"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Don't Drink and... Fly

Having traveled on more business trips than I can count and this point, and thus, having flown on countless flights, I could share stories of people from all walks of life making well, complete asses of themselves on airplanes after consuming too much alcohol. I traveled so much before 9/11, and it was worse then, when a passenger drinking too much on a plane was really seen as a flight attendant's problem.
Today, in our post 9/11 world, all that has changed, and when you get out of hand on a flight, it is no small matter. And I say, it's about time. I don't know why they continue to serve alcohol on flights at all. Given the issues we have to worry about, why add alcohol to the mix? If you can't live without a drink for 4 hours or even for 12 hours for international flights, then something is wrong.
I drink the occasional cocktail or glass of wine, but after witnessing some seriously distressing moments on flights when a drunken idiot turned our flight into a stressful event for everyone, I say it's high time we make an official "last call".
Reading this article (below) made me angry and sad. Angry that someone got so out of control, angry that the crew and other passengers had to put up with all that nonsense, and really sad that this man did all this in front of his wife and son.

FBI: Man throws ice, grabs buttocks on plane
by: Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

A Charlotte-bound flight made a quick landing Tuesday after authorities said a man wouldn't cooperate with the flight crew, throwing ice at passengers, refusing to fasten his seat belt and grabbing a flight attendant.
Jacob Kline was charged with being intoxicated and disruptive in public and resisting a public officer after the incident on American Airlines Flight 1360 from Dallas. An affidavit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court says Kline also violated federal law by interfering with the flight crew and attendants. He was arrested at the airport and was still in Mecklenburg jail Wednesday afternoon.
The affidavit says Kline, who lives in New Mexico, sat in the wrong seat when he boarded the plane, but crew members shifted seating assignments so that he could sit near his young son.
Soon after the flight left the Texas airport, Kline ordered a rum and Coke, the affidavit says. The 44-year-old switched seats constantly – his wife and daughter were on the plane, too, and he'd sometimes sit near them, but other times he'd sit in an entirely different section of the plane, according to the affidavit. Later he ordered two more rum and Cokes, but, according to the affidavit, when he began whistling loudly and cursing, the flight attendants refused to serve him a fourth drink.
So Kline got a cup of ice and began throwing it at other passengers, according to court documents. Flight attendants said that, when they tried to stop Kline, he grabbed a female attendant's buttocks.
That's when the crew notified the captain that there was a growing problem in the passenger area. The captain requested and received permission for an expedited landing at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Officers were waiting for Kline when the plane docked at the gate.

Article courtesy Charlotte Observer


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daisy the Curly Cat

Since I started blogging, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of blogs out there. I have shared a few here that I have enjoyed or that have touched me. Today, I am sharing one that just cracks me up on a regular basis. The name of the blog is Daisy the Curly Cat--and is "written" by Daisy, a cat with curly fur-- she is a special breed, Devon Rex, which is known for a "wave" in the cat's fur and large ears.
The captions are funny, but the pictures are funnier. Sometimes, the expressions on Daisy's face are priceless. The picture featured above had me and my friend Cassandra laughing together over the phone for what seemed like an hour. Every week, Daisy models a new outfit, and this hula one, well, it was too much.
Anything that makes me laugh like this is worth visiting. This cat's owner has a LOT of time on her hands!! Also, if I tried to put this outfit on Lilly, I would end up in Urgent Care!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Beautiful Day

My friend and colleague, Tiffany, got married today. I have to say, she was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen- she looked like your picture image of the perfect bride on her big day.
I only met Tiffany a little over a year ago, and she has become a dear friend. She is a tiny person- petite and as cute as she can be, but she has a wonderful fiery spirit, that is often entertaining. I often say that she may be tiny, but you don't want to cross her.
I met most of her family last night at the rehearsal dinner, and I saw immediately how Tiffany came to be the person that she is. Her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were all so much fun, such grounded, sweet people. I so enjoyed my time with all of them last night-not just meeting them, but just talking and spending time with them.
Today was such a great day, I cried like crazy during the ceremony...she and her new husband Joe are both so sweet, and so obviously in love. The ceremony was filled with sweet, funny moments, and was so perfect for my friend!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

One of a Kind

I found out the news about Tim Russert's death the way I find out about a lot of breaking news items, through my email inbox. A CNN alert came through, and when I read the simple sentence that these emails always contain, I was shocked. The email said simply: -- Tim Russert of NBC News has died at the age of 58, the network says.
Too young to die-- and a rarity in his business, someone who had the respect of politicians (on both sides) and the public alike. Although, I am sure that there was more than a little fear within that respect for the politicians, of being on the other side of the desk during an interview with him. But yet, almost without exception, there was a deep and genuine respect.
I was so touched yesterday listening to Tom Brokaw share the news as his voice cracked painfully in the loss of a dear friend and colleague. There is a small group of these journalists that I think bring about that kind of emotion in all of us, and Tim was a rare bird even in that group.
I tried to think this morning about what made him stand apart--was it his "human" quality, his obvious love for politics, his ability to stand tough when asking the toughest questions? It is all of that, but one quote from a tribute piece on CNN by Richard Stengal stood out to me:

"The truth is, Tim not only loved politics, he believed in it. He believed that politics could change the trajectory of people's lives. He was tough on elected officials in part because he wanted them to do good, to be pure of heart."

And that really summed it up for me. Watching Russert demand answers to questions when other reporters would have backed down, was amazing, but I never got the sense he was doing it for the wrong reasons. He wasn't trying to be more famous, he wasn't trying to embarrass anyone, I honestly felt he was doing what he was doing because he wanted these people to do better, to not let us all down.
Someone will have to take the baton now that we have lost him, and I honestly hope someone can come along with half his passion, his conscience, his joy of his work. But, these are some big shoes to fill, as made evident by the outpouring of love and grief in his passing.

Below is a particularly touching piece from Time:

"He was Loving this Election" Joe Klein- Time

Back when he was just starting in television — and ever since — but particularly back then, Tim Russert was astounded by the joys of the job. Early on, he helped arrange an interview with the Pope for the Today Show — and Tim did it up right: He brought along red NBC News baseball caps for the Cardinals and a white one for the Holy Father. "He put it on!" Tim told me when he came home. "We have pictures!" Then he said, more quietly, "But, you know, it was really something being in his presence. You felt something holy. It was almost as if the air was different." And that was Tim — exuberant, irreverent, brilliant and devout, a thrilling jolt of humanity. We were friends for 30 years. We closed a few bars together in the early years, before Maureen shaped him up; we talked politics incessantly; we shared summer rentals; we watched our kids, especially Luke and Sophie who were born a few months apart, grow up, go to Jesuit colleges (Tim got a kick out of the fact that Sophie, a Jewsuit, aced New Testament at Fordham) and, a final happiness for Tim, we saw them graduate.
Tim did me a lifetime favor by introducing me to his boss, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in 1978. Moynihan became a mentor and inspiration to me, and gave me a graduate education in all things New York. Tim's favorite Moynihan story was about the time he had to pick up Pat at the Pierre Hotel in New York to take him to a dinner. Tim arrived at the hotel and heard the distinctive laugh, "Ah-ah-ah-ah-AH!" from inside the room. "Ah-ah-ah-ah-AH!" Just peals of laughter. Russert paused a minute, uncertain about bothering the boss. "Ah-ah-ah-Ah-AHH!" Finally, he knocked. "Moyns came to the door in his underwear," Tim recalled. "He'd been watching The Honeymooners."
It was appropriate that Russert found his way to Moynihan who, in his classic work with Nathan Glazer, Beyond the Melting Pot, offered the theory that ethnicity, more than class, had been the key social organizing principle in American cities. Tim was proudly, indelibly Irish — not only in his early beer-drinking years, but also in his more Jesuitical incarnation as the host of Meet the Press, when he refused to socialize on Saturday nights. "He's become a monk," Maureen would say. And yet, even at the top of his profession, he never lost track of his roots — in part, because he never lost track of his dad, Big Russ, a Buffalo sanitation worker who survives him. Tim would review his Sunday questions with Big Russ in mind, always asking himself, "What would dad want to know?" About ten years ago, he decided to buy his father a car. "Buy anything you want, Dad," Tim offered. Big Russ picked a Ford. "So I said, to him, 'Dad, you can get a Mercedes — anything you want,'" Tim told me later. "But he says, 'No Timmy, I want a Crown Vic. That's what the cops drive.'"
Every four years, through the 80s and 90s, Tim and I would go out and watch the politicians work on the weekend before the New Hampshire primary. Our most memorable excursion was in 1992, when we saw Paul Tsongas selling his chilly fiscal discipline and then watched Bill Clinton work a nursing home. A woman started to ask Clinton about the high price of prescription drugs, then dissolved in tears, unable to finish. Clinton immediately went to the woman, dropped to his knees and hugged her; he held her tight for what seemed a long time. It was a reflexive reaction, and fairly shocking — neither of us were yet aware of Clinton's rampaging empathy — and very moving. Tim and I looked at each other, and we both had tears in our eyes. "I don't think we'll ever see Tsongas do that," he said.
Tim was boggled by Clinton, impressed and appalled by him. The only real differences we had in 30 years of friendship were over his treatment of both Clintons, which I thought was occasionally too sharp — and had its roots, I believed, in the strict lessons about sex and probity he'd learned from the nuns (which he often joked about). Our last conversation, sadly, was an argument over that.
The last time I saw Tim on television was the night that Barack Obama secured the nomination — and he was, appropriately, telling a Big Russ story, about his dad nailing a John F. Kennedy sign on the side of the house in 1960. Tim asked, "'Why are we for Kennedy?' And my dad said, 'Because he's one of us.' And that's the big question Barack Obama is facing," he concluded, "Will Americans accept him as 'One of us.'" I remember thinking, "Ahh, Tim. We're getting old. Maybe Big Russ and my parents — and you and I — wonder if someone named Barack Obama is 'one of us,' but not our kids." I figured I'd mention it to him next time we talked. Now there won't be a next time. I can't get my head around that yet, except — it's so, so sad. He was loving this election, as much as any we'd covered. I just can't believe he won't be around to find out how it ends. My love to Maureen and Luke, Big Russ and Tim's sisters. And Tim, if they're pouring up there, save a stool for me.

Photo- ABC news images.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Got Hope?

I sent this blog to several of you to read, with a warning to grab a hanky. The link I gave you then and the one I refer to now, is the beginning. If you haven't read it yet, here's the story: A wonderful couple from Los Angeles--so young (30)--who met and fell in love in high school in Minneapolis are expecting a child. The husband, Matt, starts a blog to chronicle this new event, this new person coming into their lives. Then, the saddest thing, it takes your breath away, a day after the baby is born via c-section, Liz, the mother, dies.
So you may be thinking-- WHY would I want to read something so sad?
Because, it is sad, but it is also beautiful, and more hopeful than anything I have read in a long time. Because lately, I turn on the news and watch things or read things that make me wonder who we are all becoming...just as a human race. Have we lost our ability to feel empathy, to reach out even though it might not be "politically correct", but is the morally, compassionate, HUMAN thing to do?
And then there is this blog. This widowed husband who now has a preemie newborn to raise, all while trying to grieve for the love of his life. First, Matt's writing is amazing--sparse but powerful. And he makes you believe that there are really men out there that are decent, moral, kind, and who did take the wedding vows to heart, he FELT them. He loved this woman.
Second, what has gotten to me, reached me even more, is the outpouring of love sent to Matt and his daughter Madeline. Moms reaching out from across the country, across the world, to offer tips as he struggles with diapers, fussy baby nights, and all the things he wasn't planning on handling alone. He is so open to anyone contacting him, leaving messages and sharing with him. In a time when we have all grown jaded, it is nice to see someone in the middle of a personal bittersweet battle, able to be so open. The cynic in me thinks, I hope he is being careful, with all the crazies out there that might contact and/or bother him. But so far, so good. No...so amazing. So, long story short, the amazing words, gifts, thoughts, and comfort passed on to this man from strangers, has given me some hope that we all haven't lost our moral compass, or our ability to reach out--even when it feels a little uncomfortable or vulnerable--all in the name of helping someone. This gift, pictured below, in particular, touched me. Someone from the UK made this little set of wooden dolls and sent them to Matt. Note Liz's angel wings.

The link I have provided starts from the beginning, and there's a lot to read. But, it is so worth it. And, Madeline is just gorgeous.
Click here to visit Matt's blog. There is also an amazing picture montage set to music that was taken by a photographer who heard about his story and offered to come and do a shoot for free. What amazing pictures. Turn up the sound on your computer--the song is so lovely--and perfect for this collection of photos.
I didn't know Liz, I only know her through the photos on Matt's site, and his beautiful stories of her. But somehow, I think she would have loved all this. Matt said she impacted people's lives so strongly her whole life, and in a way, through her two loves, she still is.


Life in the City

Although most females saw Sex and the City: the Movie on Opening Night...I opted to wait until the glitter had died down a little. Although I thought all the madness and dressing up and what-not was a bit...much, I had to smile a little for all the women and girls getting together and celebrating what I always thought the show was about more than anything--great girlfriends. Through all their loves and losses and laughs and tears, they-Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte-- depended on each other, and they came through (with some bumps and bruises here and there).
The movie had a lot to live up to. It was risky to even do it. You had all this love out there, these almost crazy fans...and a show that did what FEW series ever manage to do, have a wonderful final show, that most everyone I talked to thought sewed everything up nicely.
I really loved the movie. Mainly because things did work out for everyone, but not without real life and all its madness, pain, and crazy unplanned twists taking hold. And the most important thread of the movie by far was not the guys or the much hyped and shown-before-the-movie wedding, or even (gasp!) the sex, but it was the friendship between these women, and how they went great lengths for each other when it counted.
I think above all that is what you can take away from the movie...that love is grand, and there is hope for all of us, but that girlfriends keep you afloat when the fairytale seems to be sinking and taking you down with the ship.

What's better than that?


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Side Show

OK, this is just a little laugh for the day, nothing much to explain...it does help if you read the little note below before you watch, but no matter what, it is just funny.
From a Dallas news broadcast: Watch at least twice.... The more times you watch it the funnier it becomes. Watch the little critter, a small desert lizard, on the left side of the table. Remember the guy on the left is concentrating on the snake the other guy is holding.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Loss Beyond Words

I usually DVR Oprah, but somehow missed this episode. This article took my breath away. I can't imagine how these parents-- how this mother -- ever recovered from this night. This issue is next to my heart as I have seen first hand how it has affected a friend--she lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver.
What ever safeguards we can put in place, whatever laws it takes, we have to make that happen. When you see the commercials, hear the stories, or meet someone who has suffered a loss like this because of a drink driver, it is all so senseless.

(Jennifer and Neil, who lost their daughter Kate to a drunk driver)

Horrifying story told to save lives

(OPRAH.com) -- Every day, unthinkable tragedies shatter the lives of many families. For Lisa and David, July 2, 2005, began as a perfect wedding day. More than 200 close friends and relatives gathered on the beach. Lisa's fondest memory of the day was of her nieces, 5-year-old Grace and 7-year-old Katie, dressed like princesses, throwing rocks into the Long Island Sound.
Jennifer and Neil hope that sharing their story will save lives.
After a day full of celebration, Lisa's parents, Christopher and Denise, along with her sister, Jennifer, Jennifer's husband, Neil, and their daughters, Grace and Katie, all headed home in a limousine.
"I remember looking in on the limo and seeing Kate and waving goodbye and she waved goodbye and never thought that was going to be the type of moment where you're seeing people for the last time," says David, the groom. "It's, I guess, a moment I see every day."
On the ride home, the limo was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Police reports indicate the driver, 24-year-old Martin Heidgen, had at least 14 drinks, and his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Police say he was driving 70 miles an hour down the wrong side of a major highway for at least two miles before he crashed into the limousine.
An off-duty security officer returning home from work was first on the scene. "I approached the limo driver, and I guess I went into shock," says New York State court officer Michael Lerardi. "It looked like an explosion. The motor, basically, was just sitting on top of him. I knew he was dead." The limo driver, 59-year-old Stanley Rabinowitz, was killed instantly.
Next to arrive was Lt. Michael Tangney, the bride's uncle, who had attended the wedding just hours before. "I was walking to the rear of the limousine when a gentleman was coming away from it, and he said, 'Don't go back there. It's bad,'" Lt. Tangney says. "I opened the rear door to the limousine and realized it was my family."
Lt. Tangney's brother -- Jennifer's father, Chris -- was lying on the floor, his legs wrapped around the service bar, broken in numerous places. The rest of the family was piled on top of each other. Jennifer's mother, Denise, was severely injured, as was Jennifer's husband, Neil, who tried to crawl out of the limo to get help despite his broken back.

Five-year-old Grace was also trapped inside the wreckage. Jennifer, whose foot was injured, managed to climb out and was searching for Katie, who had been lying on the side seat before the crash. "We couldn't find Kate," Lt. Tangney says. Then, Jennifer made a devastating discovery --Katie had been decapitated by her seat belt.
"Then all of a sudden Mrs. Flynn came out of the car with her child's head in her hand," says Michael Lerardi, one of the 70 paramedics and police officers who were called to the scene.
"I got numb. I thought I was going to collapse," says Officer Christopher Pandolfo. "I looked into the back of the limousine, and I saw Katie's remains. She was wearing this dress, and I just started shaking."
Jennifer walked to side of the road and sat for about an hour with her daughter's head on her lap as she watched her family being cut out of the limousine. Lt. Tangney had to tell his niece it was time to leave. "She very lucidly, very calmly said she wasn't going anywhere. She wasn't leaving Kate," he says. "I climbed into the ambulance, and I told Jennifer that she'd have to come inside now because Grace needed her, and she said she's not going to let go of Kate. And I asked her if she would give her to me, and at that point she turned her over, kissed her goodbye and handed her to me."
'Hopefully we'll save lives'
The accident took the lives of Katie and Stanley and left the rest of the family severely injured, physically and emotionally.
Now, Jennifer and Neil are sharing their story. "Because no one should live the life that I live. I felt a responsibility, an obligation, to come and to tell our story," Jennifer says. "I hope that by knowing the devastation that we lived through that night and still continue to live through, hopefully people are able to see and view the crime [of drunken driving] as it should be seen and viewed and that hopefully we'll save lives."
Jennifer says her back was to the windshield when the crash occurred. She was holding Grace, and Katie was lying down on the side seat of the limo with her seat belt on. Jennifer says she felt a sense of calm at the scene, although others told her she had been screaming. "I wasn't worried for Kate because I do believe she's in heaven," she says. "At the time, I was more worried for us. I never, ever thought that Neil and I would be able to live without her."
Neil, who had broken his back, tried to crawl out of the limo. "I heard my wife screaming, 'Katie's dead,' and I didn't want to accept it so I screamed back, 'No, she's just hurt real bad,'" he says. "I didn't know what Jen knew then."
Jennifer's sister Lisa and brother-in-law David continue to suffer feelings of guilt even after making every effort to ensure no one would drink and drive after their wedding. "We planned better than most would plan. We had a bus to take people back and forth from the hotel to the reception," David says. "We had a whole slew of rooms for people to stay in. We had limousines for parents and family, and that wasn't enough."
Lisa says she feels guilt about everything. "We had it on the Fourth of July weekend. If you look at the statistics, that's DWI season," she says. "Would this have happened if it wasn't on such a big night? Maybe not. Those are the decisions that ultimately killed my family.
"How do we start a life when your start is death?" Lisa asks. "It's your wedding day, and now they don't have their child."
Second-degree murder
Every day is a struggle, Neil and Jennifer say. "Everything I see my children do, I think Kate should be doing. Everything I know they're going to do, I know Kate won't do," he says. "Every time you wake up, you say to yourself, 'This is terrible. I went another day without her,' you know? Or, 'I have to face another day without her.' And every night when I go to sleep, I made it through another day, and I know it's not going to get any better as long as I'm awake."
Denise and Chris, Jennifer's parents, were also severely injured in the crash. Chris, a respected police officer, had to have his leg amputated. Still, the emotional wounds run deeper -- they say the accident destroyed their once close-knit family. "We struggle to be a family that celebrates holidays together," Denise says.
As a police officer, Chris says he's seen drunken drivers and pulled them over, but he never thought drunken driving could affect his family. "It really never occurred to me that this could happen to me."
Stanley, the limo driver, was known to give drunken drivers free limo rides home during his eight and a half years as a driver. His two sons, Keith and Nolan, still grieve the death of their dad. "He was always proud of me and Nolan, no matter what," Kevin says. "Most of his happiness came from us and watching us grow up."
On July 14, 2005, Martin Heidgen was charged with the second-degree murders of Stanley Rabinowitz and Katie Flynn. After five days of jury deliberations, he was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder and related charges. He's serving his 18-year sentence at a correctional center in New York and is now appealing his case.
Jennifer hopes the verdict will demonstrate that not all drunken driving charges can be treated the same. "The way the jury deliberated over it, I think for people, they don't want to think of drunk driving as murder," she says. "So I think that that's something that we hope, that you don't have to lump all drunk driving into one charge. There is the extraordinarily reckless drunk driving, which happened to us."
Although Neil sought counseling after the crash, he says the absence of his daughter is something counseling can't address. "I'm here. This is what I have to deal with, and I will. But like I said, the good part's over," he says. "We had our plan. We decided we were going to have four kids, and that was what we were going to do, you know, and we were set. We were fine. That five-second smash defined my life."
Jennifer says she and Neil are active parents to their three other children. "We continue to do a ton with the children that live. Even more because of that & but there is that feeling that when they do something, you do wish Kate was there to enjoy it as well," she says. "It's hard not to feel it."
In November 2006, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) launched a campaign to eliminate drunken driving within the next 10 years. Part of their goal is for all states to require mandatory ignition interlock devices, which have been shown to be up to 90 percent effective in keeping repeat drunken drivers off the roads.
Before drivers with prior DUIs can start cars with these devices, they must blow into a device that measures their blood alcohol levels. If alcohol is detected, the car will not start.
Currently, only four states require this device for all first-time offenders -- New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Illinois. MADD says 4,000 lives would be saved every year if they were required in every state.
What does Jennifer think of the idea? "I think that's great for the repeat offenders, but I think that for drunk driving to be curbed that it needs to hurt if you were to get caught drunk driving," she says. "So I think that for even the lesser or the first-time offender & it should be the fine with the license, with the community service, with going to a class."
Ultimately, Jennifer believes people need to know that all actions have repercussions. "Actions have consequences, and I think everyone needs to know that and recognize it, and it doesn't make us bad people for not wanting to live in a world of chaos," she says. "If you're going to commit the crime, you're going to get in trouble, and it should be that way. We should all want that."
Photo and excerpt from "The Oprah Winfrey Show"


Sunday, June 1, 2008

California Dreamin'

I was in California last week, and well, the week before that. This wasn't planned. I was only supposed to be there a few days, and then my stay got extended for work...long story. But, I found myself in California over Memorial Day weekend--there are worse places to be.
My office is in San Jose, close to San Francisco, and a lot of other things.
Before I knew I was staying the weekend, I got to meet up with my friend Caroline. It was great to see her-- I haven't seen her in ages! We ate at a wonderful restaurant, Rose's Cafe in San Francisco. The food was yummy, and we picked up right where we left off. I miss having her locally to meet and laugh with.
Then, with a whole weekend ahead of me, and a stressful week of work behind and ahead of me, I decided to try and relax. I remembered a place my friend Kim had introduced me to when I lived in California. I booked a half day spa retreat at Indian Springs in Calistoga. I had only been there once before and I remembered how great it was, and also how affordable--it is also in the wine country--so the drive up there is beautiful. I have a hard time paying for spa stuff-- massages and the like. I always feel like it is just money flushed. But a half day at this spa is what most places charge just for a massage. I had a mud bath, a facial, and a massage. I also spent time in their mineral pool, which honestly, is almost the best part. I had never done a half day thing like this, and all I could think after was how WORTH it it was. I felt great--refreshed, relaxed, and happy! It was wonderful. The weather was cool and overcast that day which was perfect for the warm mineral pool. I had to pull myself out of there to leave. To reward myself for actually getting out of the pool-LOL- I stopped by a restaurant in the wine country called Mustard's Grill for dinner. Their food is heavenly---even moreso on an expense account! But, honestly, it was one of the best meals I have had in ages. The restaurant also has one of my favorite fountains out front, although my photo didn't do it justice. (If you click on Mustard's website in the ABOUT section-- you can see a nice photo of it).

I was so ready to come home after 10 days away, though...and you should have seen the kitties! They were so excited when I got home! Baxter was a heartbreaker, he was just beside himself to see me. I love coming home to my little fur babies!



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