I’ve been pouring through pictures on my computer for the past few weeks, and for some reason the album “Lucca Restaurant” just popped out at me today and I’ve looked at the pictures in this album probably a hundred times. Go figure! Maybe I’m hungry for some authentic Italian food. Maybe I’m ready for another Pittsburgh adventure. Maybe I was in the mood for recalling some of my most fond memories. Or maybe it’s because I was thinking about family, kids, and all of the life changes that have taken place over the past two years.
Let’s just say I’m so glad for pictures! They really do make imprints on the heart and mind. I forgot how excited my sister Ruthie and I were to get all primped up to go to Lucca’s Restaurant in the Burgh! WOW! That was a fun night!!!
Our last name is “Lucca”, and we had some crazy notion that we were going to meet up with relatives of ours from Italy! We had talked about visiting this restaurant for two years, until finally Chris said,
“Okay, ladies. Put on your Sunday best. I’m taking you out for a night on the town!”
Let’s just say that Aunt Ruthie was a bit excited to be sitting in “Lucca’s Restaurant” with the special words from Chris, “Order whatever you want. This is your night! Pretend you’re in Italy. The treat is on me!” (This is only one of many of Aunt Ruthie’s famous “kisses” that Chris got that evening. Poor guy! (Italian women tend to get quite emotional and they are not afraid to express their emotions in public!)
This happened to be a five course meal, and along with each course came another bottle of wine. I’m laughing as I’m recalling how this all played out……..Chris ended up calling a friend to drive us around for several hours following the meal. We might be crazy, but we’re not stupid!!!!
This night was so special for a thousand different reasons. For Pete’s sake — this was “LUCCA” Restaurant! Our name. A bit of our history. A bit of nostalgia. A bit of pride. A bit of everything Italian you could think of was part of this magical night! And, we are sisters who are about as polar opposite as you can get, but for this night — by golly we were on the same page. We were enjoying every minute of being at Lucca’s together. Thank you, Chris for making it all happen because heaven knows the two of us would never have maneuvered our way around the streets of Pittsburgh on our own!
The meal was a smashing hit. The food was off-the-charts delicious. We drove the waiter to the point of him needing to take a “break from our table.” Actually, he said he got hit with a terrible headache and had to go rest. (Aunt Ruthie thought he was cute and plastered some of her famous kisses on him, too!)
And, we ran up to the poster of “Lucca, Italy” time and time again to pose for pictures, each time with a different story about how we’d one day go to Italy to track down our relatives. We laughed. We laughed some more. And, we daydreamed. And, the break from real life was wonderful! Gosh, it’s good to just get away from the everyday routine of work, work, and more work and do some super big fantasizing about life!!!
I’ve often wondered if Chris had any fun at all that night. He was in a lovely restaurant with his old mom and his crazy aunt. He took a night out of his hectic life to spend with two sisters who did nothing but yak, yak, yak the entire time. He heard stories that he’s already heard at least fifty times before. He put out a huge hunk of change on that meal. And, he had the honors of being lavished in “Aunt Ruthie’s kisses” for about three solid hours! (Chris deserves a gold medal, doesn’t he?)
Following the super high of the Lucca’s Restaurant escapade, we took in the sights and sounds of Pittsburgh! All I can say is, “Oh, what a night!” B E A U T I F U L!!!
What a drop-dead gorgeous city all lit up in the evening! Every time I look at this picture, it takes my breath away! The bridges, the tall buildings, the high hills illuminated and glowing from every direction. I’ll say it again, “Oh, what a night!”
Chris calls himself a Dimwit , but I think he has it all wrong. He’s a LUCCA! And, he’s one heck of a special Italian son! Thank you, Chris, for the memories!!!! Aunt Ruthie and I still talk about this night and we probably always will. We’ll still be talking about this night when each of us are sitting in the nursing home saying, “Do you remember the night we spent at Lucca’s with Chris?”
A lesson to all kids: Parents grow older and when they do, there’s one thing they crave more than any “thing” in the entire world. That thing is called “spending time with you.” If you’re hard up for an idea for Mother’s Day or a birthday or any day……just give your parent some of your time! There is no greater gift than giving of yourself!!!
From the mouth of an an Italian mama, “Grazie, Christopher! You are the furthest thing from a Dimwit I’ve ever known!”
PS I did get to go to Italy with Chris, and it was the “adventure” of a lifetime! Let’s just say I’ve never been the same since! I guarantee that it truly was seeing Italy from a totally different perspective than in the tour books!