How Chelsea Got Her Groove Back

Yesterday was a good day.

I came home from work a little later than usual due to my yearly performance review, which was as stellar as ever. It was absolutely beautiful, perfect Chel weather: bright and sunny, green grass, birds chirping. It is amazing how good weather boosts my spirits. I wish I could bottle it and keep it throughout the winter for a little pick-me-up.

As soon as I got home, I threw on some exercise clothes, grabbed my Ipod and headed to my trail for a good run. I consider it “my trail” since I’ve used it so many times in the last few years–it’s a great one! I don’t mind sharing it with others, though. Just not too many…

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I walked for a little bit to warm up my legs, then decided I had to at least bust out a mile to match yesterday’s. My legs were a little bit stiff and sore and my Ipod wasn’t working (Itunes hates me), so I enjoyed the trees and the time to think. I passed a few other travelers, mostly elderly people walking their dogs and a few parents bike riding with their children. After I passed the one mile mark, I also passed another runner, and it is a major faux pas to stop to walk when you are passing another runner so I kept going until I hit 1.3.

I walked for a few minutes, then did my “run til you’re tired, walk til you’re bored” trick to finish out three miles. I couldn’t help smiling as I walked back to my car. I felt like I got my groove back.

My family and I planned an impromptu dinner out, so I got ready, and we headed to Pasquale’s, a Chicago-Style Italian Restaurant.

003According to one of the women who works there “The food is really good, the service is mediocre.” I’ve been to Pasquale’s a few times before and always enjoyed it, so I had no qualms. I prefer stretching out dinner to enjoy the experience rather than eating as fast as I can and being shoved out quickly to turn over the table. One of the many reasons I prefer not to eat at chain restaurants.

There is only one large table at Pasquale’s so we sat at the bar until it opened up. I ordered an oatmeal stout beer to enjoy while we waited.

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Mmm…I love a good stout. This beer was really dark and flavorful, exactly what I was in the mood for.

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And good company! None of our significant others could make it at first, so it was nice just hanging out with my family for a little while. The big table was clearly enjoying their meal, so I ordered another beer at the bar. The waitress recommended “Dirty Bastard” to me.

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It had more of a bite than the stout, but it was also a little creamier. As soon as we finished our second drinks, the table opened up and the rest of our party joined us. Perfect timing!

I planned on having a salad for dinner, so I ordered some fried pickles to share with the table (80/20 philosophy!).

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I ended up eating most of them myself…they were really good. They had a bit of a spicy kick to them, which was unexpected, but nice.

Given the weather, I was in the mood for something light, so I ordered “The Greek,”, which was “greek olives, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, and Feta cheese on a bed of romaine lettuce with our Greek oil dressing.”

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Basically my perfect salad. I only added a little bit of the dressing before diving in. Simple, but delicious.

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It was served with crunchy, buttery garlic bread points as well. This is probably the best dinner salad I’ve had anywhere for the price: $7.50. A lot of times dinner salads t restaurants aren’t enough to fill me up, but this one was perfect. Unfortunately, even though I was very happy with my meal, there were a few disappointments: my mom ordered blue crab ravioli and was served squash ravioli, the waitress forgot to bring out a few things, and my dad said his sandwich didn’t have “a whole lot of love put into it” (aka, very bland).

Still, the experience was nice, and it was wonderful hanging out with the fam. We debated going out for a few drinks, but we have another dinner out planned tonight so we decided to wait. I went home to my Davy (who had to work late), ate some mint cookie crunch ice cream, and fell asleep on the couch watching Arrested Development.

 

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