My Uncle Jim called this morning (while I was walking with Bella in the park) to say that he was going to be in Boston on business and had an unexpected free evening and to ask if we would be able to meet him for dinner.
Dom was a little worried, both about rush-hour traffic in Boston and taking Bella into the city for the first time. But everything turned out fine.
I decided we should meet at the Union Oyster House, a Boston landmark and a good place to take out of town guests. I recall taking Theresa there once when she came to town. Great seafood, historic associations, right in the heart of the city near Faneuil Hall and the Haymarket.
I knew it would be easy for Uncle Jim to find and easy for us to get to as it’s right off the highway. A quick internet investigation confirmed that they had a children’s menu and I recalled it as a pretty boisterous place from the couple of times I’d eaten there in the past, so I figured Bella wouldn’t make too much trouble even if she got a bit fussy. What’s more, the website informed me they validated parking for the garage across the street, thus eliminating another worry, the cost of parking in Boston. So I called and made reservations, specifying we’d need a highchair to make sure they’d be ok with a baby. They didn’t hesitate so I knew we were golden.
As it turned out, the traffic was relatively easy, we made it door to door in about 50 minutes. And Bella was a doll. Of course she had a messy diaper by the time we got to the garage, but that was quickly taken care of. She proceded to charm all the wait staff, the busboy, other diners, and of course Uncle Jim and the very nice business associate he brought along (whose name I’ve, sadly, already forgotten).
I could tell Uncle Jim is a seasoned grandfather. He quickly scooped up Bella and was loathe to let her go. As I ate my salad and Dom had his soup, Uncle Jim walked around the restaurant with Bella to give us a little respite.
Dinner was lovely. I had grilled swordfish with grilled asparagus and tomatos and mashed potatos. With Boston cream pie for dessert. Yum.
I had to take one break to give Bella a quick snack when she began to get a bit antsy. The staff were very gracious and pointed me to an empty function room on an upper floor.
We got home in record time, only half an hour! It was as if we’d gone through a wormhole, I remarked to Dom when we pulled off at the Salem exit twenty minutes after we left Boston.
Experiment successful. A wonderful evening catching up with my uncle, showing off Bella, enjoying a bit of city life. Good food, good company. Who could ask for more.