1. During my handful of trips out to the clinic where I see my primary care doctor, I often stop off for a coffee at Starbucks at the Centre at Laurel. Around the corner from Starbucks is Pho Saigon. I had never been to the Centre at Laurel at lunchtime -- until today. I had deposited our tax refund checks at the shared branch I go to in north Beltsville and the Laurel Centre is just a ways up from this credit union, so I had lunch at Pho Saigon today. To start, I ordered two tasty Cha Gio, crispy, deep fried egg rolls packed with shrimp, vegetables, and chicken, served with a fish sauce with grated carrots floating in it. I was off to a solid start. Then I dove into a most satisfying and hearty large bowl of Pho Ga Thap Cam, pho featuring large chunks of both dark and light chicken meat in a light, deep, clove-y broth, and a generous wad of rice noodles. I loaded up my soup with the bean sprouts, fresh squeezed lime juice, jalapeno pepper slices, and fresh basil leaves that were served on a garnish plate and slowly enjoyed the great variety of flavors and warming richness of this soup.
2. It's taken us several months to decide (what's the rush? Right?) but the Deke and I have decided to furnish the second bedroom of our apartment home with a couple of twin beds the grandchildren can sleep in -- as well as any other visitors we might have. I drove straight down Baltimore Avenue after eating my soup to IKEA and my jaw nearly dropped as I entered the parking lot. It was full of empty spaces. I'd never seen this sight at the College Park IKEA before. I slipped between two cashier lines to get to the warehouse part of the store, rather than navigate the labyrinth of the marketplace, and found the bed frames I wanted without much hassle. When I returned home, I decided I could carry the boxes inside on my own and got that done. All that's left is assembling them. It's at this point, well, I vanish.
3. All the driving around, taking care of things, left me bushed at the end of the day and so when the Deke agreed that a bowl of spaghetti would be a great dinner, I was happy that I'd be fixing such an easy meal.