Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dinner Out on a Difficult Wednesday

The last day of August this year wasn't a typical day for me, although it started out just like any other weekday. I got up at my usual time (5:15), but instead of heading to the gym for a workout, I immediately started getting ready for my day. At 6:30, I left home and headed to Alpharetta, where I would be spending the day at my parents' house taking care of my 90-year-old Grandma.

In this photo from 2008, my Grandma Marie is being silly, putting on my Fendi sunglasses.
She was visiting this past week, and my father was due to fly her back to New York on Sunday... but Irene hit and changed everyone's plans. Their flight was canceled, and my dad would need a full day to shuttle her to New York and then head back home to Atlanta, so he rescheduled the flights for this coming Saturday.

Since she can't be alone during the day, my parents had to scramble to find suitable arrangements to accommodate the extra week my Grandma would need to stay in Atlanta. My mom took off Monday and Tuesday to be home with her, my dad arranged to work from home Thursday and Friday, so I volunteered to keep an eye on her on Wednesday. It just happened to work out that aside from two conference calls, one that eventually was pushed to another day, I didn't have any in-person client meetings. Lately, work has been crazy, filled with meeting after meeting with both current and potential clients, so this type of day was an anomaly for me. I'm glad that it allowed me to help out my parents when they needed me, though. They are always so good to me, how could I not offer to help out.

My Grandma has lived a wonderful life, though this past January, she lost her husband of over 60 years. Since then, she has had a lot of upheaval: she moved out of her home in Texas, where she had lived since 1979, and moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in New York. She also has dementia, or Alzheimer's (we are not really sure), so most of the time she doesn't seem to know where she is or whom she's spending time with... made all the more confusing lately with her visits to Texas and Georgia to see her other children and grandchildren. (We all wanted to help celebrate her 90th birthday.)

Another photo from 2008: My Grandma, me and my Grandpa.

Most of the day, my Grandma thought I was my mother. She called me Linda and asked question after question about where she was, what was happening to her and why she couldn't remember so well. I was able to get a lot of work done while answering and soothing her, but it was still upsetting to see my Grandma that way, and to fully understand that she didn't know me. When my mom finally came home, she seemed to realize her mistake, but of course I still felt (stupidly) hurt. She seems to have become even more frail in the months since she lost my Grandpa, and that was also upsetting. She is one of the sweetest, kindest women you will ever meet, so it was heartbreaking. I guess I'm just glad I got to spend a day with her (11 hours)!

When I finally made it back home, I felt so exhausted, but I convinced Chapin that I still wanted to go out to dinner as we had originally planned. We had a gift card we needed to use because it expired that day, and after being stuck inside all day, I was itching for a night out.

I put on one of my favorite fancy dresses: this black and silver polka dot dress from Shoshanna. I just love it, and I paired it with similarly sparkly shoes and a black and silver purse. I was very matchy-matchy, as Nina Garcia would say, but I didn't care. I felt beautiful!

Me with my sweet hubby: August 31, 2011
Chapin bought me this dress for Christmas several years ago. (Here is a similar black and silver Shoshanna dress, though not as sparkly.) I remember thinking it looked like the Celine dress that Carrie wore out to dinner with Aidan in the "Just Say Yes" episode (Season 4) of Sex and the City:

Chapin and I went to Veni Vidi Vici for our dinner, and it was wonderful. This restaurant is actually one of the few in the Bucklead Life Restaurant Group that we have never eaten in before, so it was a great experience for us. Chapin had the appetizer portion of the Pappardelle dish to start: wide pasta ribbons, rotisserie duck and mushroom ragu. I tried a bite and it was so delicious, I might have to come back just for that. For dinner he also had duck: the Anatra entree, which was half maple leaf farms duck, lentils, wilted spinach and dried cranberries. He didn't finish it all, so he will have the leftovers for dinner tonight.

Our visit to Veni Vidi Vici actually coincided with Midtown Restaurant Week, so I ordered off that menu. My dinner included:
  • Indivia ai Ferri: Grilled Belgian Endive, Citrus and Raisin Vinaigrette, Gorgonzola, Candied Pistachios
  • Gnocchi alla Romana: Roman Style Baked Semolina Gnocchi, Spicy VVV Marinara, Crispy Guanciale
  • Merluzzo: Pan Roasted New England Blue Cod, Parsley and Olive Oil Yukon Gold Potatoes, Caper and Grained Mustard Salsa Verde *I actually got mashed potatoes instead. Yum!
Midtown Restaurant Week ends September 4th, and it is a great opportunity to try trendy, popular restaurants in the Atlanta Midtown area for a very reasonable price. Of course, if you order an expensive bottle of wine like Chapin and I always do, then your bill might not be that beneficial to the wallet, but I needed it after my stressful day.

Side note: If you look closely at the picture above, you will see a little pug! I love seeing George in this pic... I think it makes me love it even more.