Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Prizes are at the Bottom of the Box!

Sun shines through the clouds at the end of Sunday's ride.
Over the weekend, our activities shared a theme -- the thing that would have made it absolutely perfect came about when the event was over!

On Saturday evening we tried out a new restaurant. It's not too far from home, and it's always been there, but for some reason neither of us had ever tried it before. My daughter was happy as she had been invited to a sleepover, freeing us for the evening unexpectedly, so we figured we would enjoy a night out.

We arrived at the restaurant around 7:15 pm. There was no nearby parking, so we parked down the street a few minutes walk away from the entrance. We entered and it was clear that this place was very busy. We stood by the door for a few minutes before being acknowledged. When were finally acknowledged, we were told there was a wait. How long? A few minutes.

We were directed to a small sitting area. About five minutes later, we were seated. But we saw no waitress for another 10-15 minutes. Then she actually stopped by and took our drink order. Another 15-20 minutes and our drinks arrived. But our waitress just placed the drinks on the table and swiftly left us again. We still hadn't even ordered our food. By the time she returned, we expressed with clarity that we were hungry. We placed our food order... and asked for water, please.

It was at least a half hour before our appetizer was delivered. It was good, but it came without the waters. Another lengthy wait, and our sandwiches finally arrived to the table. However our waitress did the drop and run thing again. She never came back to ask how we were doing, and David waited 10 minutes with an open sandwich, hoping she would return with the hot sauce he requested... or maybe our waters??

To top it all off there was a party of 12 sitting next to us, drinking way too much, yelling out loud, and singing! Each time the sound level elevated over there, David and I could not hear each other speak, and our conversation came to a stop.

Eventually, David ate his sandwich (dry ~ no drink) when I was done with my first half -- and our check was delivered. And, then... our waters arrived! Oh, and that was while the restaurant's owner was at our table asking us how our dinner was!

We were honest, and our check was discounted.

On Sunday, we planned a bike ride. Dave and I were riding the tandem bike, and we met up with another Dave (from the TCC Club) and his 14-year-old son, Sam. The plan was for about thirty miles total throughout rural areas of Plainfield and Canterbury. Dave and I added a few more miles by riding to and from the starting point on our tandem, making it a 46 mile day for us.

With temperatures in the low 40's, the sky was overcast and cloudy. We layered up as we would for any winter day ride, but I never reached a warm-enough state of comfort. The roads were great (aside from some sand sprinkled all over from a recent snowfall) and the company was terrific!

We had a rest stop detour along the way to allow for a comfortable pee-stop for me (guys have no problem with stopping along the roadside and locating a tree in the woods), and that break was taken at Dave and Sam's house! It was very nice of Dave's wife, Michele, to invite us inside for cups of hot chai tea to warm up. We all relaxed and recharged with friendly conversation!

On the way back, we were settling into a good cadance, but I still felt a chill inside -- I can only describe it as a feeling of my bones being cold. The skies were still overcast. Aside from that, the scenery and the company was quite enjoyable!

We pulled into the center of Plainfield where Dave and Sam's car was parked, and then Dave and I peddled onward another 9 miles, back towards home.

As we tackled hills closer to home, the clouds in the sky seemed to part. As we turned into our neighborhood, it brightened somewhat more. And, as we turned into our driveway, the clouds were parting even more so -- with sunshine peeking through! It immediately felt warmer. But now, we were home.  : )

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