Our 23rd wedding anniversary was just one week away, and I could hardly wait to top the excitement of last year's romantic adventure—buying a new toilet seat.
Giddy with plans of a dreamy dinner for two at the swankiest high-rise restaurant in town, my imagination savored every heart-throbbing detail. After generously tipping the handsome valet parking attendant, Gary and I would stroll into a glass elevator for a ride to the 44th floor. There we'd be greeted by several tuxedoed men tripping over themselves to take our coats. As a string quartet played softly in the corner, we'd slip into chairs at our table overlooking the twinkling lights below.
A week before the big day, I zeroed in on the perfect table-for-two venue with a jaw-dropping view of the city. I even went online ahead of time to ogle the gold-lettered menu that appeared to be roughly the size of a room divider. Glancing at the exotic names of sizzling chops and sauces, I noticed that steak prices began at 55 dollars. And that didn't even include the fork.
Still, the restaurant boasted the best view in town, a piano player, and validated parking. Who could resist?
I had just one minor problem. When I called my view-for-two sky scraper, all dinner reservations were booked. Through the next three presidents.
Time for Plan B. If I couldn't arrange a breathtaking view, then a roaring fire would be the next best treat. I remembered a trendy new eatery that featured a spectacular fireplace, and it was located a mere 101.3 miles from our house. Fortunately for our aging minivan, I discovered they'd opened a spiffy new location only 5 miles from our home. Although the restaurant specialized in pasta instead of t-bones, I was sure it would do the trick.1