Sep 6, 2010

Shoulder:Wheel

Well, vacation ended this morning (last night). Tossed the usual assortment of stuff in my bag and trundled back in to the office.

Truth be told, five weeks was a great break, but by the end of it I was beginning to get a little twitchy. I spent the first week or two turning my body back around to a daytime schedule, then we travelled for nearly two weeks, and I had intended to spend the last week or so finishing up projects around the house.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. I don't handle hot weather well, and 90+ with accompanying humidity just kills me. I got a little bit done, but there's plenty remaining, and a fair bit is now time-sensitive as winter approaches. As if to reinforce the point, the sugar maple in our yard dropped its first few leaves this past week; a nice crimson counterpoint to the green grass they laid in.

Much as I enjoyed the respite from Other People's Problems, coming in to work tonight was also something of a relief. I enjoy what I do, and more than a month disconnected was a bit more than I was ready for. Next time ... four weeks, max. But it's over now...

Last fall, my parents gave us a gift certificate for a very nice local restaurant for our anniversary, and we decided to use it Friday night to celebrate the end of vacation, the end of summer, and just because. I called early in the afternoon and asked for a reservation at 8:00 or 8:30, and was told both were available. I opted for 8:00 and asked for a specific section; one that is graced with full-height windows overlooking a park and the lake.

We arrived a few minutes early and were directed to the bar; I ordered a Manhattan and MrsZ ordered a glass of red wine (Bresca?), which we took to the porch and rapidly gathering twilight. Our table was ready in short order, and eventually we got around to ordering our meal. This restaurant is the epitome of elegance in that regard: you are NEVER rushed. We browsed the menu, listened to the specials, nibbled on the sweet bread and butter, sipped our drinks, and when we closed our menus and looked up, the waitress appeared within moments to take our order.

A meal here is something of a prix fixe arrangement; each entree has a (different) price but all will include bread, appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert. I opted for the seafood bisque, garden salad, prime rib, and a blueberry crisp; MrsZ had a fondue, caesar salad, Frenched pork chop, and blackberry trifle.

We ate at our own pace, enjoyed our conversation, watched the dark outside (too dark to see the lake, sadly), and enjoyed coffee with our dessert. Two and a half hours after we got there, we strolled back out to the car, full, relaxed, and with a box of leftovers for an upcoming meal.

Now, I won't lie and tell you this meal was cheap. It wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination. The tab would have bought most of our groceries for a week, perhaps two.

However, what they offer is value. For the same amount of money, we could have gone to any chain restaurant two or three times, and had generic food with generic drinks. We could have sat in uncomfortable booths, stared at the TVs over the other's head, and tried to talk over the conversations and too-loud music around us.

For the money, I'd rather go out to one really nice meal every three months than a chain restaurant every month. It makes going out to eat a treat, instead of expensive calories because we didn't feel like cooking.

But now, it's shoulder to the wheel, to infinity and beyond!

3 comments:

Christina LMT said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening! Taking too much time off is not good for me, either. I start getting lazy and schlumping around in my pj's all day. It's better to stay busy. :)

mhaithaca said...

I, too, am a fan of said restaurant. You probably missed the stretch when it was not awesome, and I was delighted that the new owners restored its awesomeness starting about a decade ago. They do a fine job.

mhaithaca said...

I, too, am a fan of said restaurant. You probably missed the stretch when it was not awesome, and I was delighted that the new owners restored its awesomeness starting about a decade ago. They do a fine job.