It's almost Valentine's day. #2 son went ahead and delivered the V-day chocolates.
He wrote their names on the sidewalk out front of Uncle Billy's
The chaperones enjoyed a special cask IPA ($3! and it was good!)
It was a beautiful Friday afternoon to be alive in Austin TX.
#1 son had a birthday AND it was Chinese New Year's Eve. We attempted to celebrate at Stella San Jac, this would've been the third time we ate there. We sat in a booth in the lounge area (as we have on the two previous visits). The staff gave us a few funny looks, but never approached us. I made eye contact and was certain one of the three employees behind the bar were coming over, but they'd just walk by... I was certain they were going to fetch menus. But they continued to walk past us, giving us the occasional glance... We were a party of four adults, two children, but they eventually turned their backs to us for good. After about ten minutes Kat had noticed something was wrong. We looked across the street and saw Eddie V's! We stood up, walked across the street and were chatting with Chase (server) before we even sat down. Chase took great care of us and the evening was a great success.
Steak tartare with shaved truffle on top (the BEST) along with some chilled Maine lobster. The tuna tartare was also very good (seen below).
It was also Chinese New Year's Eve... We were surprised at how good the Pot Stickers were as well as the steamed Sea Bass (below). They even provided us some chop sticks to enhance our Chinese themed evening.
The kids really perked up when the Bananas Foster arrived. Thanks Chase!
Free Hugs at the Airport:
When I have spare time, I give rides to people on Uber and Lyft. I usually turn it on when I'm doing something I can walk away from here at the house. I end up taking a lot of people from the neighborhood to the airport at $20-40 per trip (the higher price would be for the people that specify they want a luxury vehicle). It's real money and I usually enjoy the people I’m driving.
The first time I took somebody to the airport, we chatted along the way. I got out and helped them get their luggage out of the back... and I realized that this is something I do often for friends and family, and the ride always ends in a hug and pat on the back. Except now I have a stranger standing in front of me. Ok, they got in the car as a stranger and we got to know each other a bit, but I'm still the driver and they are still the PAX.
Some times they stick their hand out to shake and issue thanks. Often they hand me a wad of cash as a tip, I like that too. Today was different. I picked up an older gentleman, he made me wait for a while. I keep a book in the car, I read and remained patient. Some drivers leave after waiting a few minutes, the PAX gets charged and the driver still gets paid when that happens. I saw this older guy, fumbling around trying to organize his things. I was going to be patient and make sure I got him safely to the airport. I walked up to the house and carried his luggage for him. He shared that he'd recently had his shoulder replaced. I was glad to load his bags myself. He paused and asked if it was OK if he double checked everything a second time, all bags, wallet, glasses... He was ready. This was his first time using Uber, he was a bit nervous.
He sat up front (I prefer it that way). We had pleasant conversation and I could see he was starting to relax. He shared that his wife had just passed away, they'd been together since they were fourteen and fifteen years old. I pulled up to his airline drop area and got out to get his bags for him. I knew he couldn't manage it by himself. He got out of the car and his wallet fell on the ground, his cards spread out on the pavement. I made sure he was all settled before I turned to say goodbye. Then he was coming at me, arms stretched. He asked if it was OK to hug me. It was OK.
It'd been a stressful weekend here at the AMH. It felt good to help somebody get through their day, a Blue Monday no less. I think he helped me too. He didn't tip me. He offered to run in and break a $20, but I assured him it wasn’t necessary. I was ready to get back home to finish the Monday Blog post... DONE.