Our Christmas Week was a little bit excitement and a lot of low key and peaceful.
Hubs took off the whole week(though he was on-call via his phone).
We got to go see our older son and ventured via rental car to Pittsburgh on the Sunday before Christmas.
The rental car was a last minute decision as we had planned to take the Malibu.
But on Saturday morning the dreaded check engine light alit.
Not wanting to take any chances on that journey that it really WAS something that needed attention we dropped off the car to be looked at while we were away and rented a car for 4 days.
Rental company upgraded us from a full-sized to a "whatever the next size is" car and we headed to "Da Burgh" in a Hyundai SUV-y thing.
Stopped in Altoona as we usually do for lunch....
Imported potatoes with our burgers....
Then we went to Giant Eagle to buy some beer.
GE has a food café so they can sell you 192 ounces of beer per transaction in PA rather than an entire CASE of beer from a beer distributor.
Talk about archaic liquor laws......
Once checked into our hotel outside of Pittsburgh and a brief nap, we went out for dinner at Primanti Bros.
College Boy had his first Primanti's sammich that night......
When I was at this location this past summer with #1 Son it was practically deserted.
Not so on Sunday evening. The Steelers had won that day so there was a rather large crowd, 60% or so sporting Steelers jerseys or Steelers colors and the pitchers of crap beer were flowing freely.
Then we were off to #1 Son and GF's apartment once they returned from work.
We exchanged presents that evening.
I only got this one shot that evening of #1 Son opening his "gag" gift.......
It's a humongous roll of SMARTIES candy! As a child this was his Candy of Choice, so when I saw this oversized container of Smarties shaped like the small rolls at 5 Below, I had to buy it. lolz
He got another gag gift.....
This container shaped like a beer can of BEER FLAVORED jelly beans.
The man is serious about his craft beer! lolz
I haven't gotten a report back yet on how bad these tasted......
College Boy elected to stay the 2 nights at his brother's apartment, couch surfing, so the next morning we picked everyone up and headed out for lunch.
They opened up a new Burgatory Restaurant near their apartment so that's where lunch happened.
Some of us had alcoholic milkshakes.....note huge marshmallow on top of milkshake.....
And some of us had regular milkshakes......
I learned my lesson last Christmas at Burgatory, no alcoholic milkshake for me again!
I had the glass of Sangria.
An EIGHT DOLLAR glass of Sangria.
Except it was NOT Sangria.
Yes it was red wine but it was super DRY!
And there were no citrus type fruits in it......but there were tiny cubes of APPLES in it.
Don't get the Sangria at Burgatory.
I'm just sayin'.......
But DO get a burger as that's their specialty. Some of us got fancy pants complicated "had to custom order it on a sheet of paper" burgers, but not I.
I went with a menu item called Morty's Steakhouse Burger.
It was topped with 4 pounds of onion straws(way too many and I had to scrape at least half off the thing!)and a big knife through the sandwich.
The coleslaw with a vinegar dressed concoction. It could have used more dressing is all I'm gonna say.
Burgatory gave out fortune cookies at the end of the meal.
College Boy got the best one-which is now my Facebook cover btw....
We attempted a selfie outside afterwards......
The sun was in my eyes(I was holding the camera.....why do they let the person with the shortest arms control the selfie??), I totally didn't get College Boy in the shot and thanks for the horns Hubs!
Everybody is a smartass, ain't they?!
Since nobody gave me a "shelfie stick" for Christmas I just took a group photo of everyone else.....
We went back to #1 Son's apartment and visited the afternoon away.
After #1 Son's GF left for work we went across the river to check out #1 Son's favorite beer buying place which was a Giant Eagle market which sold beer in their cafe. I was looking for a particular stout that's only made around the Holidays, which this particular store had TONS of last year when we were there. I wanted to pick up a few since at home I'd have to buy a case of them and that case was just shy of $80. ick. That GE had none of the stout.....but that didn't stop Hubs and #1 Son from buying other beers, did it?
So we tried another GE that carried beer and again they had none, though Hubs and #1 Son picked up a few more beers there.
We stopped off at Trader Joe's once back on the other side of town so I could pick up some Lobster Ravioli. We don't have a TJ in our area and the Lobster Ravioli is real good and such a bargain at $3.99 a package! I stocked up on a supply to hold us until we got back to Pittsburgh again.
Then we tried a drive-thru beer distributor on the way back to his Swiss Vale neighborhood for my stout and they had gotten 1 case of it in and had sold it weeks ago.
Then we tried the beer distributor back near #1 Son's apartment and they didn't have any but he called around to his "sources" and found that a GE over in Robinson, PA(thru downtown and through a tunnel and over a bridge NW of "Da Burgh")had some in stock.
So do you think we drove 45 minutes away through the downtown RUSH HOUR to get to that GE?
Of course we did! lolz
We found the store and they had 4 bottles left which I bought. I was able to find another stout there I hadn't seen anywhere else and wanted to try(at #1 Son's suggestion)so I got that as well.
Afterwards we had to find our way back to Pittsburgh in the dark and we hit the rush hour traffic heading out of downtown east....but then again the tunnel near Squirrel Hill backs up ALL times of day.
Since it was getting late we went to dinner at Rivertowne.
Oh gee, imagine that? Rivertowne has a brewery attached to it!
This was totally #1 Son's idea and one of his hang-out places.
So he got to pay the bill. ;-)
The crab cakes were good and the shrimp were monstrously LARGE and it's a good thing I didn't drink there because I would have never made it across the street to the parking lot in one piece due to the traffic on that dangerous road....geez!
Everyone just watched me hobble across the road while I played a real life version of FROGGER.
We visited a while longer at the apartment before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Next morning we all met at Bob Evans in Monroeville for breakfast before we headed home and #1 Son and the GF headed to the Erie area to spend Christmas with her family.
We waited about 25 minutes in the lobby for a table at Bob's while they seated many tables of people who had come in after us.
So Hubs went to ask WTF was going on!?
Hostess said they only had TWO tables to accommodate a party of 5(What? You never heard of putting 2 smaller tables together!?!?) Every time they seated a table they kept saying they would seat us soon, but when pushed by Hubs the Hostess revealed that 2 parties had been seated right before us at those 2 tables and had yet to ORDER so neither of them would be ready to vacate for a good half hour or more.
He gave them an earful at that point as they should have let us know that from the first!
Needless to say we left and took our business to Denny's right down the road where we got a table right off!
Bob Evans Assholes......
We had a lovely breakfast from that point on and a great waitress.
Ate our fill and then some quick photos in the parking lot.
#1 Son and Girlfriend.....
Most of my family........
Hey! Let me in the photos too......
Then we headed for home via Altoona.
We stopped for lunch at a Chinese buffet since we wanted something quick.
Down the shopping center from the restaurant was a craft store so we ducked in to walk a bit.
Gosh darn it!
I missed Bob Ross........
I swear this guy's voice is better as a sleep aid than any pharmaceuticals ever invented!
Happy little trees............
I also found Sonya Ann's stocking here..............
Hubs had to stop at a Rite-Aid along the way home so I could finish doing an +Ups Deal.
No worries we passed a few along the way when we weren't on the interstate.
The next day was Christmas Eve so we did a few last minute things like grocery shopping.
I picked up our Rib Roast for Christmas dinner as well as a few other things.
We made a trip to Sam's Club for some produce and croissants and then had a look around at other things.
I found this nice Thomas the Tank Engine book but alas!,
I found it 20 years too late for my Thomas fan.....he's 23 and a half now.....lol
That evening we went up to our local Chinese restaurant for our traditional Christmas eve Chinese dinner.
The brother in-law and nephew joined us again this year and College Boy's Docile Sponge bandmates also came along.
Everyone was up at the crack of noon for Christmas.
Well "I" was up at the crack of 9am to work on dinner.
We opened presents once College Boy came downstairs.....
Gee, how did you know.....lol
More clothes for College Boy.....
Drawers for Christmas....a family tradition......
Snacks and a year's supply of Chap Stick.....well more like 6 months of Chap Stick if you are a flutist.
And More clothes for College Boy.
I think everyone was happy with their loot.
BIL and nephew came over around 1 for dinner and we all ate until we were ready to bust.
Later we had coffee/tea and ate pie/cookies/Christmas crack/name your poison.
I realized that I forgot to make the Calamari I bought for Christmas the next morning, so Friday's dinner was.......get ready for it......Calamari! ;-)
Saturday Hubs and I went to one of our favorite places for a couple of beers.....
Well I had one beer, Grumpy Bill's Porter.....
And hubs had a flight and a beer.
Lunch was a thin crusted pepperoni pizza....mmmmm.....
We took a scenic drive afterwards and then spent the rest of Saturday relaxing.
Just a real low key Christmas week here in Podunk, PA.
How was your week?