First Communions and Smokin' Jim's BBQ
Well, we had a wonderful time in Walden a couple of weekends ago (I spent Memorial Day weekend out of town with some friends so I am just getting to this Walden news now, sorry!) celebrating Adam Winum's First Holy Communion. I was very proud of him, he's my godson, and I was very happy that I was able to be there at the Mass. Then we celebrated with a great party at Nat and Karin's. Here's Adam and me partyin' it up!
The cousins had a great time chasing frogs and riding the wagon down the hill. How we escaped a trip to the emergency room I'll never know!
We had a great time showing off how much Jack has grown since many of the family saw him at his baptism in January. At six months, he weighs in at 20 lbs...!
We enjoyed a tasty breakfast with the Santo family. It was great to see how much everyone's kids have grown just since last fall! And I have to tip my hat in thanks to Mike and Sarah for introducing me to Pandora. I know a lot of you techie people might know about this music software tuner thingy, but I had never heard of it before. You can create your own radio station, pretty much! I have been listening to it all afternoon and loving it.
Anyway, we got to meet the new Santo addition, Caroline, who I think had fun watching Jack bounce in her johnny jump up and somehow managed to sleep through all the commotion.
But the best story about the trip has to be the story of our dinner stop on the way home. It's late and I will try to make this short, so here goes...
We decided to take a different route home. We love the adventure of finding new quirky places to eat and shop, and it's also new scenery. The day was cool and partly sunny, rain here and there, not picnic weather, I assure you. Especially where there are little kids to consider, and I needed a place to nurse the baby. We don't eat out often, probably once every couple of months at most, and so it's a big deal for the kids.
So in Candor, NY we come across a sign for Jim's BBQ Chicken.
Jarret's mouth started to water at the mention of barbecue, and I was game for a new place so we drove around the block to check it out. Here's what we saw:
Now, on a hot summer day I would be totally into a place like this. Have some barbecue, a beer, listen to some tunes, and chat with some locals. But it's raining on and off, it's 49 degrees, and I've been in the car for 2.5 hours with four children, one of whom needs to nurse sometime during this stop. Despite my reluctance, I agree, and Rose bursts into tears, crying out that she wants to go to a real diner! I tell her that this is where we are going to stop and we are going to make it fun, and we head off to the bathroom:
(I am not kidding! At least it was clean, with a little hand cleaner sprayer to boot).
Jarret then heads off to use the facilities, so I am left to walk up to the trailer door and order some chicken and rib dinners with some beans and cole slaw for sides and a few sodas to wash it all down. The kids are excited at the prospect of soda and are happily playing in the gravel. Rose has forgotten her tears. We pull up a table in the picnic area and dig in.
We are quietly eating and I offer Jarret a bite of my baked beans, wondering if he'll enjoy them cold, because I don't. Hey Jim, I think you forgot to turn on the burner! The rest of the food was fair to middling. I've had worse salad at the diner in Damascus, NY right off the Quickway (thankfully, and not surprisingly, that establishment is no longer open). But it wasn't the glorious barbecue experience we were hoping for. I think it had all been cooked the day before, as I didn't see any smoking grills, even though Jim seems to have an adequate supply of wood:
The kids were happy with their soda, and we had food in our bellies, which is more than some people have these days. But we decided that we won't be recommending Jim's place to anyone, unless you are looking for material for a good story! According to an article in the Ithaca Journal which is framed and hanging on the wall in the picnic area, Jim's used to be quite the place - a frequent caterer for the ubiquitous upstate chicken barbecue. But I think that the glory days are over. As our experience was vastly different from that of Michael Stern, whoever he is. So we snapped a picture with Jim to remember him by and headed home.
All in all, it was a great weekend spent with friends and family, and we made some great family memories. Needless to say, I will be selecting the next dining establishment, and I can assure you it will at least have real silverware!
Thanks to cousin Natalie McQuilton for the guidance on how to work the pictures in here a little better! I'm off to bed, as tomorrow we are bidding farewell to our priest from Kenya, who is moving to another parish about an hour east of us. We are presenting a goat to him during Mass, honoring a Kenyan custom, so be sure to check back for news about how that all goes!