It was rush hour, on 17, headed out to Santa Cruz. I figured if she told Carl where I was at, he'd compensate appropriately. And he did!
Getting that SUV through the tight curves of the 17 in the dark in rush hour traffic wasn't that bad for the first 15 minutes or so, as the traffic was so jammed packed it wasn't going anywhere very fast. That was easy. Then, when my ears popped for the first time, things started opening up. I just stayed in the right lane, out of the way of the locals, and did my best. The Exterra's suspension was no worse than a Land Rover's, but the power steering was squishy and I didn't like that at all.
But I made it before 6:15, and Carl had made 6:30 reservations, so we were able to just zoom from Gretchen's house, with aelfsciene, Carl, and I in the SUV. It was very tall, and I'd parked much too close to a truck, so it was hard for everyone to get out. Oops. I offered to repark, but... well, we didn't.
Mobo Sushi was not as packed as we'd feared, but it may well have been because we had reservations. *grin*
It was great to eat sushi and talk with aelfsciene and Carl. aelfsciene is vegetarian and normally doesn't get the kinds of variety Mobo Sushi has for vegetarian sushi. They have an astonishing array of vegetarian makki in gorgeous combinations that made for a very, very Enthusiastic aelfsciene. That was *great*.
I had to have the Sunrise, which is tobiko with quail egg, but it's also wrapped around with tuna. Yum. I also had a Scooter roll, which I think of as an upscale Spider roll (i.e. soft-shell crab with many yummy bits), and this time I tried the Mad Dog roll simply because the idea of katsuo (which was a seared fish not the deep fried pork) with lime and a spicy sauce intrigued me. I enjoyed both, though the latter took a little experience with it before the combination really took for me. But it was excellent.
Carl and I ordered sushi to go for our hosts, and aelfsciene took off for the bead store.
She met us in the Trader Joe's while I waffled over wasabi mayonnaise and wild mushroom risotto. I finally decided not to get them or the whole grain pasta, but I did get another standard mayo along with a lot of very only for the holidays gingerbread cake as well as a pistacho based toffee that I just couldn't by-pass. I also got something for Mr. Dean that I know he'll like, and I figured I'd have nearly no room in my luggage. It was true, too.
When we got back to Gretchen's, aelfsciene gave me a very square two pom-pom hat!! Woo! She had crochetted it for me and it's very funny and soft and when I tilt my head the pom poms flop very well. I gave her a Trader Joe's gift card while in line as she'd given me the easy way out and said she'd like one and needed it for later as well. So I'm glad. Gretchen gave me a French silver tea set! Woah. It is gorgeous. And I had little to return this time around. But I'm sure I'll be able to get something for them later. :-)
We sat and talked and thumped Moose quite happily until fairly late in the evening. We left all at about the same time, as they were tired and we were tired and it was a good time to just zoom.