I think grandparenting just isn't what it used to be. Even though people of my generation are having children at older ages, the grandparents of those children have truly absorbed that idea that life begins at 50. When I look around at the parents of mine and all my friends' children, I see lively, youthful folks who will be chasing those munchkins for years. How refreshing!
Anyway, that doesn't have much to do with
Today's New Activity: Dinner at Maria Maria
My parents have mentioned Maria Maria--billed as "Modern Mexican"--a number of times, but this was the first time I was available to join them. What fun that my bro was here too!
Though the restaurant is in Walnut Creek, in the heart of what I like to think of as the Orange County of Northern California (and yes, I mean that in the worst possible way--see my thoughts on Danville), in the middle of what has to be the Most Boring Shopping Center of All Time (I actually thought it was a condominium complex when we drove in), the inside of the restaurant was pretty aesthetically interesting. I loved the openness of the floor plan and the beautiful sunset lighting filtering through the dozens of windows.
I ordered cheese enchiladas, which weren't even on the menu (only 2 vegetarian options were, but neither appealed to me. They were good for sure (it's pretty hard to mess up cheese enchiladas) but not remarkable, except inasmuch as they were beautiful (and it's pretty hard to make Mexican food beautiful).
And my Mama ordered a sangria margarita--also beautiful
Dad and Bro both had the carnitas, which they both said were among the best ever, so that's something for all you meat lovers out there. And my Mom had the chicken mole tortilla casserole, which she loved. There were actually a lot of yummy-sounding options on the menu for people without any restrictions.
There was a guitar-playing singer there most of the night. He sounded pretty good too, but unfortunately I could only hear when I went to the bathroom, where speakers streamed in the sound for everybody's toilet time pleasure. The only downside to such an open layout is that there are no sound buffers, so warehouse-like restaurants are loud restaurants.
They took care of us there. I'd mentioned to our waiter that we were celebrating an anniversary and he comped all three of the desserts we ordered. It was a nice, relaxed dinner with three of my favorite people.
And the nicest part: a round of the anti-newlywed game we played in which my brother and I asked the folks to separately answer questions about their marital history, all of which led to good discussions about our family, past and present.
One thing I've always loved about my family is how much they enjoy talking. Big surprise there. But I just mean it's nice to have meaningful discussions over dinner and to learn and discover new things about each other even now, 35 years into the whole thing.
Congratulations, Ditos, on 35 years of modeling true, honest, hard-workin', understanding, appreciative and forever-growing love.