Back to Tom and my fabulous West Coast years for this memory.
Tommy and I often spend holidays together. In 1996, we decided to meet in San Francisco at Tom's cousin's place for Christmas, followed by a holiday extravaganza trip to LA to celebrate Tom's birthday before I flew home.
I flew down on the 23rd and Tom picked me up at the airport. We had a lovely few days in Beautiful San Francisco...we toured the city, we had dim sum in Chinatown, coffee at a dinky little cafe in North Beach, wandered around making fun for ourselves, went to the Contemporary Museum of Art...all sorts of exciting San Francisco things. Tom's cousin Michael is a charming host, and we had lively meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with many delightful (if eccentric) fellow guests. Tom and our friend Greggie and I rented Crumb and watched it on Christmas night, full of shock, horror, and fascination at this odd little man and his even odder siblings. On the 26th, we headed back to LA along the PCH until a mudslide near Big Sur sent us through the Carmel Valley. We were bummed, since we'd anticipated the fun of the coast drive, but once we got into the weird hills and trees and greenery of the CV we decided it was a fortuitous detour after all. Hit the highway and proceeded to San Luis Obispo for a night at the Madonna Inn.
We'd gotten the last room available when we made reservations, the Maritime Room, which had red leather wallpaper, pictures of ships on the wall, and a mirror made out of a captain's wheel. We got snazzed up in our cocktail attire and headed to the main dining room for a big night out. If you don't know about the Madonna Inn, you must click on this link, as it is impossible to describe. The public area of the hotel is this odd kitschy pink-and-green alpine lodge thing, and the rooms are the original Fanta-suites. They even have cave rooms with fake stone showers. The dining room did a fixed price three-course menu and had live swing dancing, so we thought this would be a perfect way to celebrate the evening. It was. We holed up in the bar while we waited for our table. We ordered some delicious Makers Mark Manhattans, and the couple next to us struck up a conversation about our cocktails. They suggested we try them with jalapenos instead of cherries...they LOVED them this way. They were swingers, and it took us about 15 minutes to realise they were hitting on us. We declined, and luckily got called to our table before it got awkward.
We had a delicious steak supper club meal, with many Manhattans and much wine. After dessert we took a few turns on the dance floor. I actually follow when I dance with Tom, and he likes to spin me and flip me around. I was wearing a flared black dress that was slightly above my knees, and I know I mooned our fellow partiers several times with some particularly aggressive moves. Oh well.
We went back to our room, got a bit of shuteye, then continued on to LA. We spent a few fabulous days there eating at El Coyote and going to the King of Clubs, and then had a fabulous Tom's Birthday/New Year's Eve that culminated in midnight dancing in the street.
It was a solid week of Tom and Mindy fun. When I flew back to Seattle I was smiling the whole time, unable to contain my happiness.