Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Unexpected Birthday Celebration

I apologize for the sporadic posting of the last week or two, but as usual, work is busy. This is one of my favorite pictures taken by NAH. We actually have a whole series as the boat passes in front of the sunset, which I'm hoping to frame and put up in our house.
Let's discuss my birthday, shall we? As luck (and perhaps some skillful planning on the part of my family) would have it, I got to celebrate in Hawaii. What better place for a party? When we got to Hawaii, my parents handed me a list of restaurants, a laptop computer and simply said, "Go to work!"
We have an unwritten code, my parents and I. They like fancy food. I don't. However, we agree that birthdays will be the exception, and I promise never to make them go to McDonalds, if they promise not to make me go to a restaurant where the waiter refolds my napkin on my lap while I'm sitting there (it just irks me, ok?). Especially when they use a knife to take your crumbs off the table while you're still sitting there. I make a lot of crumbs, and I know they're passing judgement on me, I just know it... Every year my mother and I have our annual argument in which she insists that what I really want is a fancy meal in a nice restaurant, and I insist that I don't, and we go back and forth for days. In the past, we've compromised and gone to a steakhouse, and all enjoyed delicious, allergy-proof, and simple yet upscale meals.
This year? Well, I had my work cut out for me. I believe I researched 30 restaurants, and discarded just about every one of them as the result of dishes with macadamia nuts, Italian seasoning, or just too many items with barbecue sauce. I gave up, convinced that my birthday was going to be served by Mr. Sub or his daughter. NAH and I went walking up to Whaler's Village one evening, and I stopped at every restaurant on the way to read their menus. One restaurant, the Rusty Harpoon, had something that was somewhat rare for the area. Chicken dishes. As in plural. As in more than one! I read more closely, and discovered "Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki."
I have had decent luck with teriyaki sauce in the past, though I know sometimes it has unforeseen tomato spices in it, and decided to take the chance. We made a reservation.
At 7:30, on the evening of my birthday, I had one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life. NAH felt the same way about his prime rib (Sorry, Town & Country Diner!). The restaurant, despite it's name (Rusty Harpoon? Really?), was one of fancy tablecloths and fresh, warm bread on the tables. You could see the ocean, and they had an open kitchen! The allergic parents had a great meal, NAH and I had a great meal, and I was quite content to return to the hotel for the birthday cake (which I've recently re-discovered after years of not eating).
Thanks allergic mom, dad, and NAH! It was a delicious birthday to remember.

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