5yr surprise


For our first anniversary, I told Shannon we were going away for the weekend, that I wasn’t telling him where, that I’m covering our lodging & he can cover food.
He drove & I told him where to turn & when not to look at the signs. Since he’d never been to Pt Reyes, he had no clue where we were headed. Of course, I hadn’t been able to ask if he’d been there for fear of him figuring out my plan.
We stayed in a little in-law cabin on top of a hill facing Tomales Bay & a cow pasture. There was a hot tub on the deck facing a foresty area & we saw stars in the night sky while soaking.
It was a lovely weekend filled with childlike explorations & playing in the rain with the cows.
(if you click on any of these images, you’ll be taken to a larger version in a new window)

View from the kitchen window

View from the living room

The happy couple

saying goodbye to Pt Reyes

Since then, Shanny has surprised me with many presents delivered in unexpected ways, as well as an awesome surprise bday dinner. However, nothing comes close to what he just did for our 5 year anniversary last Sunday.

Rewind a few months to me getting a new job in a building with a jewelry store on the ground floor. I spied a beautiful bracelet in the window that looks like a silver octopus wrapped around the wrist and I fell in love.
We went to our weekly dinner party with our friends & when I brought up the jewelry store, Jim said “Oh, they have the most amazing octopus bracelet in the window!” and I said “yes, that’s what I was going to say!”
Every morning I would say hello to the bracelet on my way up to work and one day I saw it was missing and my heart sunk. I went in to ask about it and asked if they were going to get another. She wasn’t sure but took my name and number. I told her “I just hope that whoever bought it is really excited about it.” She gave me a big grin and said “yes, the woman who got it is very happy about it” and I left thinking I would HAVE to get it right away if they get another.

Okay, back to last Sunday. We decided we wanted to go to the restaurant Gary Danko since we couldn’t pull off a weekend away, like we usually do. We joked that we were saving money this way (it’s known to rack up quite an impressive bill for a restaurant, which is why this is a joke, tho, actually quite true). Dinner was delicious* & we had a wonderful time basking in their excellent service. Just before dessert, a staff member brings out a special covered dish with rose petals under the lid, puts it in front of me & says “here’s a little something special before dessert.” I was stunned (sorry, no photo – I was overwhelmed), shy & excited when I lifted the lid to discover a box wrapped in white paper with a little black 5 on it. I turned it over and there was Shan’s note “i <3 u" I gave him a big hug then, I think, tho, it's all a bit of a blur. I opened the box to discover the coveted octopus bracelet! I know I gave him a big hug at this point and then showed our waiter who couldn't tell just what it is. When I visited the bathroom (where I got to polish my boots!) I took this picture:

I am a very lucky girl. ♥

* For foodies, here’s what we had:
We let them choose the wine to come with each course and I asked about not having a full glass with each of our 4 courses “because I can’t drink that much wine”. The waiter was very flexible and poured me a 1-2oz taste of each pairing and only charged me for two glasses, which was super awesome.

Amuse bouche

delicious lobster bisque w/ bits of fennel & peppers in a shallow bowl w/ an awkward spoon. I love it when the amuse is a soup served in a little cup so it’s easy to eat.
We both had a glass of bubbles, loved our own but didn’t care for each others’ choice. And that’s okay by me!


I had: a salad of dungeness crab, avocado, pink grapefruit, frisee & little bits of red pepper. It was delicious especially when I had a bite with all of the above items together. I LOVED my wine pairing (but forget what they all were – oops)
Shan had: pumpkin soup with dungeness crab and delicious little herbed biscuits. The crab and biscuits came out in the bowl and then the waiter poured the soup over them – deelish. He loved the viognier they served him to go with as it was a perfect fit.

Fish Course

I had: scallops that were almost cooked perfectly. I like them soft in the middle but these were probably seared for 30 seconds to long for that. They tasted great but one of the scallops was a little gritty, which I’ve never experienced before. I loved my wine pairing with this dish as well.
Shan had: lobster in a curry sauce that he thought was delicious. Another win with the wine pairing; he was served a local chardonnay.


I had: beef filet w/ some kind of marmelade and a flavored butter – it was perfect and I ate the whole thing. The filet was cooked exactly how I like it. I did find it strange that I wasn’t given a steak knife tho – my butter knife worked fine but I did have to make more effort than I wanted to. I wasn’t so into the wine pairing this time – kinda sour & too tannic.
Shan had: guinea hen breast with some amazing sausage & delicious potatoes and cabbage. He enjoyed the pinot noir they paired with this dish.


I had: roasted pears with gingerbread and nutmeg ice cream. The pears were good but the gingerbread wasn’t spicy enough and was a little dry. The ice cream had some dry, flavorless coating on it and had minimal flavor itself. The wine pairing was my least favorite and I LOVE dessert wine, so that was a bit of a let down.
Shan had: chocolate torte that he refers to as a “snooze fest” of flavors. The shell was flavorless and the chocolate was rather mild. This time the wine pairing fell flat for both of us as he didn’t care for the “boring” porto they served.
BUT, they did send out a cute little citrus mousse cake for our anniversary, that was light and lovely, not amazing, but it made up for the others.

This entry is filed under food. And tagged with , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “5yr surprise”

  1. Douglas Gorney

    All I can say is, whoa now! You two do it right, even if in the end the wine pairing fell flat.

  2. adriene

    Thanks D! It was fun to finally splurge on GD but I don’t think we’ll do it again. Next time we want to celebrate, we’ll go to NOPA. I didn’t mention here that I was a little annoyed by their lack of sustainable foods
    (I didn’t look too closely but they did have Maine lobster which
    1. has a giant carbon footprint and
    2. is in category red for sustainable fishing. even if it was delish.)