Posts Tagged Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
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Viva La Cucina Italiana at the Olive Garden! – By Ingrid Jackson
It had been a few years since I visited the Olive Garden, mainly because the place sparks many memories for me, happy ones of course but now turned a bit melancholic. See, the Olive Garden was one of my best friend’s, Mary Ann Aceste’s favorite restaurants, may she rest in peace. At a height of less than five feet tall, she was a Sicilian from Long Island, New York, with a personality as protective as a mother of all mothers, a mouth like a trucker, an attitude of a 10 feet tall giant and a heart of gold. Ma, as we all called her lovingly, was like a mother to me, my best friend and confidant for almost twenty years and it was precisely to the Olive Garden by her old house here in Las Vegas, that my husband and I went to yesterday. I had forgotten how much fun we always had there. Honestly I had not been back since she passed away.
Even now, as I’m writing I can’t help but to get choked up a bit. As my husband and I walked in the door, we were greeted by the friendly staff. Once seated, Leslie “The Goddess of beautiful Smiles” greeted us with a sample of delicious red wine, and cordially told us that she and Josh would be our servers for the night. We were seated at table 73, they could have seated us anywhere, it is a big place, but table 73 was by some act of God where we got seated. Right across from the table where I last sat with my very best friend in the whole wide world, along with a bunch of other wonderful family members from her side and mine.
I must admit that a few tears did roll down my cheeks last night, my throat got tight and I could not help but to reminisce about my wonderful Sicilian friend and the happy times that we had with la famiglia at this particular Olive garden restaurant.
In the midst of all these emotions, I could not help but to realize that just like at my best friend’s house, here at the Olive Garden, I felt like I was home. Overfed with delicious Italian salads, breads and pasta. But I think that what I enjoyed the most was the home feeling, the alluring atmosphere. Our servers Leslie and Josh were awesome, friendly, courteous, very attentive to our needs and professional while at the same time treating us like family. We could not help but to feel very welcomed!
I know that for some people last night may have been just another night out. For me however, it was a night full of magic, where, while enjoying the present, I traveled through time via the wonderful familiar aromas and friendly people from the Olive Garden. Kinda like revisiting old friends, which is in a way, what I did. Thank you Leslie and Josh for the good food and for your wonderful personalities. Unbeknownst to you, yesterday you both took me on a ride through memory lane and it was amazing. Thank you for the experience