Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinner At The Club

The buggers wanted to celebrate my birthday a week early, because I'm working on Halloween and thus won't be available and also because they know I am no fan of birthdays in general. So they torture me and I take full advantage by declaring my preference for dinner at the Harbor Yacht Club on Stock Island, an oasis. It was in fact my wife's idea because she knows my preferences.

We sat on the balcony upstairs and talked of this and that, our collective feeling of helplessness in the face of societal contraction, and at the same time our good fortune facing the difficult years ahead down here among friends.

Across Cow Key Channel white lights twinkled at water level along the mangroves; they were kayakers out for a dusk paddle.

We had crusty shrimp and crab cake first, I indulged my middle aged taste with a rare gin and tonic which came in a pint glass (!) and helped the problems of the world recede for a while.

It was cool outside so three of us put on sweatshirts. Chuck, fetching in dark green complained of waking up in the night with his teeth chattering and I tried to make sympathetic noises about the misery of a 68 degree night. I should have put my own sweatshirt on in solidarity I suppose.

This is not a climate to bitch about, that's for sure.

Nor was the food, slices of snapper and risotto...

...pork chops and potatoes, Pinot noir flowing and cheerful banter from Dan our Romanian lawyer turned American waiter who had humor and flair and good service all sorted out.

We ate and talked and drank over the course of several leisurely hours and I got the rare pleasure of feeling like it was a dinner worth celebrating. Too often one pays a lot for not much in return and these days that sort of slovenly service grates the nerves more than usual.

We ended dinner with a candle bedecked carrot cake which was really quite excellent and a bizarre dessert of chocolate pannini served as seen above with a pot of warm chocolate dipping sauce.

Wayne was our designated driver and he took the long way home dropping my wife and I off first though we live further up the highway, then doubling back to his and Chuck's place last.

It was a dark night, the moon is rising late and Cheyenne after greeting me deliriously as usual on my return helped me water the plants before we turned in.

In bed with the louvered windows open I could hear the wind rustling the palm fronds outside, a sound that reminds me that Fall is here, the air conditioning is turned off for now and a sweatshirt is survival gear in the trunk of the car.

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