It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Scratch That.

Now that I have had a little coffee, I suddenly became inspired.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year – we are hitting the FALL season. Normally, I would be spending each and every weekend attending festivals: The winery’s grape stomp & harvest festival, the peanut festival, the historic fair, the sunflower jaunts and so much more. Instead, I have time to just be a normal person in an adnormal, COVID-infested world.

Last Friday, I did, indeed, spend an hour outside of City Hall handing out masks to the public. We have this program called, “Mask Up Sumter,” where we make free face masks available to the public. It was hot as hades and of course, I had to stand out there with my mask on. I’m pretty sure I almost died from heat stroke.

The hour went quick with my friends Nichole and Qaijuan, as we had reservations at Floyd’s Pub at the Historic Windsor Hotel. During this pandemic, the hotel has been serving dinner out on the Veranda, which happens to be the second floor of the hotel.

I have to tell you, I felt totally safe. First of all, we had to wear our masks in the hotel, then we were required to use hand sanitizer and our temps were taken before we were shown to our table, which happened to be in a corner with absolutely no diners around us. It was cool enough because there was a fan overhead and the sun was beginning to set.

Since the week was a challenge, we decided to kick things off with a shot of Patron. So glad we did. It took the edge off. You will noticed that all of the drinks are served in a plastic cup.

We had a few laughs and ordered a few drinks. We tried really hard to stay off of the subject of work and instead, discussed cow tipping and road trips!

We teased Qaijuan relentlessly about having a harem following him around. Poor guy, in this female dominated climate.

Floyd’s which is an extension of the reknowned Rosemary & Thyme Restaurant, was featuring a limited menu. Since I was low-carbing, I opted for a bunless Windsor Burger (with no lettuce or tomato,) and a side salad. I also imbibed on a refreshing Cosmo Grey Goose Martini.

The General Manager of the hotel is a friend and he wanted to showcase one of his newest creations. This was a scoop of Guinness infused ice cream with hazelnut liquer and Cafe Campesino coffee. Again, I took 2 small bites and gave the rest to Haley. It was DIVINE and reminded me of a Jamoca Shake at Arby’s. I would have consumed the whole thing, but I am doing so well on my diet, I just couldn’t finish it.

Later on, Qaijuan and Haley left, while Nichole and I moved inside to the bar, where there was only one other couple allowed in, and I grabbed a glass of Rose and our friend, Vic, the General Manager, sat down with us as we discussed business and politics.

The new morning, Tim and I went our separate ways. He went to Preston to help his daughter rip out some drywall as she and her husband prepare to gut and rebuild the house they just purchased. I ended up going with Qaijuan and Haley to my hometown of Macon.

We originally had reservations at the Downtown Grill, but instead, we decided we wanted a little seafood, so we headed out to Lake Tobo.

We took a few pics by the water then stopped by the Fish & Pig, this cool lakeside seafood and BBQ restaurant right next to the marina.

Unfortunately, there was an hour and a half wait, so we started back down the road toward downtown. Thinking we may have messed up canceling out reservations with the DG, we kept driving and I was replaying restaurants in my head. THEN it hit me – The Back Burner.

Oooh.. the Back Burner. Such good vibes are at this Continental Restaurant located at one end of Ingleside Village.

I met the owners of the Back Burner several years ago when they first took over the restaurant. Their names are Julio and Karen Rosas. I was assigned a “love story” to cover of power couples in the community through Macon Magazine. Julio and Karen were one of the couples.

Their love story is such an American Dream story. I literally fell in love with them as I interviewed them. She was a customer at the Tic Toc Room, he was a cook there (and had worked his way up as an immigrant,) and eventually they met and fell in love. Now they own one of the most successful and truly amazing restaurants in the heart of Macon.

I gave the restaurant a call on Saturday night, around 6:15 and asked was there any way they could fit us in. They told us they were very busy, however they made room for us. We got there about 6:30 and again, we felt completely safe. Everyone was masked up and socially distanced.

I ordered a glass of Prosecco, Haley had a Moscow Mule, and Qaijuan had a virgin Champagne. We laughed and chatted as I watched them consume some of the most beautiful crusty bread.

Next up, we ordered appetizers. We had the house-smoked, maple leaf duck breast that was served with a sweet ginger chili sauce and teriyaki glaze; the shrimp mozzarella cakes with a lemon, garlic, dill aioli; and escargot de bourgogne with garlic crustinis.

I ordered the special – Garlic encrusted prime rib in a bowl of auju, served with a homemade horseradish sauce. I skipped on the masked potatoes, but was able to consume the meat and veggies! That steak melted in my mouth!!

Haley ordered the Scottish salmon with lobster risotto, French beans, and Champagne cream sauce.

Qaijuan ordered the New Zealand rack of lamb with mint, ginger aioli.

We were in culinary heaven!

Later on in the evening, Julio came out to our table to thank us for coming in and presented us with three complimentary desserts. OMG…

You guys.

I had to. I just had to.

He presented us with this strawberry cake, a pecan bread pudding, and a peanut butter and jelly pie on a graham cracker crust. We divided the pieces in thirds and sampled.

We made it home with our bellies happy and time well spent.

Yesterday, Tim and I loved on our baby boy all day. We took him out to the farm for a ride on the gator to tempt his senses and give him a little adventure. We even tossed the ball in the backyard. He was being so good! Unfortunately, my MIL is not a fan of my dog, as she is terrified of German Shepherds, so I did not stay there very long. Tim and I took separate cars, so it worked out.

Dorian and I came back and took a nap. Isn’t he a gorgeous boy?

That night, Tim and I pulled some chairs out, got the splash pad going and let Dorian run and catch the ball. He was having the best day ever!

We wrapped the night up with Dorian’s bath, watching Spider Man: Homecoming, and talking with each other.

I started a new book this weekend – The Whiskey Rebels! Stay tuned for the review later.

Honestly folks, I am in such a good place. Even with the daily stressors, I am good. It took a really long time to get here, but man oh man, it was worth the wait!

Published by nicolesdestinationunknown

Tourism Director * Freelance Writer * Southern * Catholic * Crazy Cat Lady * Wonder Women * Coffee Addict * Traveler * Voracious Reader * Cultural Junkie * *GSD Mom*

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