Friday, October 22, 2010

My Dad's Birthday

Two days ago (the 20th) was my dad's birthday, and we went to Raleigh to do a few things...
First, we dropped him off so he could get a massage, and then we went to look for a restaurant called the Courtyard Café, since my mom had a coupon for it (the reason we eat at a lot of the restaurants we do is because she has those coupons - without them, feeding a family of nine can be very expensive).

After a while, we found it; as it turns out, the Courtyard Café is so named because it's in the Courtyard Marriott hotel.  When we got there and went inside, we found out that the restaurant wasn't serving meals at that time or something, so we had to go back to the van.  While my mom looked through her coupons for another restaurant to go to, I used the hotel's Wi-Fi to write the update in my other post.  Meanwhile, my brother got some free 
Starbucks coffees and hot mochas from a Starbucks machine inside the hotel.  :)  By this time, it had started to sprinkle, but since the rain wasn't coming down in torrents, it was ok.  
A short while later, we headed off to a tiny BBQ restaurant called Ole Time Barbecue. 
On the way, we passed by (what I thought was) a sports car dealership called European Performance, where I wanted to stop by and take some photos, but unfortunately for me, there wasn't time.
Ole Time Barbecue didn't stand out very well, and I nearly missed it, but we got inside without any difficulty.  It did start raining slightly as we got there or slightly after, which will affect something I'll tell about later in this post. 

It was very small and certainly not classy-looking, and I wasn't expecting the food to be anything special.
However, I was pleasantly surprised; the food was pretty good.  Hush Puppies were served before we had even ordered anything, and they were pretty tasty.  I chose a hamburger steak, which I was pretty satisfied with.  So don't judge a book by its cover or a restaurant by its size and appearance.
There seemed to be somewhat of a fascination or obsession with pigs (or it was just a design theme) inside the restaurant: a pig with wings, suspended from the ceiling; a piggy bank; and many other pigs were in there...
An amusing sign was above our table:

After eating, I wanted to stop by European Performance, but we didn't want to make my dad wait for us.
My mom wondered if the European Performance owner/s might kick me out of their lot since I wasn't planning on buying anything, but I found out that they won't, because it's not a dealership; it's a service/tuning center for Porsches, BMWs, etc.  So I don't see why they wouldn't want me to photograph the cars they're working on.  That reminds me of another care place I wanted to visit: Underground Racing, in Charlotte.
They tune cars such as Lamborghini Gallardos and give them things like twin turbo kits.
I believe we met with State Fair traffic both on the way there and back (but at least one way) and we had some difficulty getting back, so it took a while; my dad said he'd been waiting for around 45 minutes.  Oops.

We then headed to Ace Hardware.  Helpfully for me, there were flower boxes in front of the store with some very pretty flowers, which had water droplets on them from the shower earlier.
More photos here:
There was free hot chocolate inside, and one of my siblings brought me a cup. :)
Our next and final destination was a portrait studio at a mall called The Picture People.
We were early, so we walked around the mall for a bit and stopped at Radioshack and Gamestop.
My parents say I ruined a lot of the photos the photographer took of our family because I didn't smile well...
They could only choose one because that's how many the certificate/coupon was for.
After seeing the other photos, I agree that some of them look weird since I had a crooked grin, but I think they weren't all bad.  After getting our photos taken, we get ice cream cones at Dairy Queen next-door since the portrait studio gave us free coupons (thanks!).  A sunglasses salesperson let me try on some Oakleys at a stand there, but none of the shades seemed to feel perfect on me (not to mention the price tags that are a little out of my price range).  And after that I think we just drove home.  The end.

Finally, another boring post is ended.  As "Click and Clack, the Tappit Brothers" (also known as Tom and Ray Magliozzi from the NPR radio show, Cartalk) say at the end of each episode, "You've just wasted another perfectly good hour listening to Cartalk."  
I'd have to alter that to be "You've just wasted another perfectly good several minutes reading my blog."  And I don't snort like they do.   

- Max out (it's about time)

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