Paula Deen’s back to say Y’all are in luck! I have another story that is just too good not to share. It will also help to erase any remaining morsels of the last story I told you.

So yesterday, I drove. I drove and drove and drove. And I offered up a prayer to the Lord, in which I said, “Lord, help a sister out. I can’t listen to my iPod playlists any longer and I need to eat something that is perishable.” So God, as God is wont to do, started takin’ care of business. He led me to a) a radio station playing nonstop Christmas music (!!!) and b) a lovely market/restaurant called The String Bean.

When I arrived at The String Bean I had not left the confines of my vehicle for approximately 8 hours. I had an aura of road coma and was hungrier than all of the hungry, hungry hippos combined. But as soon as I stepped out of the van I was entranced by the most beautiful light coming through the trees and was on autopilot documentation mode with camera in hand.

See? It was lovely!

But combining all of these factors resulted in quite a sight to be seen, which led the nice southern gentlemen manning the outdoor tables to approach me and ask, “Ma’am…can I help you?” The emphasis he placed on the word help caused me to wonder what kind of help he thought I was in need of, but I just mumbled something about coming inside in a second.

After photographing the stranger’s house that was cast in this gorgeous fall light, I headed inside to a table. In my yoga pants and North Face fleece. Clearly, I was ready for a night out on the town. Or a night out in any sort of public company. Who should have the misfortune of waiting on what the cat dragged in but my friend from outside. This poor man also had to attend to me as I inhaled my eggplant panini and sweet potato fries as if I was carbo-loading for the apocalypse.

The cherry on top of this shameful showing, however, happened when I was leaving the restaurant. It was dusk and the patio was lit up by strings of hanging lights and it was just so pretty that I couldn’t leave without taking a picture. Since I didn’t feel like walking around to capture all angles of this scene I just used my telephoto lens to zoom in from where I was standing. When stretched to it’s limit, the lens extends a good 10 inches or so. It was nearly at full extension when I clicked a few shots of the patio while standing behind my open car door…and realized that my waiter was standing on the patio, watching me take paparazzi stalker photos of him.

Look, there he goes, literally running in the opposite direction.

I wanted to go back inside and leave him a bigger tip, but I felt that at that point it was probably a better gift to leave the premises as soon as possible. Which I did, laughing all the way. And still laughing now. It just gets me every time.

Oh, man. Good times.