It’s been hotter than Hades lately.
But then, it seems the intense summer heat is inspiring for new beginnings.
At least, for me.
My blog anniversary was just a few days ago.
And now, it’s my anniversary anniversary.
And much like my magnetism for memorable birthdays…
There was one highly memorable anniversary that tells quite the tale.
The year was 2011.
My husband DJ and I decided to celebrate by going out for dinner.
We stopped at a motorcycle shop.
Which inevitably led to the purchase of a motorcycle.
After long day of work.
When judgment is always at its peak.
Because everybody knows that’s the best time to make big decisions.
It’s also common knowledge that just looking at something translates roughly to:
Let’s buy this thing!
Like, right now!
Because, really, when was the last time we’d gotten anything nice for ourselves?
And did I mention it was our ten year anniversary?
A big anniversary like that warranted something big.
Like a motorcycle.
Tradition dictates that year ten should be gifted with tin or aluminum.
While I’m usually not one to care overly much about traditions in the sense of gifts…
Aren’t bikes made of steel and aluminum?
It was an electric green Kawasaki Ninja 650R in great shape.
I liked it.
DJ liked it.
So we signed a contract and we were on our merry way.
The funny part?
Spontaneously buying a motorcycle turned out to be the most normal part of our evening.
Celebrating in memorable ways seems to a talent for us.
After buying the bike, we figured we’d enjoy a nice meal out.
And so we drove to a Greek restaurant I’d been to only once before, several years earlier.
It was way on the other side of town, so we didn’t get out that way too often.
But I remembered loving that restaurant.
It was a Saturday night.
And the parking lot was desolate.
That right there should’ve been an omen.
But that didn’t stop us from going in.
We were greeted by a host who looked like he’d had a few drinks himself.
Which was entirely probable, given the impressive bar in full view behind him.
As luck would have it, our drunken host turned out to also be our drunken waiter.
There was no other sign of life whatsoever within those four walls.
No other diners.
No other waitstaff.
Had this tipsy waiter just killed the rest of the restaurant staff?
Which would have been rather unfortunate, given the fact they prided themselves on being a family owned and operated business.
But I remembered truly enjoying a scrumptious assortment of authentic Mediterranean food in my previous trip.
So we stuck around like the sadists we apparently were.
Our waiter ambled around momentarily before producing two sad-looking menus, held together by uneven patches of tape.
Despite an authentic-looking Greece interior, nothing about this looked overly promising.
But we were hungry.
And remained cautiously optimistic.
When the food came, it did not get any better.
With spanakopita slimier than worms, pita bread that could crack a pig’s head open, and hummus that tasted more like mud than mashed chickpeas, it bared no resemblance to my previous dining experience.
Did we save room for dessert, the stumbling drunk inquired?
It didn’t matter if it was our anniversary.
We’d already had all the fun we could handle, without gambling on dessert.
It was beyond comprehension how this restaurant had been a six-time Best Greek Restaurant winner, awarded by a local newspaper.
Incidentally, 2011 was the last year they’d won the prestigious award.
Which was the second and final time I set foot in that place.
I must’ve been really, really hungry that first time.
Or maybe things just really, really went down the toilet in the few years since I’d first gone.
I scoped out some Yelp reviews to see if we were crazy, or if it had just been an off night.
“I thought that I was part of an elaborate prop set for what would be a great tragedy. The place is certainly capable visually of transporting you to Ellada (Greek word for Greece). The place was also as barren as an off-season tourist trap near Plakka. The only two other people there seemed to be regulars.”
And this one:
“I am certain from the many posted accolades all over the walls of the place that this restaurant was indeed great. But its day has come and gone and its legendary service and cuisine is all but a page of mythology.”
But then there were a few reviews like this one:
Amazing food. Authentic and unique. The wait staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.
In a way, yes.
But not in any positive sense of the word.
Love the entire experience!
I mean, our experience was plenty memorable.
But definitely not in the way of loving it.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m all for irony.
So on one hand, its stellar past was not a figment of my imagination.
On the other hand…
Had those few satisfied diners had their hummus spiked?
That whole dining experience had been way, way off the mark.
Suffice it to say, the heat wasn’t the only hellish factor on that day seven years ago.
A cool motorcycle and a freakish dining experience.
Which, evidently, meet all my criteria for a memorable evening.
We ended up selling that motorcycle two years ago, when my husband decided to upgrade.
Yet, in an interesting twist of fate…
It’s now for sale again.
And it’s our anniversary again.
Is this a sign we ought to buy it back, for the sake of nostalgia?
Is it fate?
I guess we shall see…
~Happy Saturday! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!~