not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Food+ Family+ Twilight+ iPhone+ Bon Iver = HUP

SO. Here we are at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Today was supposed to be my first day of my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in Dharamsala, INDIA. Instead, I'm here in Philadelphia. Despite being a bit bummed about missing out on some delicious Curries, this is where I should be. Dad's in the operating room with Dr.O'Rourke and his ammmazing team. There's a slew of us in the family waiting room - we've completely taken over. Go figure, the Callahan's taking over a room?! HA. I'm going to go ahead and start the story from the beginning....
It all began on Saturday night. We ate some leftovers and hung out on the couch. Nellie {one of my Dad's 7 sisters} came over around 8pm with her bags packed: the first two Twilight novels I lent to her, and some DVD's {Twilight, Twilight New Moon, and Remember Me - a flick guessed it...ROBERT PATTINSON!}. Mom and Dad retired to bed early, and then Nell and I stayed up to watch Remember Me. Well, Pattinson is one sexy man! The movie was pretty good, up until the ending - which caught me off guard and left me upset. Nellie went to bed, but I stayed up to watch...yep, TWILIGHT. I think that I could quite possibly watch it every day for the rest of my life and never get bored with it. Fantasyland. My happy place. Anyways, I retired to bed around 2am. Up at 7am and on the road by 8. We arrived at HUP by 9:30am. Nellie and I dropped my parents at the hospital and then her and I navigated our way to Penn Tower, where we'd be camping out for the next few days. Well, after years working in the corporate world - Nellie is a PROFESSIONAL when it comes to hotels. After she was done at the front desk we had the best rooms, connected so we can walk back and forth from one room to the other, along with a refridgerator and microwave- at no extra cost. We were both exhausted and wanted to take a nap, but alas - how can you sleep when there is Twilight to be read?! Nellie's about half way through the first novel, and after I finish up Meyer's short Twilight spin-off "Bree Tanner" then I'm going to reread the series. So no - we didn't get the rest we needed. Dad finished with his MRI around 1pm, and then Susan + Iggie met up with us for some brunch. We all went to the White Dog, and it was goddamn delicious. This is my theory: I'm on vacation. If I can't be in India or anywhere else abroad, well then damnit I'm celebrating every day no matter where I am. I vowed to take advantage of Philly's amazing selection of bars + restaurants....pledging to eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and drink. Boom. My brunch at the White Dog started out with a pint of a local Octoberfest. MmmMm. This was followed up by the most lip-smackingly-scrumptious Spicy Lamb Bolegnese and a bloodmary. Happy Sunday to me! Dad and Nell had pancakes, Iggie had mussels and fries, Suzie had Crab Benedict and Ma had a smoked ham panini. The patients {that'd be Nell and Dad...Nellie has MS and gets easily rundown} and Mom were beat so they headed back to the hotel room to rest. Well - I'm on vacation, and Susan + Ig were just getting started, so we said farewell then walked to the pub next door for a few pints. Several pints and an order of Curry Fries later we rolled out of the beer and rolled back to the hospital. Despite being full, I was already scheming our dinner. One of my favorite places in Philly is the Belgium Cafe. Not only do they have a great selection of beer - but their mussels with pomme frites are out of this world. Turns out that the Belgium Cafe is owned by MONKS...which was only a short cab ride away. Hooray! We rested up, digested, showered, read Twilight, and then all hopped a cab to Monks! Everything we ate was absolutely outstanding. I had Monk's Mussels that comes with pomme frites - my usual. It's $9.95, an absolute deal for the quality and quantity that you get. Nell had mussels too, but hers were done in a broth with Grueyre cheese, apples and garlic. So delicious! Dad had local, free range roasted chicken, served with string beans and fingerling potatoes {$15} and Mom got the most impressive Charcuterie plate that I have EVER seen {for $12!!}. This was an outgrageously generous spread of fresh raspberries, grapes, bread, several cheeses (huge chunks!), cured sausages, Rabbit terrein, and some fabulous spicy mustard. Gordon - you would die for this! Dad was feeling good and on fire - telling some hysterical stories. I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face. Him and Nellie are only 10 months apart - so stories of their childhood really crack me up...the trouble, the meals, the chaos of living with a family that large. Oh me, oh my. And speaking of that large family - they are all here. Yep. Here. In the hospital. In the waiting room. I feel sympathy towards the people who are also sitting here waiting for their family members - because we have taken over. We are loud and semi-obnoxious, but we mean well. Ha. Two of Dad's sisters are here: Nellie and Megan {along with her husband, Peter}, his brother Michael is here {with his son Christopher}, Nana + PopPop, me and Mom. Well, I guess that we aren't ALL here...but there's more on the way....

This morning when they wheeled him away and we had to say goodbye I started to fall apart a bit. I've been trying to be strong - lord knows that my mother has carried this burden since day one - being strong enough for all of us. BUT, I just couldn't keep it together any longer. For those of you who know me, then you understand how I process things. For those that think I'm just "Ha Ha Ha - eat and drink, wooohooo!", don't be fooled - this is how I deal with things. Weird, I know - but it's what I know. So, with the help from some delicious food + delicious beer, Twilight, Bon Iver, and my iPhone for finding some awesome eats {thanks Urbanspoon!}...well, it's going to be okay. With all my family here, it's going to be okay. With all of the prayers coming from all of you all over the world, it's going to be okay. I just have a feeling. A good feeling. It's all going to be okay.
And on that note....

we're going to be having Korean food for lunch from KOREANA. It's next to a strip club, it's divey, and it's delicious! A Philadelphia version of my favorite NYC eats, Vanessa's Dumpling House! I'm going to get the Jam Bong and the BiBim Bop!

Mom and the tired patient.

Me + Dad.

The lovebirds.

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