Thursday, February 23, 2012

Simply Refreshing

You know what's weird about short holiday weeks?  They are ALWAYS the hardest!  It seems like we cram 5 days worth of work and headaches into 4 days.  Not fun. 

Things at work have been extraordinarily stressful lately, and I've been feeling somewhat... heavy hearted.  I really care about my work and find myself personally invested in the people I work with and their stories.  Over the years, I have gotten better about separating myself emotionally from the company's employees and my coworkers, but I am still not completely there.  I see things happening around me at work, and I can't help but take it in, feeling the emotions that others are feeling and simply wishing I could jump in and fix everything.  But I really can't do that, and I know it.

What I needed was to lighten up my week.  I needed to smile and laugh and not think about the stress and chaos for awhile.  Pete makes me smile and laugh daily (which is why I can't wait to come home to see him everyday), but I just needed more.  So when the opportunity came up to have dinner with two of my best girlfriends, I JUMPED (almost out of my seat) at the chance.  I really needed good, old fashioned, gossipy, giggly, girl time!

I met up with Tracy and Katherine tonight at a little mom and pop Italian restaurant called Montauro in West Tampa.  Tracy thought that since it is in the heart of West Tampa, neither Katherine or I would have been there.  She was right.  I tend to avoid West Tampa because everyone there speaks Spanish (so much so that it's like being in another country) and I don't... so I just feel out of place.

After going to Montauro, I'll definitely be returning to West Tampa.  Montauro is a teeny tiny restaurant run by an elderly Italian man and his wife that are right off the boat from the old country.  They speak very little English, but they are the nicest people ever.  They came out several times to check on us and make sure everything was great.  The two servers didn't seem to speak much English either, but they were also incredibly sweet and helpful. 

The menu at Montauro only has 7 items on it.  All items come with a salad and a veal cutlet.  Yes, you read that right.  Your salad comes with a HUGE fried veal cutlet on it, taking up half the plate.
See Exhibit 1...
Holy unhealthiness!

Below is our decimated bread basket.  There were 3 hungry, carb-craving girls at the table, so it's to be expected.
Don't you love the napkin lining the bread basket?  It looks like you're having dinner in someone's home kitchen!

I ordered the stuffed shells, and I left completely stuffed (just as the name suggests).  Here's my plate, after the devouring was done...
Yum yum!

Our  meal was very reasonably priced, so Tracy and I split a cannoli (not on the menu, but it's available if you ask) and it was the!  I highly recommend it.  I didn't get a picture of it because it disappeared from our plate so quickly.  Oops. :)  I thought I was stuffed before that but afterward I was DONE.  Like, put a fork in me.

Tracy, Katherine and I had a great conversation and it's clear that I miss them.  There was a lot of talking, fast and furious, and it was just what I needed as a refresher to this crazy week.  I'll definitely have to make more time to hang out with the girls.  Katherine is moving to Japan to be with her military hubby in a few weeks, so my time is dwindling!  We were talking about making some time to visit the Strawberry Festival in a couple of weeks, so that would be fun if we could make it happen.

I hope you're having a fantabulous week!


Lauren @ A modern day wife's journey said...

Wow that meal looks delish glad you had a nice time away from the stress :-)

Becca Christensen said...

That looks delish. And I honestly could have written this entry...I've been really weighed down with stress lately and I called a girlfriend for an impromptu trip to chilis the other night to take a load off. It helps so much!

Jessica said...

Looks soooooo good!!! You should definitely hit up the Strawberry Festival (like on March 7th and 8th) That's when I'm going!!!

Jamie said...

I love mom and pop restaurants. They are almost always better than the chains!

Meghan said...

I feel that way about my job too sometimes - it's hard NOT to get emotionally invested. But I am glad you had some fun times despite it all!

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I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

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