May 5, 2005
I just realized that it was yesterday. The Fifth of May. To those of you not familiar with this tradition, it is a holiday that originated in Mexico to celebrate a battle in winning their independence that I believe has more significance in the U.S. than it actually does in Mexico. It always seemed like just one more excuse to go eat Mexican food and drink margaritas (although when you live in the Southwest, you don't really need an excuse). I am thinking of Carolina's Mexican Restaurant on Mojave and 12th Street in Phoenix and all the days my friends at work - Margaret or Marc or Liz or Peter - would say "Is it a Carolina's day today?" And those who were "in" would write down their choices for the day, mine would either be a bean and potato burro or their little soft chicken tacos with a side of beans and one or two of us would get in the car and drive around to pick it up. Carolina's is a wonderful little authentic Mexican restaurant. Its ambiance is a jumble of faded orange formica "booths" - where the table is connected to the chair, a rickety screen door and two soda machines. It is evaporative cooled which means no air conditioning so in the hottest summer months you are counting on the fans to cool you. You either call in and pick up (which still means standing in the line at one of the two windows) or you get in line and place your order and wait for your number to be called. Sometimes it's a toss up as to which line is shorter! This was always a fun lunch at work because it meant a bunch of us would eat together in the "kitchen" and the conversations were lively and entertaining. Anyway, I guess I am feeling nostalgic (is that really acceptable after such a short time away?) for this sweet little tradition. I am wondering if Bitsy and George are having a party to celebrate the day. Such wonderful hosts they are it was always a joy to be included on their guest list. OK!! I'm feeling a bit homesick at the moment and missing all of my friends there in Phoenix! So, although I am a day late, let me wish all you in Phoenix a Happy Cinco de Mayo. Have a margarita for me!