Hello from Maryland!
I am visiting my family in the beautiful fall season for my girl's weekend. Every year for the past 7 years? (we're not sure when we started) we've gone on a "shopping trip" to copy our dear friends, the Mahaney girls. However, we have discovered that we prefer to eat rather than to shop. When we first started, we went to the outlet mall down in Virginia called Potomac Mills. We only did that twice. Now, we go to Leesburg, Virginia, nose around in the antique shops (our favorite being the Dutch antique shop called Ekster), and then go to lunch at our favorite girl's weekend spot, called Lightfoot Restaurant (go to the sight if only to hear the great piano music.) We have had the same waiter for 6 years running, but this time we broke our streak... so we had to do without our favorite white haired waitor, Gus. Then we proceed to the outdoor, upscale outlets at Leesburg Premium Outlets, so that we don't suffer from mall-induced suffocation. I know that it's a plot, to get people de-oxygenated in malls, so that their defences and coginitive reasoning are less.
At the end of our day, we stood in line at a Starbucks booth, only to witness a hysterical event. A woman in front of us told her order to the international gentleman at the register; she said, "I'll have a triple skim macchiato". The gentleman got a confused look on his face and so she expounded, "It's three shots with skim foam, like a very dry cappacino". His friend, the barista, a very vocal New Jersey-like accent, piped in and said, "What is that?" She repeated herself. The gentleman then asked her, "What size would you like?" She said, "Its a double tall". He asked her "Would you like a tall?" She finally gave in and said to him that he could put it in whatever cup he would like. Then the barista tried to confirm the order, "That's three shots, right?" She agreed and then the gentleman asked her, "Is that a cappacino?" in order to ring it up. So then the barista and gentleman did their best to add the different components of her drink together to figure out how to ring it up. Then the barista asked this lady if she would like it with whole milk. She said very affectively (without emotion, while we were just dying laughing) "Skim milk". Then, my mom whispered to me "Could I come back there and make it for you?". She finally got her drink and my mom stood up bravely to the counter and said, "I would like the same thing that lady just had but with two shots decaf and one shot regular". Bravo, Mom. Way to have those preferences.
Last night we returned from our shopping expedition across the river, to settle in around the fire as a family for a late dinner. We nixed all the popular restaurants one by one due to family preferences. Then we decided that we should made a classic Thai favorite, since there aren't too many good Thai places around here that we frequent, called pad thai. It was delicious and the company even better.
We got to talking about preferences, which is one of my father's endearing qualities. We told them the coffee story, and then my mom piped in with one of her iniquisitive moments. "I wonder if people use the same stall when they go to the bathroom. I would like to do a study and see if people use the same stall every time." We laughed at her and asked her what the application of this research would prove. Then an anonymous member of my family said, "Of course, because some of the units at work spray. And some of them have the toliet paper on the right, instead of the left." Wow. The world never ceases to suprise us.