Remember the Ben

This last weekend, the Ben came to visit Jesse and I. He flew in late Thursday night, then went to Greek with Jesse on Friday while I went to work for 3 hours. After that, we all went “castle sight-seeing” and ended at Cheddar’s for dinner.

Once Jesse and I had eaten tons of shrimp and Ben lots of steak (grr for fast days!!!) we went on a hunt for beer. Now, this sounds easier than it actually turned out to be, for Irving and its surrounding cities are dry. So, after much driving, we finally found an Alberstons in the middle of Carrollton that understood our plight and gave us alcohol. Back at the apartment, Jesse and Ben smoked cigars and drank beer while I walked on the treadmill and talked to Miss “I-Just-Worked-21-hours” Courtney.

On Saturday morning, Jesse and Ben made a very yummy eggs and bacon breakfast while I slept in. I was feeling the beginnings of some sort of illness coming on, and I figured, what with 75% of my students getting ill, that my time was up. The boys went out to buy more cigars, and came back to smoke and drink by the pool. I FINALLY felt pretty satisfied with the weather, as it was a sunny but not muggy 70 degrees. It made for pleasant relaxation.

Around 5pm we went to Vespers at St. Seraphim, drove around a bit of downtown Dallas, and ended at El Chico where we stuffed our faces with made-at-your-table-guacamole and queso dip. We went home, rented a movie which Jesse and I love called, “Once”, and went to sleep exhausted.

Sunday morning, I was feeling pretty ill, but still went to church with the boys. And man, if I had missed it, I would have been disappointed. It was quite a sight to behold! There had been a conference at St. Seraphim this weekend in preparation for Lent (which starts in 4 weeks! boohoo!!) and so there were tons of people from other churches there along with the normal crowd. Picture a place built for 300 squeezing in over 500!! Good thing everyone stands the entire service (yes, even the homily!). You can fit a lot more people in that way. The whole place reminded me of a herd of elephants, especially when it was time for communion- the normal 3 chalices was upped to 5, with 2 in the back for those who couldn’t even MAKE it to the front. On top of that, His Eminence was presiding over the service, and when he is there it’s always cool, with different singing and all. There were also a lot of famous people there, including one who stood next to Ben the entire time. He turned out to be one of the monks from St. Katherine’s at Mt. Sinai who accompanied all of the icons over to the Getty last spring!

As if we hadn’t overwhelmed Ben enough, we brought him to La Madeleine’s where we actually fit over 16 people around one table! We had our normal crowd- Katie and Noel, Curtis, John, James and Benjamin, but I had also invited our new young people friends Carissa and Photius and their two darling children along with Jenny, Heather and Josh. It was CROWDED!!!

After we finished at La Madeleine’s, we went home to rest. I needed it, especially considering the fact that I had all but completely lost my voice and had a sore throat to match it. We rested in the apartment by reading, and then went and sat by the pool again. As evening started to approach and we gradually came to terms with the fact that Ben was going to be leaving us soon, we decided to give him one final Texas experience- a real Texas barbecue. Dickey’s is wonderful, because on Sat. and Sun. they give you any meat sandwich on their menu with the exception of ribs for only 1.99. They also give you free icecream afterwards:)

Alas, all good things must come to an end. At 7:45, we reluctantly brought Ben back to DFW. With the exception of Mirabelle who even took to hissing at his BACKPACK, we really really enjoyed having him here.

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