The Great Send-Off

2018 off to an unexpected start with the kind of unexpected, kind of premature passing of Grandma Barnes. This post is an accounting of the weekend, not a tribute to Grandma. I had the tremendous privilege of speaking at her funeral and, should I ever type up what I said, that's the tribute. This is just the account.

It's hard for it to be a sad weekend when we begin with a Friday night family party catered by Cafe Rio, along with family photos and a sorting through of Grandma's jewelry (I eventually inherit myself a cat pin).

After the party at Teresa's a small group of us went to visit Grandma at the funeral home. It helped take the edge off of seeing her at the viewing the next morning. The viewing and funeral and burial were such jam-packed family reunion affairs, the viewing in particular. The room was so crowded with so many people seeing each other for the first time in a long time that I felt a little bad for Grandma over in the corner by her self.

Lots of photos and albums we hadn't seen for a while out on display. (Note certain grandson on display in prominent #1 Grandson location).

The funeral was very sweet and good and I wish I had made more eye contact with the congregants while I spoke. I can't remember what I was looking at, it wasn't my notes, because I nearly didn't use them. And it definitely wasn't the clock, because I'd hate to know how far over my allotted 7 minutes I went. 

After the funeral: Many photos of many different groupings of relations and lunch from the Bombay House. Grandma was a big Bombay House fan and the Bombay House was a big fan of her's. But let us not pretend that it was her absolute favorite restaurant. That was probably Cancun Cafe.

Is Mom...throwing up a gang sign?

After lunch: a drive up to Downey, a lengthy visit to the Flags West truck stop, and a burial in Cambridge.

The After Party: a little visit to the farm (Uncle Greg got stuck in the mud, Becky pet a dog, a few of us talked with a Chemtrails truther) plus time at the farmhouse (no pics, too much party) and dinner at Freddies.

Chicago to New York, New York to Chicago

In November Mom and Dad came out to New York because he had a meeting and that's a good excuse to come to New York. We started out with a late lunch at Emily in the West Village and a visit to Washington Square Park.

Then we took advantage of an unexpected opportunity and caught a quick train down to Princeton to see a BYU basketball game. I'd never been to Princeton but found it to be pretty cool, even if it was dark when we were there and, you know, you see less when it is dark.

The next day we went to the Michelangelo exhibit at the Met in the morning and that night we ate tacos and saw the Play That Goes Wrong. Boy, did that play go wrong!

The next day Mom and I had lunch at Uncle Boon's Sister and then did a little Soho walking. We found Uncle Boon's Sister to be quite good, a fine relative to the excellent Uncle Boon's.

That night we were back in Soho for dinner at Le Coucou, a truly beautiful restaurant. And then Dad and I went up to the Met to see Madame Butterfly. It was a striking production.

The next day was a Saturday, Mom and I did a lot of downtown stuff like seeing the Luis Vuitton exhibit (really), eating at Fuku, and riding the Seaglass carosel. 


Then we rode over to Brooklyn for a visit to the Green-Wood Cemetery, always worth a good explore every few years.

That night we had dinner in Estela. It was superb, just wonderful, I can't believe I had put off going there for so long. It was also too dim for any decent photos. Then, and I still can't believe it happened, we went and saw Cats. I'd never seen it before! We wound up with second row seats and I'm still trying to make heads or tails of what I saw.


The next day was Sunday and we started the day off with lunch at Cosme. It was an absolute home run, hard to believe I almost cancelled the reservation. After church we had dinner at the Dutch and then a nice long West Village walk. Again, too dark for photos. But it was all good. Mom and Dad went back to Chicago the next morning after a good little breakfast at Daily Provisions.

On Thanksgiving Eve Patricia and I went to see the balloons being inflated. The next day we'd have Thanksgiving at Jordan's in Queens.

Here's pictures from a neighborhood walk I took the day or two after Thanksgiving.

Then a few days later I snuck out to Chicago


And grabbed lunch at Johnny's


Before making a surprise appearance that night (along with fellow surprises Kristen and Walker) at Dad's retirement party

The next night we had dinner at Fonda Frontera, a new Rick Bayless restaurant in Wicker Park right by an absolutely beautiful Taco Bell. Fonda Frontera was an absolute home run, I had no idea it would hit so strong with the family.

After dinner we talked Emily into taking us on a tour of the new Mormon church in downtown Chicago. It's a very impressive structure, really puts every Mormon building in Manhattan to shame. 

The next morning we went with Kristen and Walker on a tour of Oak Park area parks. Then we had a little lunch at Mickey's, another classic local spot that I'm not sure how long I hadn't been to.

We went and did some important Western Suburb archeology and then, a few hours later, it was back to New York with me.