|Katy at Café Boulud|
While it was a really long time to wait, I couldn’t help but feel lucky that my “sentence” was ending and maybe, just maybe, I would be returning to some sort of new normalcy. I was grateful, and a little sad, thinking about many of my friends who were not as lucky as me. Some of you may recall my story a few months ago about getting dressed just to drag the trash cans down to the road in the wee hours of the morning. I just needed to get out of the house.
I compared this experience with getting dressed as a 19 or 20-year-old, sneaking out of the house and the driving a couple of blocks away to a blue mailbox, pretending to mail a letter, and then returning home. I don’t think the whole trip took more than 15 minutes but it felt so good to get out of that house!
So, here I was, planning my return to the world and I was either going to “go big or go home” as some folks say. Reservations for 7-7:30 PM dinner couldn’t be found in Palm Beach at any of the good restaurants. Everything was sold out! I did find a table for two at 7:45 PM at Café Boulud, a really good, but really expensive, restaurant that is part of the Brazilian Court Hotel. Rhonda and I have been to Café Boulud four or five times in the past and have always had a very nice time. Since our reservation was a little late we decided there would be enough time to stop by The Colony Hotel for a drink before dinner. That would give us a chance to see who was still there and who and what had changed since February of 2020, the last time we were there.
Despite allowing an extra hour and a half in my getting ready plan, I was nervous about being out into the big leagues right out of the gate. What if I have one of those “dressing disasters” we have all had? Then what?’
I didn’t have to wait ten minutes when the first disaster struck! My false eyelash adhesive, now a year and a half old, had separated into an oily-ooze and a white paste. No amount of mixing the two would produce a sticky glue. On top of that, my brand new (a couple years ago) lashes came out of the unopened package as stiff as a board. They could not be bent to conform to the curve of my eye lid and no amount of glue would hold them in position! I tried for 35 minutes and then gave up in total defeat. I would have to go without. Cleaning the glue off my eyelids and redoing my eye makeup cost me another 35 minutes. My time-cushion was evaporating…fast!
Make up done, I made a quick pit stop and put on my underwear and outfit with no problem. Great! Then I put on the necklace that was the perfect color only to realize the piece was the wrong shape and size of the space and just looked awful. Back in the box! Option #2 was a long draping triple chain that I could have called “Old reliable” because it went with everything and generally looked great…but, not tonight. It added nothing. Then, another disaster! The chain caught up in my wig and in my frustration, I tugged a little too hard and broke the chain and had it so tangled in my hair that I had to take the wig off to retrieve it! Twenty minutes later, with the wig re-brushed out and reset and a new medallion on a long chain added, I was ready for perfume and a last-minute check. And a last-minute it truly was! I was out the door without 1 minute to spare.
Pulling up to The Colony I could tell there was some “event” taking place. There wasn’t a parking space to be seen. So, I pulled into the portico and as soon as I stopped my door was opened by the valet who said, “welcome to…no…welcome back to The Colony!” I pretended to recognize him but honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before. [Maybe our reputation had preceded us]. When Rhonda and I entered the hotel, we found five young women gathered around the hotel manager unintentionally blocking the path to the restaurant and bar. They all looked to be professional models and I guessed they were part of the “event.” The cool thing was that one of the models was at least an inch taller than me! She was beautiful and proud of herself, and she had every right to be. Oh, to be that skinny again! We smiled, said “excuse me” and moved through the group toward the entrance to the bar. “Just like riding a bicycle,” I thought.
The bar was busy but the outdoor area was packed. Almost all the tables around the pool were taken and there was a large group of very well-dressed people on the lawn that separates The Colony’s convention center and pool. A black Ferrari 488 GTB or Pista was parked on the lawn next to the bar so maybe the event was sponsored by Ferrari or their local dealer. It was fun trying to guess.
We sipped our drinks and talked and talked, occasionally stopping to say hello to old acquaintances. It was very much like old times…just a little smaller crowd but given the twin circumstances of COVID and End of Season, the crowd would have been deemed “typical” for the time of year.
At 7:45 PM we arrived at Café Boulud and were greeted by the Maître de who welcomed us “back” and showed us to a lovely table in the main dining room. I was surprised he remembered us after a year and a half. Later the restaurant manager came by to add his “welcome back, ladies,” comment to us. I guess we were memorable!
The prices at Café Boulud were breathtaking and memorable as well. How about a delicious filet of Dover sole for $70? Ouch! Rhonda and I each ordered the lobster salad ($18) from the appetizer menu for our entrée. When it arrived, we both laughed. The dish couldn’t have contained more than three forkfuls! There was no chance of over-eating in this restaurant. Maybe it was a sign to us. Afterall, the three young women at the next table were all size 4’s.
Alas the evening had to end. It was so good to get out again. I told Rhonda that it was like tuning one of those old radios where you turn the dial a little one way and then the other until the station comes in clearly. That’s how it felt. Clear.