Sunday, November 09, 2008

Six and A Half Years Later

Six and a half years ago, a handsome, debonair gentleman had won the hand of an adventurous, fun-loving widow, sealing his fate as the one who would take up the mantle of husbandry and fatherhood for her household of four children.

Six and a half years ago, this handsome man and his fun loving woman honeymooned in Denver, Colorado in an eclectic mix of frugality and splurged extravagance.

On one of those extravagant evenings, the debonair gentleman and the adventurous woman drove up to a restaurant that, from all external appearances, gave one pause as to the reality of the establishments' five-star rating. Indeed, even the critics note the outward lackluster appearance:

“Driving along Colfax Avenue you would never guess the experience Solera presents to its diners. The cozy, delicately lit dining room feels secreted away from the world, and with rich yellow walls it’s the perfect place for a sunny celebration – be that an engagement, an anniversary, a baby, or a birthday. And while Solera’s space is intimate, it’s not so quite that private conversations are overheard by nearby tables.”

Seated at a center table, the grey-haired and jacketed gent cooed over his Dove, his Bride, who was sporting red spiked heels and an elegance that turned heads. There was no doubt of the love they shared, the ambiance that their glowing affection for one another offered the location. As the meal was presented, there remained no doubt of the superb choice that had been made.

Elegance and extravagance collided that night, in an experience they would not soon forget.


Six and a half years later, a grandfather -my grandfather - died. A snowstorm delayed our post-honorary departure, and a hastily scheduled flight presented that couple, my husband and I, with an opportunity we could not pass up: the sumptuous fare of Solera.

The humor is not lost on me, the extreme contrast of two moments in time.

As we meandered down a Hispanic strip, we questioned our address, if only momentarily. Surrounded by Taco Buenos', bus stops and littered retail parking areas, the parking lot of our romantic destination was brimming with vehicles. Watching as classy, well dressed couples entered, we considered aloud if a dress code were in place.

After all, I was clad in jeans, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes.

Gil sported a tad finer look, as his plaid button down and leather jacket hid the fact that his leg wear was denim in nature.

Nothing, however, could hide the glaringly obvious: the baby on Gil's hip; the sippy cup in my hand; and the heavy bag containing his employers' VIP laptop over my shoulder. We surely looked like castaways from Gilligan's Island when given the once over.

Non-plussed, I asked the hip greeter anyway. "Do you have a dress code?"

"No." came the reply. "Do you have reservations?"

My turn to say no.

She deftly looked past the facade we presented and said, "I've no room in the dining area, but the bar is open, if you'd like to dine there."

I asked for the outside portico, a compromise of our dress verses her dining room, to no avail.

The bar it was. I led the way into the darkened chamber. Three tables were taken, each couple seated peered down their noses at us.

Two bar stools stood empty.

I pulled one out.

"Here?" Gil queried.

"Here." I said.

And so began our evening meal.

The Grilled Atlantic Salmon for me, paired with bacon-laden fresh spinach and mashed potatoes. Gil had a mid-western jambalaya filled with mussels, oysters and octopus. Oh, it was heavenly! The explosion of flavor that danced in our mouths impeccable! We hardly even noticed when Keller snagged a taste. He had busied himself with the mouse, and was content to simply watch the hustle and bustle of people.

A wheelchair bound man rolled to my side, and engaged Keller as well as the personnel with great exuberance. Watching us take photos, he offered his services.

Soon, the bar filled to standing room only capacity as we finished the delicacies before us. Women in heels surrounded me; suited men of airs and importance displayed their relational prowess with their respective dates. Wine bouquets were sniffed, and Amex cards laid down. A beautiful young woman admired the baby, she and her husband soon detailed for us the choice to obtain a sitter for their savory night out.
A sitter for us? Not an option.
As we gathered our things to go, we marvelled at the shift of experience. Our tennis shoes and jeans were the equivalent of disregarded homeless folk among opulence.
Parting gracious words with the greeter once again, I knew that even though our evening may have lacked a portion of elegance, it was no doubt every whit the extraordinary event that marks our marriage, our life.
Comfortable in both realms ~ recognizing the fun that comes with being dressed to the nines, yet knowing that dressed to the nines does not connote character ~ made kicking off our shoes in favor of a dip in the pool, a soak in the jacuzzi with our Li'l Man a no-brainer.

Six and a half years later, Babie ~ I still love you with a Solera kind of love.




Five Star: Baby included.


Joy said...

I love that you and Keller are both looking at Gil! It is such a priceless picture!! :)

~ Denise ~ said...

sweet. ;0

Joyce said...

Wonderful!! Love the pictures and so glad Gil has you back for a bit.


Wendy said...

Sounds like a lovely evening. How nice to have your exceptionally adorable baby with you this time.

Tracey said...

Oh, he's a doll!

Glad you guys didn't let the restaurant's dress code deter you from making a memory...

Annette said...

I LOVE how you seem to take things in stride. What an awesome testament to your love for your man and your baby.

Karen said...

What a wonderful sweet post. Love the contrasts and the similarities. Glad you had a chance to have another 5 star experience.

Sharon (sk) said...

How wonderful! You are so very blessed! :)

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