Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Romantic Adventure

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ROMANCE as:
a) a medieval tale of knightly adventure
b) a prose narrative dealing with heroic or mysterious events set in a remote time or place
c) a love story
d) a romantic attachment or episode between lovers

I thought I’d share the romance my husband and I had recently. It actually captures all of the above.

Love story: For years I’ve loved to listen to Bruno’s music (you might know this guy better by his acting career – first TV then the big screen – still don’t know? It’s Bruce Willis). Anyway, my husband heard that he was going to play at Casino Rama which is about a two and a half hour drive north of Toronto. The concert was on Monday so that would mean taking time off work so we could spend the night in their hotel and pretend we were in Vegas.

Actually the first time David did the romantic thing involving getting tickets was for Billy Joel. The concert was sold out and he put an ad in the newspaper to buy two tickets. That was 16 years ago and yes, we did get to see the show, and I still have the ad, but I digress from my current romantic adventure.

Tale of knightly adventure in a remote place: The adventure actually began the week before when a big project at work threatened to cancel our tryst (how’s that for a medieval term). After battling the odds and working long hours, things looked good but by Monday, we didn’t know exactly how we would get up to the casino since David’s office is west of town, we live in the heart of the city and the casino is way up north. So in the hot muggy weather I trudged downtown to the provincial bus terminal (you could get a return ticket to the casino for $10) thinking, worst case scenario, I’d go by bus and he’d meet me there. When I got downtown, I called to see how the project was coming and … was done so we could actually get to drive up together. Thing is, it would be easier, traffic-wise for him to get me from home, so I trudged back home in the heat only to get the call (just as I arrived) that Yorkdale shopping center would be more convenient as it is close to the highway we needed to drive up north. $15 taxi ride later and just as I was getting out of the taxi, I got a phone call saying there had been an accident on the highway causing a traffic jam, so it would take longer than expected to pick me up. What is a girl to do? I had my own adventure battling crowds and temptation at the mall.

Finally got to drive up north (part one of pure romantic episode) listening to our favourite music and watching all the crops growing in the fields. The corn is almost a foot high in some places but no sign of strawberries yet. We decided to wait until we got to the casino to eat even though neither of us had eaten since early in the morning and I was getting a little cranky from lack of food. It was after 2 by the time we hit the highway.

Medieval tale of knightly adventure: Just as in medieval times, there was no power at the hotel when we arrived. (Of course the power was on in the casino, silly, but most of the juice went to the slot machines, not to the air conditioning). It was a million degrees, muggy and about to rain. The generators allowed for lights in the lobby, halls and elevators but no air conditioning or lights in the rooms or restaurants. We stumbled into our sweltering room, dropped our bags and went to the casino – no, not to gamble, but to eat. Easier said than done! One restaurant was closed on Mondays, another not scheduled to open for another half hour and the only other one had a line up the entire length of the casino!!! By now I was really grouchy and my hero had to drive me somewhere in our air conditioned chariot foraging for food.

Romantic episode: We found this wonderful family restaurant outside of Orillia, called Just Eddie’s that had great old time favourites like hot turkey sandwiches, hot hamburgers, classic clubs and my very favourite of all time – liver and onions with mashed potatoes and veggies (early bird special of the day too!!) . This was more like it!!! Relaxing in a cool place (literally and figuratively) with great food, friendly staff and my hero who always makes things right.

By now it’s 6 p.m. and the concert is scheduled to start at 8 so we head back to the casino ready to request our money back and go home and, wonder of wonders, the power is back on although it’s still hot and muggy inside. We’re told all will be well and it will cool off in a couple of hours. So we head over to bar and have a couple of drinks and do some people watching until show time and hope the power wont go off again and that the place cools down soon.

The rest of the trip – the show was okay although anti-climatic (frankly it was just too hot, even Bruno had to take some time-outs), but everything else, including breakfast in bed was fabulous as was the drive home.

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