Happy 49 Years of Marriage to Mike & Carol Kelley!

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Last night Jason and I met my grandparents for dinner at Green Pastures to celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary.  They drove into town yesterday afternoon, and I happily made accommodations for them at the hotel where I work.  They lived in Austin for a short time during the 1970s and were heartbroken when they left Austin so my grandpa could fulfill a career at Texaco in Houston.  They've always been fond of Austin and come up every few months to check out the city and to see me.  My grandpa was in the military when they lived here, and he once coordinated an event for his military buddies at the fabulous Green Pastures, a french-inspired restaurant that's been a part of south Austin culture since 1864.  They decided that's where they wanted to have their anniversary dinner last year and again this year.  It was a really nice, intimate affair - just the four of us, and the food was sensational.

Now, I don't eat at fancy restaurants often so I'm going to be very descriptive about everything we ate because I am still day-dreaming about it!

We each indulged in a glass (or two) of wine from their extensive wine list.  Before we ordered, they brought out a crostini with a small piece of seared ahi tuna.  For appetizers, we decided on crab cakes with dill cream and lemon caper butter along with the mushroom martini, a variety of sauteed mushrooms with garlic and Vermouth.  Jason, Meme and Papa all chose the tomato basil soup, but I went with a fresh field green salad with a house vinaigrette.  After our salad and soups, the server brought out a little scoop of mango-ginger sorbet on a lemon slice to cleanse our pallets, which was so yummy!  For our main course, Meme and Papa both ordered the Texas Redfish topped with crawfish, sweet corn, spinach, coconut butter and guajillo over sauteed red potatoes.  Jason chose the Espresso Cocoa Ribeye with portabella mushroom, gruyere, pecan green beans, vanilla carrots and garlic butter.  And I went with the Pecan Salmon with Lobster Bread Pudding (!!!), honey carrots, candied jalapenos and herb butter.  Now, that I've made myself hungry once again, I think I'll go heat up my leftover lobster bread pudding!  Mmm mmm mmmm!

But before I do that, I just need to say that I feel so incredibly lucky to have grandparents that are excellent role models for how a marriage should be.  It's not always hearts and kisses - in fact, most of the time it's going to be really hard, but marriage is a commitment that you do not break or give up on when the ceiling starts to cave in.  You cover your head, buckle down and fight through it.  Unless, of course, there is an extreme circumstance.

So, here's to you, Mike and Carol!  I wish you many more years of love and happiness, and I can't wait to celebrate the big 50 with you next year!

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