We rolled into town, got to check into our hotel early, and then headed to Happy Dog, which is our NEW FAVORITEST RESTAURANT ON EARTH. The concept is simple, but amazing. You pick either a $5 1/4 lb hot dog or a veggie dog, and then load on as many toppings as you want, from a list of 50 different toppings:
Then you pick either fries or tater tots for $3 and you can pick from 19 different side sauces to dip from for free, or add any number of extra toppings for an extra $1. BOSS. This place is THE BOMB! Check it out, they have seated DJing, or as the Dotytron called it, "living the dream:"
The danger with Happy Dog is that you can go a little nuts with your toppings, if you're prone to straying from classic combos (ie. Dr. Rei and the Dotytron) and end up with a hot mess. I tended to stick with tried and true variations. The Dotytron messed up one of his dogs by going buck, but for his other one, he went with one from a list of suggested combos (Michael Symon's picks) which sounded weird but tasted awesome: peanut butter, bacon, chopped onion, and Oaxacan red chile and chocolate mole sauce.
The other thing we learned about Cleveland is that this town is SERIOUS about their craft brews. It's a religion down there. The beer list at Happy Dog is also boss. I seriously want to open one, here.
On Saturday this crew walked to a park for the sake of the two cousins, who promptly passed out en route. This is us in front of the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, which we obviously didn't go into because I don't like paying money to see Bono's glasses in a glass cube. I don't know for sure that Bono's glasses are in the collection, but I'm guessing that it's 90% Bono's glasses and 10% guitar picks.
Pretty bad-a** public art in Cleveland. Like this Claes Oldenburg stamp, which we then found out was commissioned by BP oil. Booooooooooooo.
Because we couldn't get enough of Happy Dog, we went there for Saturday lunch with the groom-to-be. Seriously, I can't impress on you enough how much we loved Happy Dog.
Me and the Big Yam, wedding bound
Uncle Rico, upon seeing the Big Yam en route to wedding, exclaimed, "He looks like a model!" LOL!
The wedding was super-fun! So I don't want to brag or nothing, but I basically saved the wedding and someone's life. I saved the wedding when A (the bride) called me over and asked me to distribute programs to all the guests, who had mostly come through a different entrance and missed the stack of them. No big deal, just another day in the life of a wedding-saver. Then, my mom's "date" (her friend A), had a glass of the pineapple punch and because she is a drinking lightweight like me, FAINTED IN MY ARMS while I was talking to them about where we were going to sit. So I helped her onto the floor. It was like a less funny version of the time the Dotytron fainted at Au Pied Du Cochon. A was out for a good minute. It was a little scary. I hope she remembers how I saved her life so that I can call in a favour one day. She better!
Then S-Dawg took A back to her hotel room. S-Dawg's gf didn't come to the wedding, so during the dancing, when people were all coupled off, I asked him, "S, are you sad?" and he said, "A [my mom's friend] is by herself right now! Of course I'm sad! She's alone, she's scared..." LOL!!! Because of course we had to make everything inappropriate by joking about how S undressed A before putting her in bed and took her socks off with his teeth. Hahahaha...I love my inappropriate family.
The two cousins.
Watching the two cousins together all weekend was cute. The Big Yam kept trying to kiss Little Big Cuz and was getting rebuffed all the time. The Big Yam is a pretty sweet kid. If you tell him, "go give so-and-so a hug/kiss" he generally does it. Little Big Cuz was having none of it. Which meant that every time Little Big Cuz had his back turned to the Boobla, the Boobla would walk over and try to sneak a kiss onto his back. So cute!
The Big Yam's daycare provider is seriously his biggest fan. Every time when I drop him off, I give him a kiss and tell him to be a good boy and to listen to J and every day she looks at me like I'm crazy and says, "All the time. He is perfect. He is an angel (except she pronounces it an-hel)." I find it so funny. Today she was telling me how he's so mature (there's another kid there who is exactly 1 month younger than the Big Yam) and how she can set him down at a table to play with the older girls (who are 3) with play dough or sand and how he doesn't ever try to eat it. But the slightly younger kid eats the play dough and sand EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. LOL! So cute! Calling a toddler "mature" is really funny. It's not very cleary from the photo above, but the Boobla's head is about 1 1/2 times the size of Little Big Cuz's. Also really funny.
I'm still getting post-traumatic stress every now and then. For some reason, maybe because he's been growing so much and I love this stage of his life SO HARD right now, I'm realizing how narrowly we dodge a bullet? Every now and then this past week I've been getting flashes of him at the bottom of the stairs. And of him looking up at me from the CT scan table with the neck brace on his neck and looking soooo sad and scared and lost. Worst thing ever.
It is a magical thing watching a being that started off as a two cells rapidly dividing, plant their feet, point at the moon, and say, "moon." The human brain!
Tonight for dinner we had chicken katsu oyako don with brown rice.