Cathy had heard about the Summit House Restaurant a long time ago. I think she first mentioned it when we were newlyweds living in Fullerton; we had visited the E.V. Free Church in Fullerton and Cathy pointed it out as we drove past the restaurant. Recently, some of her friends at work reinforced her desire to eat there by raving about the food and experience.
They take reservations. I had Cathy convinced that I was unable to get a reservation for our anniversary (ostenstively due to the restaurant's popularity). I told her I found an alternative in close proximity to Summit House called "Charlie's" (I even made a fake map on Google). I printed out the real menu from the web site to make sure Cathy could eat there without worrying about her allergies. Well, she believed me.
So, last night we got ready for dinner, got dressed up, and headed out for "Charlie's" in Fullerton. I explained that it was in the same area, gave her the map, and had Cathy direct me toward "Charlie's" by following the directions. If you look at this map link, that green arrow is at the top of a hill in the road, so I pulled in as though I had turned too early for "Charlie's." Cathy was helpfully pointing out that I could legally merge with the main road when I turned into the ramp for Summit House. That's when she realized I had misled her. Cathy likes surprises, and she was pleasantly surprised!
The restaurant has valet parking, and so it felt like we arrived in style. I had previously stated during my reservation (and confirmation) that we would be dining on our anniversary. We were seated indoors in a small dining room overlooking the patio. I had planned to give Cathy her ring after dinner and before dessert, but we exchanged gifts after the appetizers instead. That actually worked out very well.
I do not have adequate words to describe the moment, but it was very good. I felt very blessed, and Cathy... (sorry, I paused here for a long while writing this) ... Cathy makes everything beautiful. It made me cry. She was all smiles, the way she looks when everything is right with the world, and she is joyful. The ring looks good on her. I asked her, and in Cathy's own words, she was giddy and happy.
Dinner was excellent. It isn't just the atmosphere, but also the food. You know how, when you are hungry, things taste better, but when you're full things taste OK? I was getting pretty full, but dinner never stopped tasting great! Even dessert was excellent.
We spent two-and-a-half hours there, just enjoying each other. God has been very good to us. We came home and found a gift basket from Cathy's mom, with a note indicating she would be home after midnight. :-)
Cathy spent a good portion of time today showing off her ring, like she did when we got engaged. Next time you see her, she's going to want to show it to you!