What to do for Nila’s birthday outing? Tea and TJ Maxx? Nope, make that an outdoor beer garden and rock ’n roll! And we have the pictures to prove that she partied like a rock star!
An open-air restaurant/brew house in downtown El Segundo, Rock & Brews was the setting for the birthday senora’s recent celebration. R&B has a nice selection of draughts and equally consistent food. Mrs. V. and Irene ordered the Turkey Burger ($10.95); Mr. V had Al’s Asian Spicy Wings ($10.95) and couldn’t stop raving about them; and I went with the more traditional Oktoberfest offering called Rockin Brauts – a brautwurst on a bun with grilled peppers, onions and sauerkraut ($9.95).
To get the festivities rocking and rolling, we all shared the Giant Soft German Pretzel, a hot, buttery piece of appetizer heaven with spicy mustard and/or warm cheese sauce with caramelized onions on the side (a tad pricey at $8.95; $2.95 extra for the side sauce). From the kids’ menu, Troy, Athena and Xander had a cheeseburger and fries, corn dog, and pizza, respectively.
That’s right, bring the kiddies because one of the nicest aspects of the place is the play area, where you can keep an eye on the little ones from your picnic table seating. There are a bunch of TVs throughout the restaurant, making it a great spot to catch your favorite sports broadcast.
Capping things off, our excellent server brought Mrs. V. a complimentary hunk of bread pudding with sliced strawberries that was shared by big and small partiers alike. The three adult Valverdes could hardly contain their excitement being gifted with one of their favorite desserts of all time.
Our annual October overnighter to Bakersfield to visit Kyla & Kevin Beed and their little guy McKay; took the kiddies to a pumpkin patch where they got their faces painted.
Behind our hotel was Bakersfield’s version of San Antonio’s Riverwalk, where the back side of a Mexican restaurant provided the perfect artsy photo opportunity.
For some reason, my hair (or lack thereof) is a running topic of conversation with the kiddies. While assembling three school lunches one morning, I listened to an Algonquin roundtable discussion about how Irene and I look different in the wedding photo they see hanging on our bedroom wall. Their little breakfast chat quickly veered into a thought-provoking analysis about how much less hair I have 14 years later. Faster than a four-year old can say “follicle,” Xander had bounded away from his Cheerios to offer a general overview of my recent haircuts.
X: Your hair gets cut, but it doesn’t really come back.
Me: Well, after you turn 40, it grows but just not as much as before 40 (except if you’re my dad, who at 80 still has a full shock of white Fonzie Fonzarelli-style hair). My bright idea was to give Xander a reasonable far-off age number so he wouldn’t have to freak out about his own hair growing back sufficiently every time he gets a trim.
Yep, there may be less vinyl on this guy’s car roof but the engine is still hitting on all cylinders. That is, the brain is still sharp — still able to tap into its deductive reasoning skills….or perhaps it’s just the sporadic Rogaine applications seeping in…..