Table for one

On my trip to Bodega Bay, my wife and daughter had other plans, and, besides, to bring home my son and two other scouts, I needed the room to carry them all and their gear, so I ended up going alone.

I got to Bodega Bay in the afternoon to take advantage of the late-in-the-day light. After shooting at the Bodega Head Trail, I took a break for dinner before heading out again to get some night shots.

Other than at a fast-food chain, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant by myself. It’s always been with family or friends. I chose the Lucas Wharf restaurant. My family and I dined there on a previous visit to Bodgea Bay. It’s a nice place with good food and a great view of the bay.

There was an advantage to being by myself. I was seated almost immediately while a family of 5 ahead of me had to wait for a table to become available.

The waiter came, and I ordered sautéed prawns and scallops. I think he may have been thrown off guard a bit because he forgot to ask if I wanted a salad or some soup to go with the meal. I was kind of thinking of a bowl of clam chowder would be nice, but I was off my game, too, and forgot to ask.

As I waited for the food to come, I glanced around the room. It was a busy night with nearly every table taken. Through big windows, I could see that the sun had set behind the bluff and evening had begun to fall. It seemed very loud with all the people talking, though it could have been that with no one to talk with, I just noticed the noise more.

An elderly couple sat at a table across from me, side by side. I assumed they were there for an anniversary or birthday. They toasted each other with glasses of wine at the start of their dinner. The woman glanced at me occasionally with a combination of curiosity and pity in her eyes. This was in contrast to a young couple sitting directly behind them. They were so engrossed in their smart phones that they barely acknowledged each other, let alone anyone else.

I thought of my son, who was probably cooking over a campfire with his scout buddies at that moment. My wife and daughter were probably having dinner together at that time, too. My prawns and scallops cooked in butter and garlic, accompanied by steamed vegetables and rice pilaf, were delicious. The meal was so tasty that I wished it could have lasted longer, but without anyone to enjoy it with, it went all too quickly.

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