Sunday, February 15, 2009

Reservations Required!

I love special occasions. I love celebrating anything. If I hear someone's having a birthday I'm all over it with a party, a dinner, a cake, wine or anything to make it special. When my husband Banker Bob aka "Bob Cat", said he was taking me out for dinner on Valentine's, I was so excited because for once I was out of the kitchen. It's not that we don't go out for dinner all the time, it's just that we have never celebrated Valentine's in a restaurant. At 6:00 we walk out the door to go to a nice quiet local restaurant here at the beach. When we get in in the car I ask Bob Cat if he made reservations. He replied that it wasn't necessary because the restaurant is never crowded. I mention that it is Valentine's Day and a few folks still celebrate special occasions even if there is a recession. Being married to the guy for 34 years makes me think he may be right for once. Of course we pull into the parking lot and, after finding a parking place, are greeted by the hostess who asks if we have reservations. Bob says "no" and she says we can be seated at 10:00. Out the door we go. Bob's feeling pretty low at this point and I'm thinking this is going to cost him! We head to the beach where we're sure we'll find a nice quiet restaurant because who goes to the beach for dinner in February? Well, a mile out we see red lights. No, its not emergency vehicles, its tail lights from all the cars headed to the beach for dinner on, you guessed it, Valentine's night. We drove past some of our favorites and couldn't find an empty space in the parking lots. I'm going easy on the guy because he's squirming big time. Oh, this is going to cost him! The only certainty is that I'm not going home at this time (8:00) to cook. We finally see a new restaurant which has take and bake pizza as well as a nice seating area for about 20. We walk up to the door and the hostess greets us and asks if we have reservations. We tell her "no" and she says she can seat us in 30 minutes. We look around and there are many tables empty. She says they have been reserved. At this time we look at each other, order a take and bake pizza only to be told it will be a 20 minute wait. She asks if we want a seat at the bar and we look and see only 2 empty seats at opposite ends. Maybe not a bad idea to separate at this point. The bartender is feeling sorry for me and suggests a seat at an empty table and a glass of wine. I'm thinking that's a good idea since we're waiting for this 20 minute pizza to be made that we're taking home to bake for another 20 minutes. Our wine comes, it's great and not one minute later our take and bake pizza arrives. No problem, I've got bigger fish to fry at this point. While we're enjoying our wine that now costs more than our pizza, customers start pouring in the door. The first couple is greeted by the bartender who asks "do you have reservations?" "No" they say. She tells them no problem and off they go to a quiet table for 2. I'm now watching the next couple approach. I'm trying not to eavesdrop but I have to know... do they have reservations? Of course not, it's just one of those nights that everything goes wrong for poor Bob Cat. Well we finished our wine, gave a nice tip since it was Valentine's and headed home for a great take and bake pizza. Dinner was served at 10:00 :)
In case you wonder what this has to do with cycling, my dear husband got me a pair of Shimano Dura Ace carbon clencher wheels with red tires for my Valentine's present! Next year I'm sure he'll make reservations, it will be much cheaper!
GOOD LUCK to our Pro Vanderkitten team who will be racing in the Tour of California criterium today. The Beach Vanderkittens look forward to seeing you on TV tonight.

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