Whatever those around him choose to call him, today was his special day.
The Big 7-0.
. . .
My family and I, along with my brother and his family, joined my dad for his church's 150 year celebration which, of course, was followed by a massive feeding for the 500+ in attendance. One church service and a stomach full of fried chicken later, we were off to celebrate the birthday boy.
My brother had looked into a winery near Marion, IL which seemed to be a great fit for what we had hoped to accomplish that afternoon and evening. They had food and drinks for everyone and an open area full of bounce houses and playgrounds for the kids.
Except for the fact that the heat index was just over 105 degrees when we arrived.
After letting the kids bounce some sweat out of their pores for a few minutes, we all headed inside to cool off but quickly realized we were going to need to come up with a back-up plan. It was going to be a while before anyone was hungry, it was way too hot for the kids to play outside (i.e., too hot for us to be out there with them), and the 13-and-under crowd was sure to grow restless in a hurry.
The almost-40 crowd may have been getting a little stir crazy, as well.
What came next I couldn't have written better myself as my sister-in-law made a suggestion for dinner:
Something, something, brewery, something, something, burgers.[Sorry, Joli. This is all I needed to hear so it's all that registered in my brain.]
. . .
Off to Du Quion, IL we went for a dinner date with the St. Nicholas Brewing Company.
My friend from college, Susan, is from Du Quoin. You've heard me talk about Susan before. She loves Full House.
But I digress.
The SNBC (not sure if they call it that but I'm going to) was one of the best eating experiences I've had in recent memory -- apart from that Haystack a few weeks ago. Let me summarize as simply as I can.
Beers -- I went with the Cadence Porter. My brother went with a flight of everything.
Whatever. He shared.
Bacon -- an appetizer appropriately named the "Pint of Bacon." Check out my niece looking longingly at the glass of fried meat.
My brother got some mess called the German Burger (Swiss cheese, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, pickles and brown mustard). My niece got the Mac & Cheese Burger (self-explanatory and almost my choice). Amy and Joli both opted for the Morning Glory Burger (egg, guacamole, cheddar cheese and Sriracha aioli). Me and Dad went with the Goat (goat cheese, roasted red pepper and caramelized onion).
I knew it wasn't socially appropriate for me to just smash this burger all over my face. But I kind of wanted to.
It was that good.
Birthday -- of course.
The reason we were all together was to celebrate my dad and together we did just that. Don't let Mason fool you.
I think I said this on Father's Day but I'll repeat myself here.
It's said that a person learns most by example and I've learned from one of the best!
Happy 70th, Dad.