We met my parents and brother in Little Rock to drop off our rental and have a tasty dinner at a fun fish restaurant in the River Market, The Flying Fish. I had an oyster po’boy. Bill had the shrimp version along with some gumbo.

Bill had requested certain breakfast items for our trip. In Huntsville we had sausage biscuits. The featured item in El Dorado was breakfast casseroles. Thursday’s offering was a breakfast burrito casserole with scrambled eggs wrapped in tortillas covered in a sour cream green chili sauce and cheese. Yeah. A great way to start the day. Once mom accidentally made it with jalapenos–it was sublime.

To stay on our healthful path, we headed to Sista Sista Sista’s for lunch. We were the last folks in before they closed for lunch at 2:00. Sistas serves up soul food–fried chicken, smothered pork chops, turnip greens, mac n cheese, and hot water cornbread. I picked mashed potatoes and cabbage–two very Irish sides. I have to say the cabbage was better than any I’ve had at a carvery. Sadly it is frequently cooked to death and bland. The Sistas use hot pepper flakes! Bill reveled in his southern roots with black eyed peas and turnip greens. Happily Thursdays are Senior discount day. A good lunch all around. Thursday night Dad cooked some excellent steaks.

Friday’s breakfast included two casseroles: the classic sausage, egg, bread and cheese, and a hash brown casserole. Two of my absolute favorites. And I recall a bit of fruit.

One purpose of our visit was to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday, so on Friday afternoon family and friends gathered together. Unfortunately Mom had to plan her own party, but of course she planned a great spread. Aunt Gay and Zac came in on Thursday night, so Mom had a few helpers.

Our week started out rainy, but we enjoyed some glorious spring days during our trip. Of course, El Dorado is covered with a dusting of pine pollen, like powdered sugar on a beignet. But more allergen, less confection.

Saturday (March 21) Mom and Dad drove us back to Little Rock for our flight to Dublin. This time we had a suitcase full of Robin’s eggs, Reese’s eggs, refried black beans, Better than Boullion, and peanut butter. And black out curtains to fight Ireland’s 4:30 AM sunrises.

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