My dad celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday. I took the day off to spend with him, but unfortunately ran into a few snags.
The Car Debacle
I had two things I wanted to do this day while I had off, one was a doctors appointment at 11am, and the other was getting my car inspected since PA requires yearly inspections and mine was due this month.
But stupid me did not check to make sure I had an updated registration and updated insurance card in my glove box. After we arrived at the inspection station and they already completed the inspection, they said they could not give me a new inspection sticker without these things.
For some reason I never received a registration renewal from the DMV this year. I didn’t even think about it (but it is now added to MS Money so I will be expecting it as an upcoming bill in August). It had been expired so I had dead tags (fortunately AFTER my speeding ticket last month :x).
The insurance card was my own fault, I had recently received my insurance information (it renewed on Sept 2nd) but just hadn’t put it in my car yet.
So we went back home, searched my office for any semblence of a registration renewal and found nothing. I was debating on either driving on dead tags and mailing in a new registration form off the DMV website, or trying to find someone local to do it today. This was about 9:30am and I had to leave by 10:15 for my doctors appointment. I found a place in Hanover about 15 minutes away that could do it today, so dad and I decided to go ahead and rush over there to do it now and pay the extra $10 for the convenience.
So I got my registration updated, I had already grabbed my insurance card once we got home from the inspection earlier, and we rushed down to Frederick for my doctors appointment at 11am.
After my appointment I told dad we could go wherever he wanted for lunch, so we ate at Mountain Gate family restaurant in Thurmont. I had never been, and he goes regularly with some of the girls from Baughers Fruit Market. It was a nice, quaint, VERY old school country restaurant. It actually reminded me a lot of Baughers restaurant as far as decor. The waitresses were all dressed up in your typical 60’s waitress outfit, and boy were they gossiping. I think we were seated next to their hang-out area, it was amusing.
The food was okay, but we get the buffet and there wasn’t much of a main course there. Chicken and meatloaf were it, so I chose chicken and had some chocolate pudding for dessert (I was starved). Dad stuffed himself, which is his privilege on his birthday.
Then we headed BACK to the car inspection station and I got my shiny new inspection sticker. Now the car is all updated, $74 later.
When we got back home, dad started feeding the animals and I had to rush upstairs to the office because work needed some emergency work done today for a client and I had about 2 hours to spare before dad and I were going to leave for his birthday dinner with his sister.
Through remote desktop I got done the minimum of what we needed for the client and sent it into the project manager for that client to review. I’m sure there will be tweaks for me to do tomorrow and I didn’t have time for any cross-browser compatibility checks so it’s flying blind at this point.
At 4 we went over my Dad’s sister’s house since she lives right down the road from the restaurant we were going to, Hickory Bridge Restaurant.
Let me tell you a little about this restaurant. I’ve never seen such a popular restaurant that was so off the beaten path. I’m talking unpaved roads and an actual -farm- out here in apple country. The restaurant itself is in the barn, and they have cottages for rent, a country store, and a farm museum on the farm as well. It was very serene and peaceful, and I was daydreaming about how I want my ranch to be like this (without the restaurant) eventually.
We were greeted by Ernie (right), who was drinking out of the water fountain as we came to the entrance. My uncle Steve rang the bell at the entrance, which scared the crap out of me.
As we entered the restaurant, you are greeted with very uneven barn flooring. I actually liked it a lot, but it caught me off guard. The decor is very country cottage, with a huge stone fireplace and lots of old farm equipment hanging up everywhere, most of which I recognized from my grandparents farm.
They have an old wagon in the foyer with cider, crackers, and cheese for you to nibble on while you wait to be seated. Apparently reservations are highly recommended because they fill up fast, especially on Saturdays from what I overheard.
We were seated in the lower dining area, pictured middle. Actually I was seated right at that table on the bottom left, looking at this exact wall. Apparently this is my first time to a “family dining” restaurant, because it’s the first time I had ever heard of a restaurant not taking individual orders, but instead bringing out the “meal of the day” in bowls for everyone to share. It was a really neat experience. The meal for that day was chicken and roast beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple fritters, crab imperial, and stewed apples.
For an appetizer they brought fresh baked bread and stewed peaches. I had lemonade for a drink, and for dessert I got a hot fudge sunday.
The food was very good. The chicken was done like my grandmother would have done, not fried, but more rotisserie than anything. Mashed potatoes were perfectly seasoned, I didn’t have to add anything to them, though gravy was available. The stuffing was very good, but did not really taste like stuffing to me. More like buttery seasoned bread, I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. Crab imperial, well crab anything is good so no complaints here. I do kinda wish I had some bread to put it on but hey, it’s crab, it’s still good. Apple fritters were amazing, I ate the most of those I think. The stewed apples tasted like they came straight out of a warm apple pie.
The fresh baked bread and stewed peaches for the appetizer were warm and scrumptious as well.
After we all ate, we had dad open his presents. My Aunt got him some new clothes, which he always desperately needs. And I got him a Lorne Green music CD (the father from the show Bonanza), and the first three volumnes of the Gunsmoke Radio Show that we used to listen to on an old country station when I was little while he would drive me to my mothers house. This was before the tv show ever came out in the late 50’s and 60’s. I put all of them in a new CD case I got him for all of his music as well.
After dinner we went back over my Aunt’s house for a little while and I played some guitar while we sat in the front yard watching the sun set.
So all in all I think he had a good birthday. I wish I didn’t have to deal with the car debacle at the same time, but we got to spend the day together either way.