Belly Up To The Bar

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Today is the 5th of May—Cinco de Mayo. During our April vacation in California, we enjoyed lots (and lots!) of authentic Mexican food. One of our favorite restaurants is Old Town Mexican Café and Cantina. It’s the “Home of the original Handmade Tortilla Makers.” Simply delicious!

While waiting for your meal you can watch tortillas being made—by hand. You can also admire the colorful bar stools and and embarrass your husband during the busy lunch hour by crawling on the floor to snag a pretty cool photo.

Belly up to the bar” means to move near something. However, when looking up the etymology, I found all sorts of interesting information. I especially enjoyed this improbable meaning that was said to be given by a tour guide at an old Lexington tavern:

“The origin of ‘belly up to the bar’ goes back to Colonial times. If your belly could reach the bar, you were old enough to drink.”

What are you belly-ing up to?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

27 thoughts on “Belly Up To The Bar

  1. But if you drink enough, your belly will grow to the extent that you can no longer reach the bar. Some kind of self limiting mechanism perhaps.
    Or perhaps after enough drinks you’ll experience another meaning of belly up to the bar – because you’ll be on your back.
    Food sounds good.

    • PaulOh lawdy, lawdy…I hope I never view the bottom of a bar because I’ve had too much. Fortunately, I almost always volunteer to be the designated driver 🙂

  2. Love the bar stool photograph Laurie. It is another winner in your collection of images.

    I am bellying up to statistics and research for Mayne Island Housing Options. Besides my full-time creative efforts, I am chair of our local task force and have volunteered my time on a team to review what land use and policies we have and what might need over the next 20 years. We are now in the process of reviewing our research findings, placing them in context and beginning to draft recommendations. I do not want to lose my perch and fall off the bar stool on this one, no matter how colourful it may be.

  3. Mostly to be as authentic and as kind as possible,at times there ia conflict.I sense another meaning to this belly-up move-when you fall down dont cringe,just get up and face facts or reality!
    Great post for this special day.

    • Roamer – What you said makes me think of part of the Rodney Atkins song:

      If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
      Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
      You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
      When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
      Face that fire walk right through it
      You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

  4. Thanks for bringing May 5th into focus, Laurie! Editing a short story today and it’s tedious (ha!), so this was a lovely counterpoint in my day. Hope you have a lovely weekend. It’s a brilliant day here in East River Dakota … sun is warm and encouraging, a few brave flowers are peeking out to see if spring is really here. Our last frost date is May 15th, so that’s when our patience will be rewarded 🙂 Always with heart, Daisy

    • Daisy – Great minds must think alike because I’m doing some editing today too 🙂 And I’m bearing in mind what was said at the Writers’ Institute in April: Editing is like sculpting — it’s what you take away that counts!

  5. Your photos reminded me of some great Mexican food we’ve sampled on our vacations lately. What have I been bellying up to? More present moment awareness! Thank you for asking us…

    • Kathy – I can well imagine that we may have even eaten at some of the same restaurants that you and Barry ate it when we were in San Diego. “More present moment awareness” — that’s wonderful!

  6. Hi, Laurie — it has been a long time since I had homemade authentic Mexican food; I think the only place I can find it is either in Texas or California. I miss how the flavors and spices set my tongue on fire. They are also good for clearing sinuses. I have just finished my “belly up” at classes and am finished until the fall. Tomorrow is my birthday and so I will be bellying up to some cake and ice cream. January visits on Saturday and we will belly up to relaxing, hanging out, playing computer games, and maybe some shopping.

  7. Hmm, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I am on a Spiritual Quest this month, tied up into whether or not I’m really doing what I want to be doing, leaving light footprints on the Earth and giving back some of the good I’ve received. Doing a Habit for Humanity class this month for new home-owners and trying to see what would really be relevant to these people.

    • Sandi – Your Habitat for Humanity class for new homeowners is a wonderful way to give back. It would be cool if you could additionally teach all of the new homeowners how to start and maintain a back yard garden as well.

  8. Hi Laurie
    Like the stool photo, and better yet the mental image of you taking it and Len squirming 😉

    I’m bellying up to the hard political questions.
    Like how well is money serving us as a concept?
    Where does it fail and why?
    What can we do about it?

    • Ted – I know you spend a lot of time thinking about about what’s wrong/right with the system and how to close the gap. If anyone can get a handle on things, it’s YOU!

  9. I learned something new today – I never heard (or don’t remember hearing) the expression “belly up to the bar” before! That is a colorful photo of the bar stools – you were lucky, the bar looks empty of customers, which made your crawl to get the picture successful AND made Les’s embarrassment witnessed by few (if any) people!

    • Barbara – The restaurant was packed, but the bar was empty — that’s what was so wonderful about capturing that shot — no legs to interfere with the photograph. And I really was ON THE FLOOR to get it at that angle. Len was red as a tomato 🙂

  10. Pingback: Dee Dee, Mother’s Day, Staging of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” Branagh’s “Thor” « Wonders in the Dark

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