I have previously mentioned one of my older brothers, thehorsefarmer (yeah, he prefers that over thebeachbiker) and his lovely wife, thebarngoddess (who still loves the beach) moved from Haven Lee Farm up in the Ozarks to sunny historic St. Augustine, Florida last fall. I believe they truly love it there but miss having an extended family around, but not necessarily the resultant chores associated with a farm and all that family.
I did, in fact, ask thehorsefarmer how he likes St. Augustine he mentioned it was nice but other than his job, which he loves, there is nothing really holding him there. My response? "No sh*t horsefarmer, your house has wheels under it!"
Anyway, it sure is nice having them close by and they seem to get down here to the Birthplace of Speed every couple weeks for a visit to the Taj Mahal, a pass thru at Sam Walton's big *ssed store or a trip out to the local flea market they love so much.
So, as always happens when they visit, we tend to gather together for a meal in an attempt by thebarngoddess to fatten up this olelongrooffan.
And usually, it is quite good. For my birthday in 2011, thebarngoddess and I tried a little momnpop mexican restaurant down on Beach Street and the proportions were huge and delicious. This olelongrooffan brought half of the burrito I ordered home and enjoyed it for dinner later that day.
And thebarngoddess inadvertantly left a freaking huge container of spring mix in the fridge at the Taj Mahal and I ate salads every day for a week in an attempt to consume all of it prior to its going bad. (didn't work)
Last spring when they were down visiting prior to moving to the Sunshine State, thebarngoddess insisted I have a sammich while visiting them down at the Daytona KOA.
This was just prior to her cooking up a mess of Ozark beef for thejeepjunkie and I for a delicious home on wheels cooked meal.
Now onto Christmas dinner.
A couple weeks ago, my massive communications system at the Taj Mahal lit up and it was thehorsefarmer asking me to make reservations for Christmas Eve day for dinner for thebarngoddess, thehorsefarmer and this olelongrooffan at a restaurant of my choice. "And longroof," he said, "not at Appleby's or Friday's, make it someplace nice."
Well Counters, if you clicked on that Birthplace of Speed link above, you will have noted in the background of that image is a Bonefish Grill restaurant, conveniently located just a couple blocks south of my Taj Mahal on A1A. Now Bonefish is this olelongrooffan's favorite restaurant, even though it is a chain. Back when I had a real social life, as opposed to the viral one I have these days, I used to frequent Bonefish quite often. Yeah, a trio of appetizers, a couple drinks and a beautiful female companion often made that place very special for this olelongrooffan. But alas, real life has intervened and I had not been to Bonefish in over three years. So, of course this was my restaurant of choice. I warned thehorsefarmer about the prices there and he approved the costs and Bonefish Grill was the home of our Christmas dinner, 2011.
And just to show how much of a newby thehorsefarmer is to the Sunshine State, he called prior to leaving his rolling castle and asked if shorts were acceptable attire at this particular restaurant. I silently chuckled at his question and said yes they are. After all Counters, this is Florida, shorts are acceptable everywhere.
So after spending a few hours with Manuel Labor in the morning (yeah, I have a BikeWeek deadline on that remodel so days off are few and far between for this olelongrooffan), I was
And we did. I am pretty sure they both enjoyed my restaurant of choice as thebarngoddess said the salmon she had was the best she had ever had, and that is saying alot given the restaurants worldwide she has enjoyed. And thehorsefarmer was thrilled Bonefish had traditional Scottish style fish and chips, something he hadn't had since his pub attending days in Scotland while serving our country back in his submarine days in the Navy. This olelongrooffan enjoyed a tilapia filet with pan asian sauce after we had all tasted some of Bonefish's legendary Bang Bang Shrimp. thebarngoddess even disected the shrimp sauce recipe for this olelongrooffan and I'm going to be putting that sauce on d*mn near everything I cook for the next few months!
So, we finished up a lovely, non rushed, leisurely seafood dinner and headed back to the Taj Mahal. Then it was time for Christmas images and thehorsefarmer broke out his trusty Samsung camera that had served them so well over the years.
If you noted the past tense of that previous sentence, you will note thehorsefarmer's Samsung camera failed miserably for the first time ever and no amount of replacement AA batteries sourced from the Taj Mahal would make it operable. But all is good, my trusty el cheapo ebay acquired Polaroid still works well (thanks Bus) and I was able to capture a couple images for all of we Counters to enjoy.
So after those images were gathered, thebarngoddess headed into the Taj Mahal to grab a short snooze while thehorsefarmer and this olelongrooffan headed off to thejeepjunkie's garage to play Santa Claus for that branch of the extended Lee family.
As it turns out, thejeepjunkie, thesungoddess, the Kid and the Kid's sister were nowhere to be found. We erroneously thought they might be enjoying an adventure like this one but they were nowhere to be located.
Well, thehorsefarmer dropped down the chimney (yes, there is a fireplace in thesungoddess's home) and left that gift under their tree and we headed out for points unknown.
As we had left the Taj Mahal and the sleeping beauty just a few moments prior, we decided to head out to that flea market and see if we could get a cool license plate for one of thehorsefarmer's underwater friends. Alas, 4:45 pm on Christmas Eve day is not the most successful time to find the Daytona Farmer's and Flea Market open for business and we left a bit dejected but not totally disappointed. As thehorsefarmer pointed out, "Just another excuse to come down here again."
We then beat it back to the Taj Mahal and thebarngoddess was her usual bright and cheerful self after her power nap and we all bid adieu to each other. They headed back to their castle on wheels in anticipation of a full Christmas day with some old friends up in Jacksonville and this olelongrooffan reflected on yet another wonderful afternoon spent with some of my family.
Hey barngoddess and horsefarmer, thanks for allowing me to spend some holiday time with ya'll, a visit to a great restaurant and a wonderful time.
Oh yeah, what makes this Christmas Dinner Florida Style? Well, it was seafood and we ate dinner at 3 in the afternoon!
Merry Christmas everyone.