Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Weekends and holidays are bonding moments for our family. Normally, these are most anticipated times since we are together from the time we wake up till the end of day. I treasure moments like these. It used to be that I still have my own agenda for the weekend but spending more time with my daughter has never given me so much joy. I set aside myself on days that my daughter and I can bond more and enjoy each others' quirks and idiosyncrasies :)

We were apprehensive to go out yesterday because the weather is unpredictable. You wouldn't know if the sun is going to shine already or the rain will cause another flash flood. Flash flood equals heavy traffic. That's what we are avoiding. But then my toe nails are begging for a polish and my daughter needs a trim on her bangs. So late afternoon we headed to our salon which is only a few minutes drive from our home. Vanity ruled.

Trust my daughter to know what she wants with her hair. She wants the sides layered. But she had the same style already a few months back. We agreed to keep her hair straight and just manage the bangs so she will always look fresh, her eyes not covered with bangs. The compromise was set and we were both happy with the result. Just trim the bangs and half an inch of the tips of the hair. I had my own haircut too, an impromptu one since the pedicurist is not yet available. I had it shortened for easier managing. I was glad too with the result. Now mother and daughter are sporting bangs. :)

It's not only with the haircut that my daughter gives her opinion on. Even with the color of my pedicure. It has to suit my age, in her own words, "should be hip for you". So as we pick each bottle, we would say "hip" and "un-hip" if we find the color too boring or too loud. We set aside all the "hip" and from there we agreed on a soft red. I forgot what it's called but it's a cross between mild red and soft pink. Looking at my toe nails now, they are like strawberry-coated candies. I was duped by my daughter! Haha.

After the salon, we went to the mall and had dinner at Gumbo, dine New Orleans style. It's my first time to dine at their The Block, SM City North Edsa branch. I know that there is also a branch at Mall of Asia and it's also from the same company of Burgoo and Sbarro (somebody correct me if I'm mistaken here).

A few things I know about New Orleans - hurricane Katrina devastated the city about two years ago on August. The people love jazz. I remember my book, Bridges of Madison Country where a jazz singer from New Orleans was featured in the story. And this I learned from Bubba Gump, this is where cajuns and creoles originated - a combination of seafood, pork and rice - pungent and peppery.

The restaurant is medium sized but could use more room for moving around since its customers mostly come in large groups as I observed it. I love their circular booth seats. They are very comfortable. There are a lot of books and photo frames which serves as the restaurant's displays. Some tables have labels of street names, from New Orleans I bet.

The food servers and the managers are very attentive. And very much alive. That's how a team should be. Kudos to their training group and their recruitment for hiring pleasant looking people who can deliver good service and has good customer rapport. I love their hats too. They are very fancy, something you see with the food servers of T.G.I.F. Like Bubba Gump, Chilli's and the like, they sing a "happy birthday" song to any guest celebrating his or her birthday. They let the celebrator wear the fancy headdress while they sing away. Superb performance! I did not see but I bet there is a free dessert.

Now the food, they offer bread and olive oil with garlic while you are waiting for your order. It's a good appetizer. We had iced tea and chocolate chip milkshake which according to my daughter tastes good. She had it up to the last drop. We ordered cheezy hotdog sandwich with french fries on the side. Huge.

Their seafood jambalaya is a treat also. There is a choice of original (which is spicy) or mild only. I took the latter since I don't go for too much spice on food. The garlic and shrimp aglio olio can do with some more salt. It was really bland when served to us we have to ask for salt. Everything else is good, like what we told with the food server who approached us and asked how the food is, except for the pasta.

It's a novelty also to hear the kitchen crew's chant before serving jambalaya and gumbo, "Ah, Jambalaya!" or "Gumbo!". I got a little startled when I first heard them but I was amused, and the other customers too, with their energy and hustle movement. The team is having fun and that is great because the customers can feel we are all having a good time.

Therefore the conclusion is Gumbo is worth another trip and another. :)

And it's worthy to say that a full day spent with my daughter - whether at the salon, the mall, the restaurant, or just being at home - whether we argue, we agree, we goof around - is what I love doing the most.

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