We wanted to do something festive and Christmasy today, and ended up hitting a home run. Two home runs.
First, we stopped at our fabulous garden shop to spend the check my parents had presented us with as a housewarming gift. Mom wanted me to buy a nice pot for the patio, but she was almost certain the check wouldn't cover the whole cost of whatever we picked out. Surprise, mom! We made a nickel off the deal! Got a nice, big, pretty one, as well as a plant I'll be talking about later this week.
The unexpected treat was that this venerable nursery sets up a Christmas House, filled with decorated trees, gifts to buy, ornaments, you name it. We hadn't known about their tradition since this is our first Christmas in town. Beautiful.
After that we wanted lunch. Chinese? Thai? This city has all the ethnicities covered. But, wait! Stop the car! Sure enough, there was a parking space on the street in front of a beckoning English pub. Would there be food?
Yes. I had a most superb steak, ale and mushroom pie. Seriously. It was better than it had to be. Why don't Americans make this dish? Cranky had a zingy banger sandwich, which he drowned in steak sauce. He drowned his French fries in malt vinegar. He drowned his sorrows in a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale.
I had a glass of Boddington's Pub Ale, first time I've tried it. It struck me as very creamy. Then I came home and Googled for images, and guess what.