Friday, June 28, 2013

30 Days of Beauty-Day 28: Outdoor Dining

I love outdoor dining!  There is a beauty to being a part of nature and its elements.  When I was young, we lived in Miami, Florida.  We ate outside a lot of the time, and many restaurants had outdoor dining.  I love that about warm, tropical areas.  There is something invigorating about dining al fresco, enjoying the sunshine, sharing good conversation, and relaxing with friends and family.

Living in Minnesota has made me appreciate this experience even more.  After months of being indoors, I crave being outside for dining.  I know this is true for many other Minnesotans as well.  I meet a friend for lunch every week, and our choices for dining are governed by which restaurants have outdoor dining.  This week we had to eat indoors after my eye appointment.  My dilated eyes couldn't take the sunshine even though I was wearing sunglasses.  It was truly a loss to have to be indoors on such a gorgeous summer day.  I know that she is really a friend since she was willing to forgo the outdoors for me after being cooped up in an office all day!

Many Fridays you will find my husband and me at our neighborhood D'Amico's restaurant.  They have a lovely outdoor dining area with flowers and a fountain.  We know many of the servers and managers since we regularly go there.  We chat about their families and catch up on their lives throughout our evening.  When I was working, we often went there, bought a glass of unlimited wine, and talked about our work week.  It gave me a chance to dump work issues before the weekend so I could relax.  We would sit for hours talking, eating, and drinking.  We would often close the evening with a trip to the Starbucks next door.

Abbey and Cousin Mya
at the fountain
Tyler flirts with Audrey
at the next table
Today we went to D'Amico's with our family.  There were 9 of us.  My sister-in-law and her 2 girls came to visit for the day.  So the 3 of them, my son and his family, and my husband and I went out for dinner.  We had a large table under the umbrellas outdoors.  It was a great time!  My granddaughter loved being with her cousins and throwing pennies (provided by Grandmum) into the fountain.  My grandson flirted with the little girl at the next table.  We all talked, ate, and enjoyed the Minnesota evening.  It was a wonderful, relaxing evening!

Have you found your joy today?

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