Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

We Are Off And Running!

Our 27th Year!

We woke up early to ensure that everything was perfect for the arrival of Diane and Megan, Mary’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter.  It’s our 27th year, and we want to make every visit unique and memorable.

Did You Know?  In 1827 and 1828, the 15-year-old Dickens found work as a junior clerk at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore—but instead of brushing up on legal work to eventually become a lawyer, he voraciously studied the shorthand method of writing developed by Thomas Gurney.  The skill allowed him to begin working as a reporter in the 1830s, covering Parliament and British elections for outlets like the Morning Chronicle.

Vicky beat us there!

Dru and Dr. Bill were the next to show up!  This is Doctor Bill’s second time coming to join us.

Did You Know?  Charles Dickens was a prodigious wordsmith.
Not to be outdone by the likes of William Shakespeare, Dickens was the other British writer known to create words and phrases of his own.  Thank Dickens for words and phrases like butter-fingers, flummox, the creeps, dustbin, ugsome, slangular, and more.

We all gathered outside.

We had seats in Row K, providing a clear view of the entire stage.

In the theater, we were ready to begin!

Ah, girls will be girls!  Nana Mary was happy as a clam to see her granddaughter Megan and spend time with her.   Daughter-in-law Diane is also a joy to be around and fits right in!

Did You Know?  A Christmas Carol was just one of several Christmas-themed stories written by Charles Dickens.  The novella’s full title is A Christmas Carol.  In Prose.  Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.

Grandma and granddaughter.

Amy, Alex, Charlie, and Joe sat beside Franklyn, Theo and Michele.  We had the entire row.

Joe and family.

The play had some quirks this year, and it was enjoyable to figure them out.  Even the boys noticed the differences.  I noticed that Bob Cratchett dropped the coal into the bucket when caught by Scrooge instead of presenting them for inventory or dusting them off.

It was a large cast.

Many of the actors were the same as last year.

Did You Know?  Like many of Dickens’ other works, A Christmas Carol was written as a work of social commentary.  Dickens had a lifelong devotion to helping the underserved due to his own family’s experiences with debtors prison, which forced him to drop out of school as a boy and work at a factory.  As Dickens’ biographer Michael Slater described, the author thought of A Christmas Carol as a way to “help open the hearts of the prosperous and powerful towards the poor and powerless….”

Almost as many of them as there were of us!

We gathered together for a photoshoot.

It is like rounding up cats!

We gathered together under the banner for the traditional group picture.

Quite a gaggle of humanity!

The Duda’s joined us for lunch at Darya.  A fine Persian Cuisine restaurant located at South Coast Plaza Village.  714.557.6600. Repertory.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  714.708.5555 ·

Darya has offered Orange County residents and business professionals authentic Persian gourmet dining at reasonable prices for over two decades.

It starts with an elegant and private mezzanine room.  As you walk up the beautiful formal stairway, you’ll be mesmerized by the room’s beauty.  Your eyes will likely first notice the gorgeously lit chandeliers that bring perfect lighting to set the mood for any occasion.

Eloquent wall-to-wall French doors open to a beautiful balcony overlooking the fine dining area and grand piano.  And there is just enough natural light for that fresh, open-air, cozy feeling.

Did You Know?  The word shiska-bob was first mentioned in a Turkish script of Kyssa-i Yusuf in 1377, which is the oldest known source where this food is mentioned as a food.  It is considered to have originated in Turkey when soldiers used to grill chunks of freshly hunted animals skewed on swords on open-field fires.

What is a shish kebab stick called?  A Skewer!  A skewer is a thin metal or wood stick that holds pieces of food together.  The word may sometimes be used as a metonym to refer to the food served on a skewer, as in “chicken skewers.” Skewers are used while grilling or roasting meats and fish and in other culinary applications.

The Shiskabob was outstanding.

The service was outstanding!

Dining after the show!

Mom gives Megan some pointers about the meal, like “Don’t worry too much if it moves on its own; it was well cooked”.  The Persian appetizers disappear almost instantly.  We had pickled tomatoes and other veggies.  The Persian flatbread and butter was a big hit.

The Shiskabob was outstanding.

Diane got the shishkabob, and it was too much to eat; she will have lunch tomorrow for sure!  The onions and bell peppers were done perfectly.

Amazing Persian soups!

Dessert was gone in a flash!  The Persians have amazing desserts!

Berry dessert!

Hey, it was magic, we were there!

Just us lit up as usual.

It was lovely to have Mary’s family over this afternoon, and they even got to meet Robin, Bob, and Nick!

The family.

Diane picked a bag of greens for her chickens and rabbits.

The rabbit will be fed well this afternoon!

After they left, we had a conversation with Colleen, and she found it funny that her son showed up for dinner as a goat herder! Jon was the one who made it happen, and he did a great job! Just to clarify, the facial hair he was sporting was not real, but it looked very convincing!

Grandson Jon and Sarah go out to dinner.

We went to bed early that evening as it was a busy day!

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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