Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Bittersweet Goodbye

“It’s hard to stop eating it, isn’t it?” She says, tilting her head toward the half-eaten pizza in front of me.

I swallow, take a sip of my glass of Syrah and nod up at my server at the Fireplace Lounge at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey. “I think I may finish it.”

She smiles, refills my water glass and walks away – leaving me to enjoy the final moments of my last dinner in Monterey.

I feel oddly sad that the trip is ending. Despite the physical exhaustion I feel from the past six days of work and more work, I feel enlivened by the experience and the opportunity to show off my non-food related talents. It was a nice break from my typical hum-drum work days spent cooped up in the office, and a nice break from my monotonous daily life of excel grids, workout classes and trips to the grocery store.

I loved escaping LA. I loved living the uncomplicated life of hotel living (especially the king-sized bed part). And I loved eating myself into a food coma every evening sans the guilt I often feel in my day-to-day life because “I shouldn’t be spending the money,” and “I shouldn’t be ordering both an appetizer and dessert.”

As I sip my wine and pretend to read my book, Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever, I feel acutely aware that this is my last hoorah before I go back to my wallet/thigh-friendly meals of oatmeal, brown bag lunches and quinoa and veggies. But even more than that, it’s my last glimpse of the world I created up there, and the world I got to be a part of with my co-workers and colleagues.

I turn my attention back to my surprisingly well-executed thin-crust pie that has been topped with prosciutto, pesto, asparagus, garlic, and four cheeses ($13), and take my time to savor each bite. I smear a tender roasted garlic clove over the cracker-like crust, cut it down to lady-like bites and eat slowly like those posh French women who don’t get fat.

When every crumb has disappeared from my plate (that is actually more like a platter), my server comes by to check on me one last time.

“Do you think I can get a scoop of the caramel pecan gelato to go?” I ask her sheepishly. “I want to snuggle up in my bed with the remote.”

She smiles back and returns a few minutes later with my bill and a coffee cup filled with two scoops of the lush gelato. It’s an appropriate end to my trip – a taste of the good life I’d come to enjoy so much while I was working it up in one of the most beautiful places in California. I enjoy every single bite.

8 comments:

Elra said...

Sounds like a bliss Diana!

Jenn said...

Definitely a good end to a good trip. I love how the gelato is right next to the alarm clock. LOL.

Gastronomer said...

I'm glad to have you back in town, but am sorry you had to leave paradise. I'm certain you're going to strike a balance one of these days ;-)

The Duo Dishes said...

Makes you want to sing that Boyz II Men song "It's so hard...to say goodbye...to yesterday". Totally different mood, but we know what you mean. Nobody wants to go home after a luxurious trip. No one!

Diana said...

Elra - It really was! Not too shabby for a work trip.

Jenn - Haha, yeah I thought that was a nice "artistic" touch. ;)

Cathy - Thanks! I'm sure I'll get out of my funk soon enough! Just give me some more ice cream and I'll be good as gold.

Chrystal & Amir - Haha, oh man, that's blast from the past! I used to love Boyz II Men!

Reeni♥ said...

It sounds like a lovely trip even though work was involved. It's nice to get away from your everyday life. The pizza sounds divine! And snuggling up in a giant bed with ice cream sounds nice.

yutjangsah said...

sounds lovely. i like biz travel too, even when it's not monterey but i still have fond memories of a boring conference i had in monterey bc we stayed on cannery row and had some really great meals. good times.

Esi said...

I love getting up to Monterey (or down when I am visiting my mom). Glad you had a good trip!