Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The best Valentine, not the best Valentine's Day

Some of you may recall that I had my first real Valentine's Day last year, which was wonderful. Last year, Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday, so the Housemate and I had a leisurely breakfast that he cooked, drove around the island in perfect Hawaii weather, then enjoyed a delicious meal at what is possibly the best restaurant I've ever been to.

This year's Valentine's Day was less than ideal. First of all, it fell on a Monday, which is generally the worst day of the week. We had cereal for breakfast, though I did open up a passion fruit I had been letting ripen for a while and it was sweet and tart and delicious. Then I had to go into school for a morning class. Don't tell my advisor, but I spent my early afternoon drawing my boyfriend a Valentine (I need some colored pencils or something; I did this entirely with a black pen). Front, inside left, and back:

Because he just came back from Antarctica, and he studies viruses, see? He complimented me on the accuracy of my Adelie penguins, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

We left school around 4pm, had a nap, exchanged a couple gifts, and just had a very nice late afternoon/early evening together. Then we got ready for our dinner reservation. In spite of it being a Monday and a work day, Valentine's Day had been pretty nice so far.

Our reservation was at 8:30. We got there at 8:30. It was a zoo. For 5-10 minutes, there was no clear host or hostess. We finally figured out whom to ask about our reservation, but when we told her we were there for our reservation, she just asked our name, how many people, and wrote it on a list. She was doing the same thing for people who did and didn't have reservations. And I even noticed her seating one pair whose name was after ours on the list. It was hugely unorganized, and this lady was also acting as cashier and waitress, so she was running around crazy. I was annoyed, but patient. As long as the dinner was good, it would be worth it.

We finally got seated shortly after 9, as four or more tables cleared up suddenly at the same time. The food was pretty good--not as good as Roy's last year, but nice. Corn chowder as the soup course, Laotian spring rolls and a salad as an appetizer, and fisherman's pot pie for an entree (seafood and vegetables and lots of pleasantly spicy gravy spooned out between two layers of puff pastry). But some time around the entree course, my stomach started feeling pretty uncomfortable. Before dessert, I had to excuse myself to the ladies' room...

The desserts were really why I'd chosen this restaurant in the first place, as they have a lovely selection of beautiful French pastries. I'd been there once before for dessert and their hot chocolate, which was rich and made with real chocolate--the best I'd had since Paris. So when I got back, we ordered our pastries (I got the chocolate macaroon one, and the Housemate got the banana haupia one) and one hot chocolate. But when the hot chocolate came, it was paler than coffee ice cream. I sent it back saying it wasn't chocolaty enough, and the waitress brought it back later, this time a dark brown, but it still just tasted like it was made with normal cocoa powder. I was really disappointed since I'd raved about the rich chocolate to the Housemate when we ordered it. Not sure what went wrong there. The desserts were delicious, but I could hardly eat them because my stomach was feeling unstable. So I had mine put in a box, and we went home. At least I can look forward to eating it tonight.

It was 11:30 by this point (dinner took a long time), so we got home and got ready for bed. But after I brushed my teeth, I threw up. Everything. It would have been a miserable end to a miserable evening if not for my boyfriend. He was very sweet and comforting the whole evening, the perfect company for Valentine's Day. And when I got in bed he gave me a back massage. Yes, things could have been better, but they could have been much worse. I was happy.


Angela said...

YAAAY!!! So glad your BF is back and I remember when he left!!! Honestly, except for the throwing up part (never fun!!! :() and the waiting, tis sounds like you guys had a lovely Valentine's night! I know how sucky being away is for the holiday - I had work, not school and was soooo miserable.

I hope you're feeling better!!!

cassey said...

Sounds like the resturant overbooked and had to take some shortcuts :-/ Horrible being sick, but yay that the Housemate was there.

Eleni said...

Angela - Right--as long as you're with the right Valentine, the rest of the things on Valentine's Day don't matter so much.

Cassey - Yeah, I think it'll be a long time before we go back to that restaurant. Shame, since I'd been so excited about taking the Housemate there for the hot chocolate and the pastries.