Monday, May 14, 2007

Dinner Theater

We've been having a grand time with my mother and sister who are visiting. The weather has been mostly good, except for Sunday, when it decided to be winter again. Temps in the 40s and drizzly grey.

We went out to dinner to celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday. If you know us, which some of you do since we've been posting for nearly 2 1/2 years, Roger and I do not go out to dinner. We love to cook. We love to eat our own cooking. We're spoiled that way. But there are times that require a bending of our own rules, so we went into town to a very fancy-schmancy restaurant. We had an expansive view of Port Townsend Bay from our table. We watched the ferries come and go. Luckily, we even had a rare treat of seeing a Brown Pelican. We have not seen one since we moved here three years ago. It was a real delight. I thought all of this boded well. A lovely table, the perfect view.

The wine arrived, and it was delicious. But, surprisingly, our dinners proved to be much less than what we had hoped. Roger did thoroughly enjoy his fresh pan-fried halibut. In fact, he mentioned it several times, much to our comedic delight. But my mother, sister, and I ordered something else, and descended into howling laughter about it. The roasted chicken, grated potatoes, and grilled carrots were all sopped in iron-heavy juices of the kale. Everything was wet and kale-flavored, and not well flavored at that. Yuck.

That's when the theater began. It's really hard to say when laughter becomes something embarrassing, but you know when you've crossed the line. The small restaurant is usually very subdued except for the small murmurs of quiet, possibly even romantic conversation, but not last night. Our laughter was uncontainable and uncontrollable. It spilled into everything we tried to say, and everything provoked it. My mother finally said, "It's a good thing they put us in a corner," and she was right. That made us laugh even more. The other patrons probably thought we were out of our minds, and they were right too. I had to turn my head toward the window, and cover my face with my very stiff white napkin so I could catch my breath. Picture that. I'm a 55 year old gray-haired woman, and I have a napkin over my face in a restaurant. I am really so dignified. My mother and sister had tears rolling down their cheeks. That didn't stop us. We roared every time the waitress came to the table, and every time she didn't. We laughed about laughing. We laughed for 45 minutes nearly non-stop. Finally they took away our failed dinners and brought us a torte of bittersweet chocolate with coconut and macadamia nuts for dessert. It was delicious. We were quiet, appeased.

After dinner, on the ride home, we saw a bald eagle off in the distance. It was flying unusually fast. Roger and I knew exactly where it was going; it was headed to its nest. I told my mother and sister the eagle would cross right over our car to get there. It did. Its huge wings worked and worked to get where its mate and nestlings were waiting. It came so close to us we could see its feathers. It was quite a moment. My mother said, "That's the real dessert." She was right.

Above photo of a Red-tailed hawk chasing a juvenile Bald Eagle. Photographed from our yard on Friday. We were amazed by the aerial dynamics. Check out the size difference there!

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