7.24.2012

Whining and Dining (part two)...a CRAB takes on a Lobster

Well...so there we sat in CHOPS restaurant in East Haven, Connecticut, having finally made it into "lobster territory", all the way from "sunny South Louisiana". This would be our first romantic dinner on the trip called, "the honeymoon we never got to take".  It was still dark and rainy outside, but inside here it was all warm and cozy, and...well, Cappy said, "Look at the place; sufficiently tacky enough to be cool". I thought it looked like a place where we  needed to use our best manners anyhow. It had very pretty wood everywhere and here we were dripping rain water onto their nice floor, like everybody else who had braved the storm to get here. It was old and casual, but nice. I guess you'd get the picture better, if I didn't blur my camera so much. 

Our waitress, impressed our Cappy alright. He says, "It shows that a waitress is attentive if she puts one breast on ya shoulder while helpin' ya look over the menu, calls ya "Honey" and keeps your beer glass full". (nice.) I just wanted my lobster. It did take a little while, tho' since they have to "take a live one down" and cook it. I always felt kind of bad about that. But the lemon and drawn butter helps.   It was my first time handling all the tools and hardware they give you to crack open the lobster and fish out all the meat.  The table was loaded with all kinds of stuff, like bibs and...well, just lots of 'stuff'. I opened a little package of wipes, first thing, because my hands were already 'dirty', I thought, from not being washed,...not really, all day. Cappy saw what I was doing and said, with the end of his torn open, too, "OH! Handwipes, I was going to pour it over my potato". Boy, what a couple of rubes. I didn't even know where to start on my lobster.  Cappy said, "It's no problem, I'm gonna treat it like it's a big crawfish", and so he did, quite successfully, too.

While we were waiting for our supper, we were enjoying the live band that was out in the other room. Not in the way we should have, I suppose. Hey, we live in New Orleans territory. We are spoiled. Well, honestly. They were playing Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville", going right along, but kept forgetting the words, so were just mumbling to the music, "...rummin' er six stax, blew out a pop tart...had to get healed, hurried on home". We just looked at each other, "Whaaa???" Then they went over the chorus several times in a row. Boy oh Boy, what would they have done if Cappy and I had started yelling, "SALT, SALT, SALT..." like all the customers do at Pat O'Brians on Bourbon Street...or what ya s'posed to yell when they sing, "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille". (Let's not go there, except to say that I shocked and embarrassed my daughter, Sookie and my sister, Lori, who thought they'd seen me lose my mind right there in front of them, in public. It's Cappy, I tell ya... zall his fault, I never did all that before :)) So, anyway, while we were eating, another song started and I recognized it right away. Cappy said, "You impress me, Peg". I liked that, but then he added, "you knew what that song was just from the first three missed notes". We were being brats, for sure. Good thing the greeter had spotted us for who we are and right away had put us at a table in the back near the corner. While we were loudly cracking and ripping the lobsters apart, they started playing a romantic song, but it was a pretty shakey rendition of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You". With a mouthful, Cappy slurped, "Oh Lord, now dey gonna drag 'Elv-eye' out da tomb...sounds like he's still in there".
Now, I was thoroughly enjoying my meal, but then I overheard another customer say in a crabby disgusted voice, 
"The lobster is sticking to the shell...it's over-cooked!" I hadn't even noticed before that...oh yeah, mine was stuck to the shell, too, but I thought it tasted pretty darned good, once I got most of it into my mouth...yum. Maybe a little tough, but it really, really tasted good. NOTHING like I've ever had at Red Lobster, (but Cappy calls Dead Lobster) where I've only had bits and small chunks.  When we finished eating, I placed my silverware in a thin V-shape pointing from "5 o'clock toward 10 o'clock on my plate, and placed my napkin to the left of my plate, as I was taught, to signal to the waitress that I was finished eating and mentioned that Cappy maybe do the same. He said, "Oh, I'm pretty sure she can tell by just lookin' at this pile of wreckage", and must be she did, because right away, she was there with our bill, we paid, and after Cappy feigned interest in the band, taking a picture, which I will not post here, we were out the door from our first romantic dinner of our "honeymoon that we never got to take". Outside the rain had stopped, it was warm, and the air was so clear and refreshing. I told Cappy thank you for a wonderful evening and gave him a nice big smooch. Know what he said? He said, "Yeah, I really liked that waitress...in another world, she'd be goin' home with me tonight". Yeah, she was sweet, she was attentive, she did have that joie de vivre like Cappy said. Although she was busy, she managed to make us feel special and I appreciated that. But right about then I wanted to "BANG ZOOM!!!" Put him off to another world, alright. Well, he was a bachelor for such a long time...old habits are hard to break; those crusty ol' sailors...whatcha gonna do. Just for fun, a lot of times, I'll point out really "hot" wimmens; and say,"Hey! Look at her, Honey!!" He usually averts his eyes and hems and haws and says, "They aint my type". Well, now I know, Miss Nancy, who is. And as nice as ya are, we aint never comin' back to CHOPS. ('til maybe the next time we come north to Maine). 
 I've gotta admit, I was a CRAB(!!!), there for awhile 'til the next day.  Cappy is such a sweetie-pie, and I know he didn't mean anything by it, so how could I stay mad at him? Here in Cappy and Pegody's World, *I'm* da one dat goes home wit him, and that's all that counts. (til he reads this blog post <:-0) S000ooo....next time we won't be so shellfish; we'll both just clam up instead, (boyyy, that was a stretch).
  Well, with full tummies, we went from there to try to find a hotel and start all fresh in the morning and see how far we could drive; maybe even into Canada. We couldn't even make it out of town that night. We got impossibly snarled in and around New Haven following detour signs. We wound around dark alleys, got off the beaten path somehow, went thru neighborhoods where we knew we shouldn't be, and somehow managed to find the detour again which led us, like a shining beacon to a Holiday Inn Hotel. It was still kind of early, so there was a lot of activity around the outside. (I remember the beautiful Holiday Inn near Lexington, Kentucky that my friend, Louise and I had stayed in...wow, such luxury, and the breakfast room was a true deluxe banquet.) Cappy and I went in to register and they needed to see my AAA card. (It's a good one, this time, not the bottom of the line.) Even seeing it, they didn't honor it. They didn't give us a discount for Cappy being a Merchant Marine, either. They were charging us $155. for one night and stuck to their guns. The one in Lexington was only at the most $89. and it was the same room...layout wise. So, what were our options....oh, let's see...go out into the dark, wet night and get lost and tossed by those crazy detours? I wasn't in the mood to argue, and neither was Cappy, so we settled. They were so very nice to our face and told us to drive around to the side extrance and we'd have easy access to the room. It was a big hotel! I went to drive around to find the entrance, while Cappy found the room. I waited in the SUV and waited, fumed and waited some more. Finally he came out and said we were wayyyyyyyy away from the entrance and that the place was so huge that he'd gotten turned all around and came out the wrong exit. What a mess. Because the parking lot was so jammed and not well lit, we decided we'd better take all our stuff in with us. He insisted on carrying everything like a pack-mule so we wouldn't have to make another long trip, and I didn't carry much of anything. (He still felt bad about the restaurant thing, poor guy, and I wasn't making it any easier for him.) Come to find out after the long trip along a very long hallway, we ended up in the room behind the check-in desk. Were they too ashamed by the way we were dressed to have us simply bring our things through their lobby? (That's what Louise and I had done when we stayed in the room behind the check out desk) Too tired to complain, we just went to bed and got a good rest, anticipating a good breakfast, that would help compensate for the larger than normal cost for a "not fancy" hotel. In the morning, while I was getting ready, Cappy set out to bring us back a cup of coffee and check out the breakfast spread. He came back empty-handed. "They got nothing...no breakfast, no fruit, no cereal, not even any coffee...nothin'." He said he inquired at the desk and they said, "Oh, we don't do that here". (That colored the rest of our trip. Any time we saw a Holiday Inn while we were searching for a place for the night, we said, "NO WAY" and drove on until we found someplace else...anyplace else.) We got our things together and once again, Cappy insisted on carrying all of the luggage. He even had the room ticket/key in his mouth, so he wouldn't lose it when he was going to be checking out. So down the long hall we trudged and came upon the Boston Red Sox  team standing by the door with their duffle bags, and luggage, just joking and talking. I was in a bad mood, which is not like me. One of the duffle bags was out near the middle of the hall, so I stopped and angrily shrugged at it. One of the guys, leaped to move it and apologized. I ignored him and all of them and pushed on out the door, followed by my poor, over-burdened sweet hubby. Once we got everything stowed away, he walked around the outside of the hotel to the lobby to the check out desk, leaving me sitting there, like a big lump. Looking around, I saw the Boston Red Sox logos on vans, etc.  Oh migosh, the real deal, those guys were for real and here I was acting like a rude -itch to 'em. When Cappy came back, he said, he had felt so bad because there in the hall, he'd had that card in his mouth, and his hands full, so he couldn't even say "Hi" or anything to them, so he came back out through the hall, but they were gone. 
   Once we pulled out of the parking lot, of all things...we easily found our way onto the interstate that we had "fallen off from" the night before in that rainstorm. And away we went. We took advantage of the texters and big gaps, stop and go traffic by unwittingly entertaining other drivers, I think, while we were "clearing the air" about issues from the night before...and we both talk with our hands. Soon enough, we were out of  town, sailing north, looking for a place to have breakfast, (or coffee again, at least), singing and laughing at the top of our lungs, more in love than ever. Now, that's how we really roll.  
   
           
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