For our 40th anniversary, we were originally going to go somewhere out of town but not knowing what might be opened or not, we decided to avoid potential disappointment and play the tourists in Colorado Springs. We got a cheap room to avoid the distractions of being at the house and planned some activities. We did some but not all of them.
One of the things my wife had planned was a special lunch to start things off. She had something special she wanted to make on the grill so we went to find a nice park with a grill. This should have been a simple task but while the parks were open, the play areas, pavilions, and picnic areas were closed. We went to the park where the administration office is and I went up to the door, which was locked, and rang the doorbell. I asked if we couldn’t maybe just use the grill at the pavilion if we promised not to spread any germs. The woman said through the glass, “no.” I think she may have added something else under her breath, but I couldn’t hear it.
This could have daunted a less stouthearted couple. We couldn’t check in to the hotel for a few hours anyway, and we had kind of planned to do everything at our own pace, whatever that turned out to be. But, we knew one place where she could start a fire and cook. So, we went home to her trusty, rusty old smoker, my wife’s favorite tool. Really. Both about going home and about the smoker being her favorite tool. She is something of a firebug. She has been using it to burn sticks and branches from the yard and for cooking for several years since our son, Tong gave it to her. The fact that she made sure that it was used and later reused and abused plays into a later story. Anyway, she is used to using it and making fires in it. Nobody was home, although Son-In-Law came home for a short time and left again (which is another story for a day or two from now). Very soon (Click to enlarge photos):
So, while we were waiting for the coals to heat up we set the table and started mixing ingredients, chopping Kalamata Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and olive oil from the the tomatoes, capers, and lemon juice.
This guy oversaw the work, and helped hold down the tablecloth:
The requisite lovebird selfie:
And soon we had Mediterranean Salmon:
And filled our glasses and gave thanks for 40 years:
Mellowly conversing, nobody around, we may as well have been alone in a park or at a campsite in a meadow, watching the fire, eating, and enjoying one another’s company. Until it was time to make sure the fire was taken care of, closing the lid and getting ready to drive away in our fancily decorated car. Again.