A while ago I published a blog post entitled “Only in a Small Town”, in which I told of the many people whom we saw while eating dinner at a local restaurant. That occurrence can happen 60+ miles from our home as well.
Saturday afternoon Bob, Stacey, Mike and I went to the Aoyama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar located in Erie, PA. It was Mike and Stacey’s first experience having dinner at a Japanese restaurant, whereas Bob and I had our maiden experience while in New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. We have been looking forward to dinner at Aoyama for some time, as we had made plans to go there shortly after returning home from New Hampshire. We agreed that dinner at Aoyama would be a good place to celebrate Mike’s birthday, as well as mine. Mike’s birthday was earlier this month; my birthday is later this month.
Before leaving for Erie, Stacey slipped on ice on our driveway. She just stepped out our back door, slipped and went down — on her knee. The fall hurt, hurt bad. It made Stacey cry (it would have made me cry too!). Stacey’s knee has a big lump on it and a cut. She was so lucky not to break anything. The part of the driveway on which Stacey fell is always treacherous in the winter. Even though Bob keeps up with the snow blowing and spreading ice melter on the driveway, a fair amount of ice still accumulates on that portion of the driveway.
Upon arrival at Aoyama, we asked to be seated at a hibachi table. Another family of four had been seated at the same hibachi table only seconds ahead of us. That other family happened to be from our hometown, and Bob and I knew them! I used to work for Shane and hadn’t seen him since I quit that job in December 2006. It was an even longer time since I had seen Sherry. I’m thinking that the last time I saw Sherry was in December 2004, when she was still pregnant with her youngest child. Shane and Sherry F. had come to Aoyama for dinner after spending the day at Peek’n Peak, where they had been snow tubing with their two young children.
Soon after being seated a waitress took our drink orders. When the waitress returned to our table with our drinks, she took our orders for dinner. Mike and I ordered steak and chicken; Stacey ordered salmon and chicken; and Bob ordered shrimp and steak. Our hibachi chef was really fun and personable. He put on an entertaining show as he prepared our meals of meat, rice (noodles for Mike) and vegetables. Dinner was delightful, not only because we enjoyed the show as the chef prepared our meals and the quality of the food was excellent. The conversation around the table was delightful as well. It felt as though we were not two separate parties, but one party having a meal together.
As part of the show, the chef sliced baby corn into small pieces. He, then, used a spatula to throw corn in the general direction of our mouths. It was up to us to try and catch the corn in our mouths.
If you caught a baby corn in your mouth, the chef gave you a squirt of wine.
After dinner we went our separate ways. Bob and I went shopping. I’m looking for nesting tables to put alongside the far end of the sofa. We shopped at Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s and Walmart. We didn’t find the nesting tables; however, we ran into someone else whom we know from Warren. While at Bed, Bath and Beyond we ran into Rosanne and Jerry W. Rosanne and Jerry’s son, Chris, introduced me to the world of exchange students. Several years ago Chris and I worked for the same Internet Service Provider. I don’t believe Bob and I would have considered hosting exchange students if it had not been for the conversations that Chris and I had concerning the exchange student his family was hosting at the time. Rosanne and I became friends in the process of hosting exchange students.