Yesterday J and I celebrated our 17th Wedding Anniversary.
After a respite lasting several years, I came down with my first serious sinus infection. Naturally this illness began during my 15 day break from work, shortly before Christmas and I stayed sick right into the new year. I cycled through the normal progression of infection, starting with headache and bad congestion and ending with two days of glands so swollen that I could not move my neck properly, only to feel better right on time to go back to work.
The point of the digression is that J caught it this week and has been really miserable. Too congested to use the CPAP and sleeping on the couch like he did pre-CPAP.
And, in spite of his misery, he got up and headed in the frigid weather to our favorite bakery, Boy Alien in tow, to buy peanut butter blossoms and flowers for me. While I stayed happily ensconced in bed reading and continuing the setup my new laptop1.
It was a good day, favorite cookies and flowers aside. I spent most of it in my pajamas, changing at 3:30 into a dress and boots to have an early anniversary dinner at the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.
The restaurant sits on top of Mount Washington, along Grandview Avenue. We took advantage of the valet parking, as parking in general is rather dear in that neighborhood and usually involves a hike of several blocks. A pleasant journey in the summertime, a terrible one in January when the temperature is negative and the winds are wild.
From the lobby guest take an elevator to the dining room. I admit that the elevator stumped me at first, I hit one of the unlabeled emergency buttons instead of the giant oblong metal button labeled “Dining”. Which meant we waited far longer than necessary before my brain finally made the connection and J pushed the button again.
It was worth the wait. We were a bit early and the maître d’ sent us down the stairs to the lounge, to have a cocktail before dinner.
Although we ordered drinks, we never got them. This was not the fault of the bartender, even in a high-end restaurant such as Monterey Bay customer assholery abounds. The bartender’s time was taken up by a man who was demanding a receipt for the payment he made via a gift card and he was rather determined to be unhappy as he harangued the bartender. Our pager went off 30 seconds after we finally ordered, so we decided to just re-order them at the table instead.
We were seated next to the windows and I demonstrated again that I don’t get out much as I got confused about where to sit and had to be gently instructed to take a chair that faced the window. That really happened.
· The view was magnificent.
· The old fashioned I ordered was strong and perfectly made.
· I asked for a recommendation on a wine to drink with the entrée and the waitperson bought two different chardonnays for me to sample. Both were buttery and light and I could not tell the difference between the two, much to J’s amusement.
· The oysters were insanely fresh.
· The octopus starter was good, but not something I would order again.
· J enjoyed his first try of the rockfish.
· The scallops stuffed with crab were a rare treat – perfectly cooked without a hint of bitterness.
· The Brussels sprouts were sweet.
· And the Angel Food Grilled Cheese dessert was divine.
The biggest surprise of the evening was the sheer number of young children in the restaurant. Monterey Bay even has a kid’s menu and it was clear that they were used to serving families and making adjustments to ensure that even kids are happy. And all the kids we saw were well behaved.
I suspect better behaved overall then the miserable man we saw in the bar. He had a seating in the dining room but was long gone by the time J and I finished our meal.
And thus we marked seventeen years.
1. I will sorely miss my old MacBook Pro and would still be using it, but the screen finally started to die, two years after I dropped it in such a fashion that the screen separated from the aluminum case. Coupled with symptoms of motherboard failure, a dead DVD/CD drive and its agonizing slowness, a new laptop came as an expensive relief.