MONDAY, OCT. 4
Today we headed to South Beach at lunchtime, eating at Van Dykes outside under the patio umbrella, with a warm breeze blowing and good food at the table. Cooper really went for this, so peaceful sitting in his stroller and watching people, then enjoying a walk down the main drag between the shops and palm trees with Granddaddy so Mommy and Daddy could finish lunch.
After lunch we strolled down to the Ghirardelli chocolate store for dessert. Yes, they have their own store. The first time Val saw this a couple of years ago, I'm pretty sure I heard "Ode to Joy" coming out of her ears. This time around, seated outside and enjoying some relaxation, Val very much liked her hot fudge sundae, as did Cooper and I.
For almost every meal that wasn't at Dad's home we ate outside, which seems to be the thing to do in South Florida. And it's much more worthwhile. When it's always 85 with a breeze, and you're under a big umbrella with palm trees swaying overhead, it's much better than sitting outside in sweltering summer weather in Memphis.
Cooper was a big fan of eating out, which was a nice distraction. Sure, he's 11-months-old so he's always a handful, though with eccentric folks on South Beach it's easier to get him to eat our mashed potatoes and veggies.
Every time we'd eat outdoors Val would sigh and say, "I don't want to leave." We vowed to try it at home on the patio out back, but it's just not the same. At least, not without someone else cooking the food, infusing the patio with the smell of the ocean breeze, and not having to go to work the next day. Maybe then it would be equal.