My maternal grandmother was Julia Viviani. Occasionally, her two daughters (SM and SAunt), her granddaughters (there are only 4 of us even though she had 5 kids), SS#1, SCousin and SMe go out to lunch or a late breakfast. Sometimes when SS#2 is in town, she joins us, and sometimes my SD joins us. We try to always take a picture, and I call us "Julia's Girls". Yesterday we put on our best ladies luncheon duds and went to a very fancy local restaurant (yep, the same one we went to for SM's 86th B-Day Bash, that I wrote about previously in October) called Salvatores's Italian Garden. They are a very elegant, very decorated-sometimes over the top restaurant, but they are a very special place-you know right away that you are not in Mickey's D's. They are very well known for their Christmas Decorations. The front foyer area is always themed, and this year it is "Polar Express", here are some pictures:
The very large back foyer area has multiple decorated areas, perfect for picture taking:
After you get past the posing for the scrapbook time, you walk through to the dining area, where all of their usual decorations are each decorated. They have a large Remington statue collection in the hallway which now have gold beads and fake snow on them. If I had any complaint, it would be that-either remove those collections, or keep them naked-it just looks so cheesy when you see a pricey piece with stuff draped on it, sometimes as if the kids helped out and did the "tossing by the handful technique" they used as teen aged tree decorators. Can you see it in your memory mind? An eye-rolling look, huff-breathing, grab, toss, done. Thank goodness we all grew out of that. I know that this was not the look that the owner's wife was looking to achieve, but that is what I came up with. She does a splenderific job otherwise. SEE:
And then, Salvatore's has these really amazing-freak-you- out statues that are life-sized, beautiful facial features and very appropriate roles for a restaurant. Sometimes you actually stand near one not aware at first that the person next to you is not blink' nor noddin'. So you steal a peak, and yikes it is not real. Here are examples. SM is having a chat with the sommelier (is that how you spell the person that advises you about wine choices?).
We had a great meal, exchanged very thoughtful presents, talked about everything that was important to us, especially SCousin's son who is active military.
Then a nice stroll out looking and oohing and aahing. Perfect time together, and thank you for the not horrible weather called LES(LAKE EFFECT SNOW) that was predicted, but got scared away. You don't mess with a bunch of Italian and Irish ladies planning on putting on big make-up and pantyhose!
So listen, I hope you get to meet with some girlfriends for a nice little get together, big or small, it really is important to stop and smell the poinsettias.