Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay

Posted May 30, 2023, 8:47 a.m. by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay

Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Gravel looked down at her and said “Ok… you win. MUCH cooler than my dad’s grave.” and he chuckled. “I bet he woulda really dug this place.” he said softly as he turned back to look at the nondescripts, gray / tan building. He then looked back at Cara and said “But now… food. I’m starving. Where we goin’?”


“Oh nothin’ can compare ta meetin’ yer dad, Malachite. I’m glad ya enjoyed it,” Cara stretched up and kissed his cheek before moving toward the end of the sidewalk. “There is a food truck ‘convoy’ that picks random places ta meet. Tanight it’s at Beach and Benches park on the bay. It’s supposed ta be a bit of a party. Street performers show up, they light fires, have music. We can get a ride and be there in 10 minutes. Or two blocks down there is a quiet little Italian bistro called Limoncello.”


“I think quiet sounds good. Besides, food trucks HATE me.” and he grinned. “Lemoncello it is. And then… back to the hotel to pack. Sound good?” h3 asked and offered her his arm.

They walked down the two blocks and found the quaint little bistro nestled in between small shops in a dead end side street. The hostess led them to a booth and Gravel wedged himself into one side facing the door. After a bit of adjustment, he made himself comfortable.


Cara settled into the other side of the booth and thanked the hostess as she left the menus. The waitress arrived with a small tray. She set a chilled carafe of icy cold water along with two water goblets on the table and filled both half way. Next she set a loaf of Focaccia bread on the table with two small bread plates and a knife to cut it with. Finally pulling a lighter from her apron pocket she lit the chianti candle holder.

“Welcome to Limoncello. I’m Mariah. If you need anything just ask. Our specials tonight are Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, Mint, and Pecorino. Garlic, oil, and chile embellishes shrimp, lemon, pecorino, almond, and mint. It’s simple and delicious and pairs well with a glass of Verdejo. And our chef’s specialty Creamy Tuscan Sausage Pasta. A savory mix of garlic, cream and parmesan over sausage all served over linguine. It goes very well with our house Tuscan Chianti.”


Gravel scowled slightly at the small plates and half-full water glasses, but he looked at Cara and smiled and then looked at Mariah. “We’ll need a few minutes to look at the menu, but we would like to get some drinks. I’d like three pitcher of iced tea, please.” and he looked at Cara. “Love, what about you?”


When he asked for 3 pitchers of iced tea, Mariah looked puzzled for half a second. Then she seemed to realize how small the glass would be in his hand. She turned to Cara, curious at the endearment but to polite to let it show…much.

Cara grinned, “Lemonade, please.”

“I’ll be right back with those,” Mariah left, disappearing into the back.

Cara reached over and held his hand while she scanned the menu. “What do you think? The ziti sounds good, but so does the stromboli.” Her brows went up and she laughed briefly, “They also have bottomless pasta bowls.”


“Lasagna. I hope she is quick enough to realize that I want the pan.” and he chuckled. He looked at her for a long moment and then said “You tell your sister to call your folks and have them get ready for a wedding.” and he grinned. “I mean, think about it. That’ll the best bridesmaid present you could give her!” and he laughed.


Cara gave him a pained look, but her voice carried a hint of amusement, “What did I do ta make ya want ta torture me? And I have two sisters. If I tell one and not the other, I’m going ta be in deep trouble. I’m warnin’ ya, I tell them now it will be so much worse than me and the glitter.”

Maria came back with three pitchers of ice tea (and was smart enough to realize he didn’t need a glass), a glass of lemonade, a pitcher of ice water, 2 extra loaves of bread and then replaced the small plates with bigger ones and removed his water glass. She also managed to improvise a set of silverware out of serving spoons and forks. She gave them a slightly sheepish smile, “I apologize. I hope this works better. Have you decided or do you need more time?”

“A pan of lasagne and the spaghetti and meatballs, please.” Gravel said.

“I’ll take the stromboli,” Cara grinned at him and looked back at Maria, “The large since this is likely to be my last meal,” and then she laughed. She pulled out a small PaDD and started tapping away at it. After a minute she set the PaDD down. They were in for it now.


If Cara’s comment was curious to Maria, it only showed in a slight flicker of her eyes between them. “One pan of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and a large stromboli. I’ll put these in. If you need anything else let me know.”

“Well…” Gravel said with a grin, “… if it’s our last meal I hope they know how to cook. Nothing worse than going out on an empty stomach.” and he laughed.


She laughed with him. “Oh that would be horrible. An empty stomach? We canna have that. I am pretty sure yer safe though.” Cara looked at him a long moment. “So we’re goin’ ta Mahon Falls ta get married. This week. Tell me Grah-VEL, what else do ya want. What is important ta ya for that day? And donna ya dare say ya get the honey moon so the weddin’s for me. And when are ya gonna tell yer mom?”


Gravel shrugged and said “Honestly, I really don’t care. I mean… all I care is that, at the end, you and I are married. That’s all that matters to me. As for my Ma?” He reached in his pocket and pulled out his commbadge. He tapped it and said =/\= Lieutenant Commandrt Mardusk to Fleet Admiral Mardusk. We’re gettin’ married in Ireland this week. Call Cara for the details. Hope ta see ya there. =/\= and he grinned. “Oh, she’s gonna be so pissed. She’s probably in some meeting with the brass.” and he laughed.


Cara laughed, “She will be somethin’. No sure pissed is the righ’ term.” She grinned wider, “Oh that’s good ya donna care; by the time we get there tamorrow the whole thing’ll be planned for us.” She tore a piece of the bread off and took a bite. The whole thing was amusing until 30 seconds later…

Her combadge went off followed quickly by the mini-PaDD that had started buzzing and chirping as comms got rerouted because her combadge was being used.

=/\=Lt Cmdr Vesna to Lt O’Farrell.” Came Emilia’s voice over the comm. Cara gave Gravel a stern look as she dug her badge out of her pocket. “Report to Star Fleet Medical, immediately.=/\=

Cara snorted, =/\=I’m on vacation and ye might out rank me, but I am certain I have enough favors te call in I can ignore ya Emilia.=/\= Cara looked at the PaDD and slid it to Gravel. Messages all from Ava, her mother, Yoss, and a missed comm that was probably from his mom.

There was amused laughter. =/\=I should tell yer soon ta be husband about those favors. Is it true? Yer not pullin’ my leg are ya? Cause if’n ya are, yer gettin’ married anyway.=/\=

Cara rolled her eyes while grinning. =/\=Yes it’s true…=/\=

=/\=Yoss! We’re leanin’ right now!=/\= and the comms went dead.

“See what you started.” Cara was still chuckling when Maria set the food down on the table.


Gravel shook his head. “Nope. This is all on you. You started chashin’ around the ship, moved in next door… this is all your doing.” he said with a chuckle. He looked at the massive pan of lasagne and huge bowl of pasta and said “Oh, yeah… now this is a lat meal.”


Cara leaned toward him, her gaze warm and playful. “Well some one had ta teach ya how ta properly sweep a girl off ‘er feet.” She laughed, knowing full well the consequences for making such a statement. “I am more than happy ta take the credit if tha’ means it’s you and me tagether.”

She leaned back and looked at the food. “If it’s half as good as it smells, this will be my new favorite place in San Fran.” She cut a piece off and dipped it in the pizza sauce and took a bite.


Gravel nodded and began to cut into the lasagna. “Right? Smells like the food I got when the Ghol stopped at Virsinia XII. HUGE human population, and mostly Italian. Great restaurants.” He took a bite and then grinned. “This is so much better, though.” and he began to eat in earnest.


The food was excellent. Cara’s stromboli was perfection in a pizza crust. These was melted and stringy and the sauce offset the spice of the meats just enough. There wasn’t much talk, the food was good, and the silence comfortable. The quiet was a nice contrast to the enthusiasm of Mike’s last night. Maria kept their drinks full and replaced their bread as necessary.

Cara should not have gotten a large, but it was good and she enjoyed it anyway. She was going to be happily miserable for a couple of hours. “How was everything? You save room for desert?” Maria smiled as she set down another pitcher of tea and glass of lemonade. “Tonight we have a Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisu. Layers of pumpkin-mascarpone custard and gingersnaps brushed with Calvado syrup, served chilled. And then our chef’s own family Torta Della Nonna or “Grandmother’s Cake”. It is a delicate pastry crust with a silky pastry cream with vanilla and lemon zest. Its topped with pine nuts.”

Cara looked at Gravel. She was game to share if he was. “What’da ya think?”


Gravel grinned and said “Bring ‘em both. And tell the Chef I haven’t had better that I can remember, please.” Maria smiled and nodded and then turned and left. Gravel looked at Cara and said “Ok… so what’s next? Judging form the look on your face, I’m gonna say rollercoasters are out.” and he chuckled.


“No, roller coasters might no be a good idea. I haven’t had ta take my meds since we arrived, so that could get…sticky.” Cara thought about it a moment. “Well there are plenty of gardens if ya wanna take a walk. I always wanted ta hear the wave organ. I made no plans after the Audium. What do ya want ta do?”

Maria returned with a 10 in round cake pan, “Torta Della Nonna. It will be a few more minutes for the Tiramisu.”


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