“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.