Sunday, November 23, 2008

Red Leather Chairs, Soda Store and Chinese Dumplings

After the morning's events, and since we were already in the Grand Old El-Lay Basin (Los Angeles), Dave and I decided to hit a few different places that had been on our T0 Do List for a while.
First stop: Macy's Furniture Clearance Center. Unlike my daughter, who is nesting because she's due with her third baby at ANY MOMENT, I'm nesting too but in the older, Empty Nest Fashion. Which means rearranging all the furniture and declaring that I'm Sick To Death of the way things have been around here for the past twenty years. I mean, we haven't changed the layout of our living room since we plunked down the furniture when we first moved in.

I sat down in this red chair; it swirled around a bit. Then it rocked. We'd seen a rocking chair at a garage sale on our way in this morning. Dave offered to go and get it for me, but this was better. WAAAAAY better. We got up, tried a few more chairs, looked over the bashed and damaged and missing-handled furniture, then went back and sat in the chairs some more. We really liked them.

I called our decorator (Barbara) and she laughed and said we were going more modern and was that okay? Really, a very comfortable chair. Really it was going to be okay. And in the fastest Home Fashion Decision ever of his entire life, Dave said, "Want to get them?" Yep. So we bought them, loaded them in the car and went on the next stop.

Galco's Old World Grocery Store.
I first heard about them on an NPR radio broadcast, and hurriedly scrawled down the name.

Over two-hundred varieties of soda, including this one: Mr. Q. Cumber.

Multiple kinds of root beers, birch beers, sarsaparillas, apple beer, fruit beer, fruit sodas.
Old Timer and Baby Boomer Heaven.

We wheeled a cart around, picking and choosing and choosing some more.

Sometimes I took a photo because I loved the name, like this cola, called Cheerwine Cola.

Leninade--a party in every bottle. Very clever sayings on both side of the bottle.

I think they were advertising the fact that it was made with pure cane sugar. That actually seemed to be rather important. I guess corn syrup's the new villain now.

I'd heard my Dad talk about egg cream soda. Here it is, from the Egg Cream Soda Company.

Dog N' Suds Root Beer.

We weren't interested at all in their beer section, except for the packaging of this one:
"Monty Python's Holy Ale: Tempered over burning witches."

This one's got Moxie.

The next stop, for we were really hungry by now, was the Din Tai Fung Dumpling House. We always get the Juicy Pork/Crab Dumplings and green beans--without MSG. This place is one of our favorites.

Then we stopped at Crate and Barrel for Dave's gifts to his lab assistants and lab rats (the grad students). We went to Victoria Gardens Shopping Center. It was packed--PACKED!! I forgot it was the week before Thanksgiving. After we finished that task, we took a quick look upstairs and saw multiple barrel-type leather chairs--even one in red. (Actually ours are named "Cranberry.") We feel so with it, for at least a year. Then home, driving the freeways in a glorious sunset.

Of course we had to try the sodas. So the first we tried was Mr. Q. Cumber. The owner said it was a really good soda, if you like cucumber. We do. It was really good, and tasted and smelled like fresh cucumbers, but sweet and bubbly. Very refreshing. We'd buy this one again.

So here they are all--everyone we bought, all lined up. We had the Calypso Mandarin Lemonade today with Sunday lunch. Eh. Bland and sweet. Not getting that one again. We tried the A&W Root Beer Float for snacks. Another eh. I thought it tasted like chemicals, but with a root beer undertone. Awfully sweet. No fizziness and it was kind of a grey, root-beery float color, but not extremely appetizing.

I reminded Dave of when we were first in Riverside and we were invited to a department event: a wine-tasting and potluck dinner. I think we were the first non-drinkers they'd had, or something, but we had a "water tasting." Right.

So all the wine bottles were wrapped in foil, as were the water bottles. We were supposed to taste each one, then give a guess as to what it was. I failed miserably, but I knew I wasn't a water snob (or a wine afficiaonado).

However, after our visit to Galco's, I think I could become a root beer snob, for sure.


Cynthia said...

Loved the last picture of the bottles!

charonfamily said...

The chairs are WAY better than what I pictured. Way to go!

Peter Anselmo said...

"Monty Python's Holy Ale: Tempered over burning witches." I'm rolling over here.

I've actually gotten very into root beer tasting lately. Nugget has a dozen different offerings from small companies. My current favorite is "Sparkey's".