Last weekend, we got invited along for Mardi Gras at a social hall near my parents’ house. Initially, I wasn’t gonna go–tickets were kind of expensive for a church function, and the dinner choices were only meat. But turns out my mom has connections and was able to arrange for me to get a vegetarian dinner, so I decided to go ahead and go, and Paul said he’d tag along, too.

So we drove into Uniontown last Saturday and he hung out with a friend for a little bit while I headed to my parents’ house, where my mom had the house to herself for part of the afternoon–except for former coworker Danny taking a look at a leaking hot-water tank. So I pretty much just spent the afternoon hanging out until I had to go pick Paul up, the we headed off to Mardi Gras.

My mom described it to Danny as “like a wedding, except you don’t have to bring a gift,” although I pointed out you have to pay to go instead. But she was pretty much spot-on–sit-down dinner from a local go-to catering company and dancing, with both a DJ and popular local band No Bad Juju. My vegetarian dinner of stuffed shells wasn’t great–something about the cheese didn’t taste great–but everyone else was pleased. In a rare role reversal, I actually finished Paul’s food, as each meal came with mashed potatoes and green beans and he doesn’t like green beans.

I spent most of the night drinking–open bar!–and dancing. One of the funny things I noticed is that it’s like a family tradition for the women in the family to hit the dance floor while the men mostly sit and talk, with the exception of cousin Alison’s new husband Chuck, who did join Alison for a few songs. But Paul, my dad, and my godmother’s husband stayed off the floor, meaning I got nice surprises like coming back to cake waiting for me between band sets.

Also tru to form, I can’t keep up with my mom and aunts twice my age. They have more dance stamina than I do, and I’m genuinely surprised I wasn’t more achey the next day.

Because of the late night and free-flowing alcohol, we spent the night at my parents’ and everyone slept in pretty late. I got Brandon to make us breakfast, and we hung around for a little bit before getting cheaper groceries nearby, dropping off some recycling, then heading home.

The week has brought a lot of work, and this weekend so far has been a lazy one. We went out last night to try a new restaurant in town, President’s Pub, which is a really nice, neat place I really liked. We’ve been watching them fix up the building since the summer–we’d pass it walking to and from the farmers market downtown, and I took notice when they started putting up a really nice stone front, huge wooden doors, and a liquor license. When the weather got colder, we weren’t walking by anymore, but I did try to peek over and see if an opening date was posted. I believe they started with some private events in December, and now they’re fully open for business. We were gonna make it there eventually anyway, but Paul’s tai chi instructor had good things to say, so we headed over. I’m in love with their mac and cheese, with truffle oil and mushrooms, and I also loved their lemonberry mascarpone cake. And I had a very potent Manhattan. I’m looking forward to going back. I have my eye on their grilled cheese and a spinach and goat cheese salad. Our local food scene has been getting really good lately, which is exciting.

As for today, we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I never liked the holiday, and I think Paul’s okay with not making it a big thing. So today is laundry and grocery shopping! Exciting stuff.

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