execution. I think they need a dose of Gordon Ramsey up in there.
Anyway, once I finally had my yellow-themed lunch, I was happy. And it was really yummy. Garlic fries were a bit much in the garlic area though...one of those gifts that just keeps giving, even now a good 9 hours later!
With my rumblin' stomach quieted, I was free to enjoy the company and the show. Chupi and Sureya (Nicole's daughter and Chupi's 5-months-older cougar of a girlfriend) were movin' and groovin' like pros.
It makes me so happy that my baby boy likes to dance. I know you can teach a person to dance, but I'm not sure you can instill in a person the desire to dance. That seems like something you are either born with or not. And it would be tough for me if I had to drag him out to get his groove on at every single wedding and other music-infused event from now until forever. And who knows, he may develop that self-consciousness that makes a lot of former movers just one day stop moving. A lot of people "outgrow" their childhood lack of inhibition, unfortunately. For now, however, I'm thoroughly enjoying watching him explore rhythm and shake his little money maker, haha.
At the end of the concert, he took it upon himself to push Sureya around in her stroller. We joked that they'll be pushing each other around like that again, in wheelchairs, 80-90 years from now :P