We have been really enjoying our visit to the US and have been very busy. Mostly with eating, shopping and socializing but still busy! Aka get a cuppa and settle in for a bit of a long read.
On Monday Mom, Norm and I went on a mission to find my Mother of the Bride dress for Lily’s wedding. We went to David’s Bridal in the hope they would have something suitable. We did not make an appointment but when we arrived we were greeted by a woman sitting at a little desk who asked what we were looking for and asked us to sign the registry. She assigned an assistant to help me and invited us to browse.
I told the assistant what Lily’s colors and themes are and she took me over to the racks to ask what I had in mind. I told her what style I think suits me and said that I didn’t mind what color it is as long as I like the style. First she showed me some creamy beige colored dresses but I told her that color makes me look like a cadaver. She said she had never heard that and seemed a bit put off. Not everyone gets my sense of humor. She then selected several suitable dresses and took me off to the dressing room.
First I tried on a very on trend floor length dress with a floral skirt and off the shoulder black top. Here is the link if you want to see it on the website but here is a thumbnail image.
I loved this dress but thought it might date as that design is a bit of a trend. As Norm and I attend other formal events I wanted to be able to wear it again.
The next one I tried on was THE one. It is classic, timeless and flattering to my body shape. I am so chuffed that we found it!
Again, here is the link to the dress on their website.
Lily’s robes for her bridesmaids to wear on their hen party weekend arrived in the post this week. I hope they fit all of the girls. I ordered them on Amazon. I also ordered several Christmas presents for the kids from Amazon. I think that if I lived in the US I would never leave my house as you can have almost everything delivered to your doorstep.
After we left the bridal shop we went to a few other stores looking for more Xmas items for the kids and did some other errands. By then it was getting late and I fancied some good ole Southern BBQ so we decided to go to Bailey’s but it was closed on Mondays. We then went to The Home Plate as we were nearby and I knew they served BBQ. We settled in to a booth and the waitress came to take our drinks order and told us they were out of BBQ. Man it was a BBQ hating conspiracy!
Instead I ordered a salad and the chicken strips with mashed potatoes and pinto beans. Good home cooking. I love that place!
My Mom’s kitty, Irie, was so skinny and had such digestive issues when we arrived. He seemed to live on only cat treats and human food and he had diarrhea and vomited almost daily. I had mom buy a rotisserie chicken and stop giving him plates of treats and he is loving his new diet. He has been eating well and his digestive issue seems resolved. He appears to be feeling better and has even put on a bit of weight. Hopefully she continues to nourish him with suitable food and he fattens up even more. He is obsessed with me and follows me everywhere. He is always by my side.
He loves to settle down in my suitcase.
He was Caitlin’s kitten when she lived with Mom and her husband Tom who has since passed away, so maybe he associates me with Caitlin as our voices are similar. Or maybe he just appreciates the chicken!
We had planned to stay home with Mom the next night for NYE but some friends from high school invited us out and FOMO got the best of me. We booked tickets to a NYE event at the Chattanooga Convention Center and pre-dinner at the Marriott in downtown Chattanooga.
We met Karen and Mike in the Marriott bar and then moved to the restaurant at 6pm for dinner at Table South Kitchen and Bar.
David and Crystal arrived as soon as we were shown to our table.
It was so great to see friends I have known for almost 50 years. Between the three couples we have a cumulative sum of over 90 years of marriage.
The girls sat on one end of the table so we could gossip.
The guys sat on the other end because we told them to. 😂 (Refer to the 90 years mentioned above.)
We ordered drinks and then ordered dinner as we didn’t want to be late for the event as it was first come first served regarding tables.
Several of us ordered the pulled pork sandwich with fries so I finally got some BBQ! It was a little bit fatty and needed more sauce but overall was good.
I ordered it with chips which caused much confusion until I remembered that chips are called fries in the US. When we talked about whose ’round’ it was no one understood that either. It can get very confusing.
Mike generously paid the bill for everyone’s dinner which was so sweet. He is a lovely guy. After we finished we headed to the event venue which was packed.
I had been concerned I might be underdressed as I only brought jeans but there were people there wearing all manner of styles. There were a lot of men wearing hats: cowboy hats, trucker caps and a few men who looked Amish in broad rimmed black hats. The big brimmed hat wearing dudes wore black trousers, white shirts, black suspenders and black shoes. Do Amish party? There were men in jeans and men in tuxedos. There were women in formal gowns, cocktail dresses or jeans and about 10 women who had on pleather skin tight trousers. They were horrid and their lady bits must have been gasping for air. It was so hot in that venue!
The band is a very popular local cover band called The Beaters and they were all very old, i.e. about our age. Every song had the dance floor packed. They were very entertaining and we had such a blast.
The venue had provided hats and other party bits and pieces and sometimes we blasted quite literally!
We spotted our other school friend Jackie arriving with a group of friends and she came to hang out with us for a bit.
At midnight we were all on the floor for the balloon drop and a wee snog.
My Mom had dropped us off there and she offered to collect us and she arrived as promised after the event ended. She dropped Karen and Mike at their place just up the road and then we made our way home.
I slept very late on New Years Day but still woke with a banging head.
Norm and I went for a walk in the crisp air which helped to clear our heads and afterwards I sat out on my Mom’s lovely little patio. It’s so peaceful.
After a few aspirin I felt a bit more human.
That night Mom treated us to a meal at The Chop House for NY day dinner. We had a yummy Spinach Queso dip with chips for the table to share and Norm and I each had a house salad. They do a gorgeous blue cheese dressing.
They have a very affordable $14 menu from which Mom and I chose the Prime Rib. We both had a loaded baked potato.
Norm has a bigger appetite and he chose a larger sirloin steak that was on special. He had sweet potato fries.
We had such a laugh being silly and taking pics.
Mom took several pics of us, one was of me while checking for spinach in my teeth and the other was Norm looking half asleep.
We eventually resorted to taking a selfy.
This was one of my favorite restaurants we have gone to, I give it a full 5 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
After we got home we started watching a series called ‘Evil’.
It really resonated with me as I also experience sleep paralysis and have seen some horrid looking spirits while I was paralyzed. I found it fascinating and hope we can find the series when we get back to SA. Mom and Norm were a bit freaked out by it.
Everyone was posting their 10 year challenge photos showing how much they changed in a decade. I decided to play along and trawled through my profile pics back to 2009.
It could be worse.
On Thursday we met some of our friends for lunch at BiBa’s.
We met up with Joy, Evelyn and her husband Bud.
Me, Mom and the beautiful Raven had a lot of giggles.
Norm and Joy’s husband Tim had their manly chat at the end of the table and tried to ignore our nonsense.
We ordered mozzarella sticks and spinach and artichoke dip for the table to share for starters. Their garlic rolls were divine.
Many people had the Fettuccini Alfredo. Joy added prawns to hers.
I had the baked ziti. It was really nice.
We stayed for hours catching up and laughing. I give the venue 3.5 Kitten Stars. This low score is partially due to their bathrooms 🤭. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
We intended to go shopping after lunch but it was pouring rain and it was impossible to see on the highway. After we got home we had a power cut. It was like being back in SA during load shedding! We lit loads of candles and just chatted. Eventually it came back on.
We were all hungry so we ordered loads of starters for the table. We had spring rolls and egg rolls.
We ordered the Wonton Soup: Savory broth, house-made pork wontons, shrimp, chicken. It was refreshing and delicious.
I ordered crab wontons. They were crispy and the crab was fresh and very tasty.
For mains I ordered the Honey Chicken bowl with white rice. I forgot to snap a pic. Oops. The chicken was really good with a light batter but the rice was just normal rice, not sticky rice and there was no sauce on the chicken so the dish was very dry. It was average but the starters were good so I give them 3.5 stars as it was also very expensive for lunch.
After lunch we went to DSW to look for my Mother of the Bride shoes. Mom’s friend Evelyn had given me $50 for Christmas and the exact shoes I wanted were on sale for that exact amount so it was meant to be.
They match the dress and have a low enough heel for me to cope with. Between my hip replacement and my arthritis I cannot manage high heels.
I am so happy!
We went to a few more shops and I finished my Christmas shopping for the kids. We headed home and on the way I started sneezing and by the time we got home I had a full blown cold and felt dreadful.
I still felt terrible this morning when I woke so my Mom insisted I go to the walk in clinic. They saw me within a few minutes wait and they said my blood pressure was very high and my temperature was also high. They examined my ears and throat and determined I have a sinus infection and an ear infection. That explains the sore throat, headache and ear ache. She prescribed an antibiotic and nasal spray and told me to get some probiotics as well. She couldn’t give me a sinus decongestant due to my blood pressure.
My friend Karen messaged to say Mike was also ill and that our barbecue tomorrow was cancelled. Mike also went to the doctor and also has a sinus infection and high blood pressure. We obviously contracted it on NYE.
We had to cancel our dinner with the family tonight as well. There were 15 of us meeting up. I’m so sad and am really feeling sorry for myself.
We fly home on Tuesday so I hope I’m better by then. It’s a horrific enough journey when well, much less when sick!
Meanwhile I’m full of meds and snuggled up in my PJs. I’m forcing myself to rest.
Wish me well for a quick recovery before my flight home.
Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo