As of yesterday I’ve been a daddy for a decade. The oldest little HTFer turned 10. We have a psuedo-birthday tradition where we go to Red Robin for dinner about this time every July. This may or may not be related to the free meal b-day coupons we get for 3 of us having b-days in the last week of July. This year I was particularly excited to go out for one single reason:
they have air conditioning in restaurants.
You see yesterday Seattle hit it’s ALL TIME HIGH TEMPERATURE and we don’t have a/c. Even the office is super hot. So we planned to spend many pleasant hours at the neighborhood Red Robin.
Apparently so did everyone else.
As we pulled up to the building we realized that this wasn’t going to be exactly what we hoped. The line was out the door. And the ajar-door was letting out all of that precious mechanically-chilled air. I made my way through the agitated, SWEATY, crowd and put my name on the 30-40 min waiting list, at 5 PM!! The hostess girls were as pleasant as could be expected and we were extremely impressed at one girl’s yelling skills as she called out the names of the lucky soon-to-be-eaters. Her voice was effortlessly loud and crystal clear. (Sucks to be her kids someday)
We were finally seated and soon realized that the throngs of people and the open door pretty much negated the a/c. But there was a ridiculously slow ceiling fan above us, so it wasn’t too bad. We were quickly greeter by our server, Andrea. For us to remember her name tells you something – best waitress we’ve ever had. Despite the nasty conditions she was crazy-nice, and patient, AND she brought out a free plate of fries while we were deciding what to order. She actually refilled the man ‘n cheese bowls for our kids who looked at her as if she was their fairy god-mother. She brought us birthday sundaes, and even free ice cream for the non-birthday peeps. Girl should teach “How to get huge tips” to the other servers.
Now a few minutes after sitting down I noticed the Mrs. HTF staring at some guy. (that didn’t come out quite right, but it’s accurate) She leaned over and said that she thought she went to high school with the dude, in ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, but didn’t know his name. As the guy’s family was about to get up to leave, Traci jumped up and went over. They talked for quite a while and ended the conversation by committing to add each other as friends on Facebook (I’m not making that up)
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the kids were perfectly behaved. This was helped by the mounds of man ‘n cheese and our-new-favorite-server bringing them lemonade refills every few minutes.
So in spite of it being a little warmer than we would’ve liked. The Pope clan had an awesome night at the Red Robin AND we got to sit by a US flag made entirely of painted baseballs!