By this point we’re in New Jersey. It was too early for a restaurant and there weren’t any diners nearby. Every place that Tom suggested wasn’t suitable because it was a fast food place. I’m careful about what I eat because my digestive system hasn’t been able to tolerate McDonald’s, Burger King or any place such as that for quite some time. Poor Tom was trying his best to accommodate me but after a while was referring to me as high maintenance. I disagreed and this went on for a bit until I spotted an IHOP and he pulled into the parking lot immediately.
Thankfully, there wasn’t a long wait before we were seated, but here is where it really impacted on me that Tom is such a darling friend. You see, Tom is a pseudo vegan. He’s a vegetarian that has also given up fish and eggs and at sometime plans to give up dairy. The dilemma arose when I instantly knew what I was ordering and Tom was having difficulty because the majority of the food served at IHOP contains eggs. He ended up ordering a salad. Tom is a large 6’3 man sitting next to me at the table with a salad in front of him and I’m 4’10 ½ and I had a breakfast sampler which consisted of two eggs, two sausages, two bacon, two pancakes and hash browns. We had a bit of a chuckle at that.
But it gets better – Tom is Dutch with blue eyes and a full white beard. On Saturday, he wore a Santa hat all day. Everywhere we went he was greeted by people saying “Hi Santa!” and of course, he greeted them back always having witty things to say. When he asked the server for the check, one of the other servers approached him and handed him her Christmas Wish list which he read in front of her and promptly put in his pocket. Children waved at him and he waved back. All I could say while looking so small next to him was that all the other Elves are going to talk because he took me out for the day. He said “Let them”. Yes, he was in full character.
After breakfast we quickly resumed our trip to New Hope without any further demands from me. New Hope was very nice with its quaint shops and artsy feel. When we left New Hope we drove to Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA. I loved Peddler’s Village which at the moment is lit up for Christmas. The mall is set up like a small village and it’s so beautiful especially when it got dark and all the lights from the trees illuminated the whole place. We enjoyed hot apple cider and soft pretzels while sitting at a bench. Passersby greeted Santa and a woman approached him and told him what she wanted for Christmas. But remembering that sitting next to him I look like a little Elf, I made sure to ask her if she had been good because Santa Will check the list.
As we walked through the shops we could hear people who had children with them murmuring “Is that Santa?” and the children trying to get a closer look. At one point and I don’t remember when, there was a woman who had a headband with reindeer antlers. Tom walked up to her and said “Meet me in the roof in ten minutes!” We all laughed.
We had a lot of fun on Saturday. I wonder if he'll do it again next year. If he does, I might join in the fun and wear an Elf's hat.