Crazy Week Date Night

Mr. R. worked the schedule from hell last week.  I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been back to work, but as it was, it was terrible.  That’s because all week long he worked from 3:00 to 11:00, arriving home after 11:30 every night.  I, of course, rose at 5:00 every morning to arrive at work around 6:30 and finished up at 3:00 in the afternoon, so we effectively missed each other all week long.  I managed to stay up until he got home most of those nights, but I was the walking dead all the next day. 

All of that to say, we were in no hurry to rush out and go someplace for date night.  We did, however, have some errands to run, including grocery shopping, as we had no food in the house. 

And this brings me to a story I wanted to tell.  Out here in the country, we have two nearby shopping options, the city Publix and the country Publix.  The city Publix is closer in to town and backs up to a kind of froo-froo neighborhood.  People dress nicely and one occasionally sees local dignitaries such as our county Sheriff (they’re just like the rest of us, you know). 

The country Publix is notably different.  For one thing, they sell livestock feed in the pet food aisle.  That’s because out here, people are as likely to have chickens, horses, cows, goats, or pigs as they are to have dogs and cats.  Another difference is that you absolutely do NOT have to dress up to shop there. 

And on weekend nights, the parking lot fills up with local kids who have no other place to hang out.  You see young girls Mr. R. has dubbed ‘Loxahatchee debutantes’ in their Daisy Dukes and cowgirl boots.  And you see young bucks in their pickup trucks who engage in testosterone-fueled pissing contests trying to win the hearts of those scantily camo-clad strumpets.  It’s like the mating rituals of the rare and elusive redneck bird. 

On Saturday, however, we saw something odd even for the country Publix.  There was a woman, possibly in her late 50s or early 60s, decently dressed for that rural grocery mecca.  I first noticed her because she obliviously wandered in front of me as I was looking at a shelf of kidney beans.  Is it just me or is that annoying as all get out?!  Anyway, it seemed that she ended up with us on every aisle.  She would take something off the shelf, look at it for a moment, then put it back and wander further along as if in a fog.  That’s when I noticed that she had no cart.  She wasn’t actually buying anything. 

We beat her around the corner so I hurried to tell Mr. R. before she came into earshot.  We watched as she made her way down that aisle doing the same thing she’d been doing.  She seemed neither happy nor sad.  She was just looking.  I have no idea what that was about.  Mr. R. theorized that she was bored and just had nothing else to do.  I wondered if she had no money to buy anything.  I suppose we could have asked her, but since she seemed content, that seemed like butting into what was none of our business.  So ‘no cart lady’ will remain a mystery.

As for date night?  We enjoyed a beautiful late August afternoon on our back patio.  There were two different colors of roses in bloom.  We considered lighting a pinon wood fire in the chimnea, but ended up watching last week’s episodes from the Breaking Bad Binge on DVR so we’d be ready for tonight.  All in all, not too shabby. 

Next week, however, mama wants to go out.

Date Day Saturday–Priorities, People!

Mr. R. and I had date ‘day’ Saturday rather than date night on Friday.  That’s because on Friday, Mr. R. was feeling a little under the weather.  Why not go out on Saturday night, you ask?  Well, because Sprint Cup racing was in Bristol AND the Dolphins were playing on Saturday night.  Priorities, people!

So we found ourselves out on Saturday afternoon running a few errands and with the general intention of stopping somewhere along the way to celebrate date ‘day’.  After errands, we made a couple of stops to appreciate the beautiful, if hot, afternoon (it is August in South Florida, after all).  We stopped along A1A and went down to the beach to snap a few photos of the amazing blue water.  We progressed to Jupiter Inlet to watch the boats for a while.  Finally, we realized we were ready to find some grub.

After kicking around a few possibilities, Mr. R. took us to one of my absolute favorite places, Guanabanas.  We had considered it last week but passed on it due to inclement weather.  Understand, ALL seating at Guanabanas is outside.  It’s on the Jupiter River on the west side of US 1 in Jupiter.  The place is utterly beautiful, all lush tropical gardens, tiki huts, tables right by the water. But Guanabanas has something else going for it besides its gorgeous setting:  their incredible food.  They use fresh, local ingredients as much as possible.  All their seafood is certified ‘Fresh from Florida.’  They use locally grown produce, and they even source the hot sauce on the tables from Palm Beach Gardens.  That attention to detail is apparent in the flavor of their food.

We chose a high-top table in the bar area, where often they feature live music, ranging from great local musicians to national acts like Natasha Beddingfield and Rob Thomas, although all was quiet on Saturday afternoon.  Be forewarned, if you sit in the bar area, you can only order from the left side of the menu (appetizers, sandwiches, etc.).  If you’d rather have a proper entree, you have to sit in the dining area.  The good news there is that the regular dining tables are next to the water, where in all likelihood you’ll watch kayaks and paddle boards go by as you enjoy the view of the river and mangroves. 

They offer a nice Happy Hour, too, but Mr. R. and I were about an hour early for that.  No matter, I knew what I wanted and promptly ordered the Cat 5, their spin on a traditional hurricane.  It is yummy, delicious, and more importantly on a hot day, marvelously cold.  Mr. R. settled for a Diet Coke. 

Foodwise, we started with the fish dip.  It was absolutely enjoyable, local fresh-caught fish, pureed and mixed with a savory smoky dressing.  For lunch, I ordered the spicy shrimp wrap while Mr. R. had the Cuban sandwich.  My wrap was amazingly tasty, and served with a side salad of mixed greens and their signature vinaigrette.  Mr. R.’s Cuban sandwich (which was delicious, I tasted it) came with Guanabanas’ fresh-made lightly seasoned wavy potato chips. 

We can’t recommend Guanabanas highly enough.  It’s everything I love about a restaurant:  local, beautiful setting, great food, friendly staff.  Next time you want a casual place to eat or have a cocktail, Guanabanas is for you.