Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Favorite Restaurant

Mike and I don't have a song, but we do have a favorite restaurant. It's Dara Thai in Flagstaff, Ariz. Dara Thai was the first foray into Thai food for both of us - there may be many other finer Thai food restaurants out there, but you'd be hard pressed to convince us of it.

Dara Thai is our favorite for the food, but also because Flagstaff is special to us - it's where we met and fell in love and got married - all within six months. In fact, I have this corny habit of driving down Milton Road with the kids in the car and sighing loudly as we pass the bar where we used to play pool and the restaurant where we had our first date, and saying, "Oh, I love Flagstaff. This is where your Dad and I fell in love," in this mooney, sentimental voice. And the kids roll their eyes when I get misty eyed. Good grief.

Ok, but those aren't the most important reasons why Dara Thai is our favorite restaurant.

Here's why:

When Macy Lee was just 7 days old, Mike and I bundled her little 6-lbs-and-change body up and took her along with us to dinner at Dara Thai. We ate our dinner - our first date after a very long 2 years of being pregnant (I'll explain that one later) - and Macy quietly and slowly moved her head from side to side, taking in the dim surroundings with her huge, deep blue eyes.

As we got up to leave, so did the party next to us. There was an older, conservative looking couple and a 20-something guy with blond Rastafarian hair and all natural, cotton crinkly shirt and pants. All 3 of them shared the same kind, crinkly eyes and warm smiles, so I figured at once that in spite of the different styles of dress, they were father, mother and son.

They all paused to look into the carrier at Macy as we walked by, and the son asked, "How old?" We said she was 7 days old. Not one week - just 7 days. I'll never forget the look of wonder that came into his eyes and the hush of his voice as he looked directly into Macy's eyes and quietly said, "Welcome to the world, Little One."

You know those reverent moments, when the very air is gauzy and you almost don't dare breathe because you don't want to break the spell? This was one. All 5 of us adults just stood there and looked down at that sweet little bundle, enthralled. Then we looked up at each other, smiled and nodded, and Mike and I headed toward the door, as the older man helped his wife into her coat.

It's the "tell me a story" that Macy asks us to tell her, over and over.

And, it's why Dara Thai is "our" restaurant. Go there sometime. It's not fancy, but it sure is special. At least it is to us.

Dara Thai
14 S. San Francisco Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0047

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