Friday, March 01, 2013

Hot Dogs and Fries c/o Ernie's Texas Lunch

Once I had eaten, I checked into the same hotel our family has predominantly stayed in ever since Helen's house was sold. This hotel, Quality Inn at General Lee's Headquarters (known by us and for all time as "Larson's"), holds almost as many memories at Helen's house. Even after her death, we'd still manage to meet up there about once a year, usually around Christmas. For a while now we haven't really done Christmas in Gettysburg, which is fine by me - it's COLD, but we still manage to get together about once a year or so. My mother's brother, Uncle E., could certainly be described as a creature of habit...which I think he very much gets from his father. And if you've been a long-time reader of this blog, you will not be surprised by the meals we enjoyed over the next few days. In any case. First I checked in. Then I went to the Appalachian Brewing Company restaurant, which is part of the hotel, and enjoyed myself a delicious stout while waiting for the rest of the folks to come in. Seriously good beer. If you have the chance, definitely check their line of beers out. Soon enough K. and A. and M. and A. and K. and I. all appeared and those of us of age enjoyed beers and a quick catch-up before further regrouping. Then we walked to Ernie's Texas Lunch, which like pretty much everything else in Gettysburg is steeped in my mother's family memories and lore. When my grandfather attended Gettysburg College, he ate there. When my mother and uncle were growing up and they'd visit the Fairfield relatives, they'd eat there. When my uncle went to Gettysburg College, he ate there. When my cousins and I were growing up and meeting up, know...we ate there. And since I returned to the lower east coast after grad school, that tradition has most certainly continued. It was not terribly warm or pleasant, but given our diet for the next 48 hours, a walk did us all good. Little I. was not so keen on walking.
The kids didn't skip a beat once we were inside, lining themselves up at the counter while we took over the large table in the back, which for so so so many generations has had my family members gathered around it.
Fries on this day were hot but could have been a little crispier. You'll note that pretty much everyone not under the age of 12 chose lager for their beverage.
I have learned that I don't really love the full nine yards Texas dog, which comes with chili and heaps of onions. So I got two dogs just with mustard. Still nicely cooked. I think the slightly charred skin is my favorite part.
The staff is really nice, both front of house and back of house. One of the cooks came out and first asked the adults if it was ok to give the kids lollipops, and once given the 'ok' kindly doled them out. I. was quite pleased with hers.
And then I'm not sure exactly what this was about. But she's got pretty cool kicks.
And K. wanted me to take a photograph of this because he was 'a bridge' and he most certainly was. When K.-the OC (original cousin, there are a lot of abbreviated names starting with the same letters) and I were little (and, really, even in the last five years) we enjoyed jumping back and forth from bed to bed in the hotel's rooms. Now with this new generation of actual young people, we are most certainly bad influences...I didn't take any photographs of it, but all four kids, K. and I all jumped vigorously on the beds while the 'grown ups' were still on their way back.
And then, as we have done for as long as I can remember, we gathered around a table and played some cards. Hearts first for the older set, then UNO with the younger. Though I hadn't played hearts in some time, I did quite well. Actually, I think I did better than I ever did when I played it a lot back in the Chicago/France days.

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