Now that we are vaccinated, we have occasionally had meals on restaurant patios this summer. One day a few months ago, we drove by a nice-looking restaurant patio at a new hotel in the neighborhood, so I suggested we try it. It was a large patio with plenty of room between tables, and the chefs own another popular restaurant in the area.

When we ate at Punch Bowl, there were only two other parties on the patio, so we felt safe. We had calamari for an appetizer, which was some of the best calamari we’ve ever had. I had pork chop with mashed potatoes, and Allen had fried chicken with beans. It was very freeing to eat at a restaurant and not worry every minute that the outing might kill us.

Vaccines work.

I had heard good things about Casa Verde, so when we were in the neighborhood the other night, we had dinner on the patio. The patio was small, but the tables seemed to be about four feet apart. We went early enough that it was not packed yet.

We had chips and salsa verde for an appetizer and tacos for dinner. Allen had a fried chicken taco and beef taco, and I had a fish taco and beef taco. Everything was great, and the service was lightning fast. We also enjoyed our coconut margarita and rose sangria. I longed to sit and order a second drink like I would in the old days, but I was ready to move on as the patio became more crowded.

It’s hard to believe that today is Labor Day, and the coffee chains are already peddling the pumpkin spice drinks. The summer felt slightly more normal, thanks to the vaccine. I wonder if and when it will feel totally normal.

Back to Labor Day, I recently learned about Frances Perkins and she has been added to my list of sheroes. Read about her here. We have her to thank for Social Security and so many other workers’ benefits!