I'm all wrung-out.
My best guess is I got a bad shrimp-wrap at lunch on Saturday, and although I never 'zuked' (borrowing Rob's terminology there) I felt awful Saturday night and all day Sunday, and most of Monday. I'm better, but still feel like I'm clawing my way back to normal.
SO! Last weekend we ventured North so Rob could attend a business meeting of the metal-working kind. The meeting just so happened to be taking place about 30 minutes from the home of my college roommate and her family, so I tagged along. We departed shortly after lunch on Friday after depositing E3 at Grandpa's and left the other two to walk uphill both ways in snow to Grandpa's after school, or ride the school bus - their choice. We arrived at our hotel in Manteno and, upon checking in, learned I was the Guest of the Day! I was rewarded with a candle-holder.
After dropping the luggage and adjusting the heat, we went off in search of dinner which we found at the lovely Tuscany Steak and Pasta House. As we were being shown to our table, I pointed out the revolving pie case showcasing out dessert options, but when we reached the end of our meal we decided to skip dessert and drive through town a little before finding the ice cream shop that was listed in the 'dining' portion of our hotel's welcome book. Such a wise decision!
PJ's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, which sadly has no website, served us some yummy ice cream. The store is decorated with completed jigsaw puzzles, and has a big shelf of games and puzzles for customer use. The table closest to the ice cream freezer was covered with a 1000-piece puzzle that had been started - the outside was complete, with some other parts filled in a little. Rob asked if we could work on it and the lady behind the counter said yes, anyone can work on it. Work on it we did - for about four hours.
That wasn't our original intent when we first sat down to the puzzle - we figured it was close to closing time as the place was pretty empty - but when we asked the lady behind the counter when the closed she said 11pm...and that's when we tucked into that puzzle to see what we could do. The place soon started hoppin' as reportedly there was an all-church concert somewhere in town that ended around 8...or maybe 9? One table of gentlemen was playing a card/dice game, another table had some women playing some other game, and the other tables filled and emptied while we were there. A family came in to celebrate a young son's birthday and the card/dice playing guys not only serenaded him with Happy Birthday, but also Good Night Birthday Boy (to the tune of Good Night Ladies). It was all very Norman Rockwell and had me wishing we had something like this near home.
We finally left at 11:30, even though the place was still packed with game-players; the puzzle, about 3/4 finished.