The family drove to Tampa this week-end to visit my husband’s parents. This summer trek across the state just wouldn’t be complete without an apocalyptic, zero visibility thunderstorm which we endured for about 2 hours. I have a love/hate relationship with these white knuckle road trips..On the one hand, I hate the tension, (WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!) but I swear the whole exercise helps keep my rear-end muscles nice and tight 😜..so there’s that.
I don’t know why, but I love those places. Even though I’ve seen the “flaming volcano” a thousand times, I always clap, take pictures and make a fuss- as if I’m a Hibachi virgin. Hey, I feel I owe it to the poor guy- and seriously, I get more food.
The whole hibachi experience reminds me of our move from California to Miami back in 1989. One of the houses our realtor took us to see was in a community called Country Walk. The home we toured belonged to a tough looking old Navy guy and his Japanese wife. It looked like a normal American home from the front, but the back yard was something straight out of a magazine…full of fruit trees and expertly manicured rock gardens that surrounded this incredible, free-form swimming pool. The whole thing looked like it belonged at a five star hotel! The most amazing feature was a sunken bar/hibachi area that people could swim up to and sit at..on underwater bar stools!
As beautiful as the “backyard” was, it wasn’t a good fit for a family with small kids, and my husband was uncomfortable buying a home made of wood because of the potential for termites. Of course just a few short years later, Hurricane Andrew turned Country Walk into piles of sticks. (We fared better in the concrete place we eventually bought in a different neighborhood.)
So yeah, I love those Japanese Hibachi restaurants. It’s my kind of theater; the performances are short, you get to eat, there’s no singing and just enough audience participation to keep me interested. I’ll be 80 years old one day still acting surprised, delighted and amazed when the guy tosses the egg into his chef’s hat. He’ll wink and give me extra shrimp, and I’ll tell everyone at the table the story about that old sailor’s picturesque backyard with the swim-up Hibachi grill. And they will ooh and ahh as I describe the whole thing and pretend they haven’t heard it all before. 😉