Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Restaurant "La Casa De Rios"

Hello World!! I've missed you greatly dear buddies! We have been so sick in the Rios home and busy to boot. Things have slowed down for this week, I think due to all three of us trying to rest and just get over this flu! Shane was almost well, then I noticed his cough getting worse. He also became very lethargic and just looked so hollow eyed and peaked. We finally decided to take him to see a Dr. at the Urgent Care on Sunday, at which time he was diagnosed with bronchitis. Agustin is starting to get some of his mojo back. He has missed out on his jogging for two weeks now and is itching to get back to it. I have only been walking in a hit or miss style lately but hope to remedy that soon. So---how are all of you wonderful people? Have any of your families been hit hard with the flu this winter?
Now, about the title of this post. I wanted to share with y'all how we spent Valentine's Day. Agustin had to work of course. He's in the restaurant business, so Valentine's Day is one of their busiest days of the year. They served more than twice their normal number for supper on February 14th. The day before V-Day, he brought me a dozen beautiful red roses and a sweet card. He also brought a card home for Shane with some chocolates.

Seeing as how Agustin and I weren't going to be able to be together on Thursday, Shane and I concocted a plan for my parents. Wednesday night, driving home from church, I asked Shane if he would like to play HOST and invite Grandma and Grandpa over for a special dinner. We would set everything up as if they were in a classy restaurant. Any of you who know my Shane, know that this role playing and "putting on the dog" is right up his alley! I just about died of laughter when, after I shared my plan with him, he looked over at me from the passenger seat of the car and said, "Yeah I'd like to do that. Besides, Grandpa does need a little help in the romance department!" I swear, that kid is a hoot!

I got on the phone with my dad and told him to respond as though I were asking some questions about the book of Acts and the Apostle Paul. I didn't want mom to get any hints! I ran our plan by him and he agreed he did need some help for Valentine's evening!

The day was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time. Shane and I worked hard all day decorating hand made place mats, prepping food, pulling out the china and special dishes, decorating our back patio by the lake. We strung lights, etc. We chose some very special music to set a romantic mood. Shane made a sign for the front door which read, "Welcome to "La Casa De Rios Restaurant". Oh, and he also asked if I would type up a bill. I'll enclose a photo of it below.

Upon entering, mom and dad saw another sign which read, "Please wait to be Seated". Shane then led them into the front living room, which he called the Lounge. He asked if they would like a before dinner beverage, then served them Diet Coke in my finest goblets! I hid in the kitchen, preparing their appetizers of fresh croissants and fresh butter! Shane kept coming in to me to check for the next step. He then served their appetizers with flair! We tried not to hurry any step of the evening. Mom and Dad were giggling and having a blast! Mom was most pleasantly surprised! Dad had told her a little fib to get her out to our house. He told her that since Agustin had to work late, they were coming to pick Shane and I up to take us to try a new restaurant! Of course when Mom arrived and saw the sign Shane had made for our front door, she realized the surprise was for her!

Moving on now! Shane then asked them if they would mind having their dinner on the patio. He told them the restaurant was really crowded due to it being Valentine's Day. They agreed the patio would be lovely. He led them out the front door and around the side yard to the patio, which I had set with fine china and silver and my vase of red roses. The sun was setting and I had turned on the lights to create that certain ambiance they needed! Then I ran in and hid again. Shane seated them then came in and took out more fresh bread served in a basket. Then he took our ice bucket, which I had filled with ice and bottled water. Shane draped a white napkin over his arm and went out. I eavesdropped behind the patio door blinds. He asked them, "May I interest you in a bottle of our finest water?" They played right along. He poured their water, then came back in and began carrying out the entrees. I had baked chicken and dressing with gravy. I served grilled asparagus on top of the chicken. Then for sides, I served corn and mixed veggies. (broccoli, red peppers, etc.) Shane also bussed their table and served their desserts. I would prepare all the plates, etc. and he would carry it all out to them. That little booger worked hard! For dessert I dished yogurt into a goblet, topped it with fresh cantaloupe, a spoonful of Cool Whip and sprinkled some walnuts on top. I made coffee for them. Shane asked if they would like to sit a spell and sip their coffee while watching the sun go down over the lake. We had some Christian love songs by Steve and Annie Chapman playing outside also. Finally, Shane suggested they move to the "theatre" to view the night's movie. When they came in, I finally greeted them for the first time that evening. I had stayed hidden to help maintain the ambiance of a fine restaurant. I mean, they couldn't be allowed to see "the help" sweating and running around cooking up a storm now could they???

We watched a sweet movie called, "The Game Plan", which stars Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. "THE ROCK". He lived in the Tampa area for awhile when he was younger. We have friends who were his neighbors for many years and he still keeps in touch with them often. They say fame hasn't gone to his head! That's always nice to hear!

It was a splendid night and oh so much fun. Mom and Dad were the happiest I've seen them in awhile and just couldn't say enough good things about their evening. I was told that they couldn't get Shane to come out of character at all. He wasn't Shane at all but a wonderful mature host!

Shane and I had a good discussion about serving others. Having someone over made our night wonderful! We could have sat home and done nothing. I could have moped around missing my hubby on that special evening, but I'm glad we chose to do the better thing. It was a great learning experience for Shane. He learned through playing! I was so proud of him.

Now enjoy some photos from the evening! As always, you may click to enlarge any photo!

Shane "patiently" awaiting the arrival of his customers!

Enjoying appetizers in the Lounge!

Place mat made by Shane!

Dinner is served!

These two are known for "making the bear growl"! (Shane always growls like a bear when his grandpa hugs him.)

Dessert is served!

Close up of dessert!

The best tip ever (Notice what Shane is holding in his hands!)
Shane's list of Reservations!


The Menu at "La Casa De Rios"

From Shane's order pad!

Sign at Entrance!

Mom was wearing this aged pin on her lapel. She bought it back when she and dad started dating. She was 16 years old at the time. The background is supposed to be white, but you can tell it has yellowed over the years.

Roses from my honey!


Penless Thoughts said...

What a sweet, fun time for all of you and a blessing to your parents.

Rebecca said...

How fun! What a cutie Shane is turning out to be! One question. Who are Gary and Annie Chapman? I know Steve and Annie Chapman and like them a lot but have never heard of Gary and Annie.

Rebecca said...

I'm glad that you all are feeling better.

Webutante said...

So glad you had this wonderful time together, Pam! Please take care of your health.


Dear Pam, so glad you are all feeling better.

Sounds like you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and I am postive that your Dad and Mom did. Shane not to mention yourself did a wonderful thing for your parents. I am sure that they will be talking about this good time for a long time to come. The memory will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Love you, connie from Texas

P.s. your roses were beautiful!!!

Pam said...

oops Rebecca! I meant Steve and Annie!! Silly ol' me! I'll go back into my post and edit it right now!

Mrs. C said...

Oh, Pam, what a sweet, sweet way to bless others on Valentine's Day! I'm sure your parents will treasure that evening as one of their most memorable Valentine's ever. :)

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

What a wonderful time!

We have been lucky so far and have not had any major illnesses yet this year....knock on wood. Sure glad to hear that you are doing better.

Jodi said...

I smiled the whole time I read this post! Loving families are a beautiful thing. :o)

Free In Christ said...

How fun! What a grand idea. I remember when my oldest was younger, he would play restaurant. Thanks for sharing.

Pat said...

Shane is adorable (and so is his Mom behind the scene---) I know your parents must have LOVED every minute of it....such thoughtfulness to make a special memory for them!! I love all the details---Shane is one coniving young man (and he sure did look handsome!!)LOL

I love Steve and Annie---I will have to borrow them to record!!

Glad you are on the upswing, friend;stay inside with this cold snap---the wind is brutal!!!

Lov en hugs! Tell Mr. Shane I hope he is well again real soon, too!!

Jungle Mom said...

Pam, you always decorate so beautifully!!!

Abouna said...

That was a hoot. Sounds like it was great fun. God bless you all.

justabeachkat said...

What a wonderful thing to do for your parents!!!!!!!! And how fun for Shane. What a learning experience for him too.

You are such a thoughtful and creative person.


Mimi said...

enjoyed reading about your wonderful surprise for your parents...
and such a good lesson in giving for
both Shane and your parents will remember this for many years...
you will really have to work hard to top this for next year!!!

Jackie said...

how sweet! Thanks for posting this! We missed you here in blog world! The picture of Shane waiting at the windwo is soooo cute, it looks professional. Hmmm...I'm thinking printed in black and white, with a frame...

Heather's Brain said...

how wonderfully sweet al of this was! I read this to my middle son. I think it would be great fro us to do something like this for their grandparents too. Anniversary is coming....

Janie said...

Oh how sweet!!!! The pictures are priceless and you really made thier night special!

I am sorry about the flu! Hope you are continuing to feel better!

Baptist Girl said...

You are a real special family! A family to be proud of Pam.


Ma Kettle said...

How Fun! Pam ~so cute!

Love how sweet your little man is!

Oh and I combined all my spur blogs(4) on Double Nickel for my personal life...but Pen of Jen is still for me to opine.

Have a wonderful day.