I do so enjoy the rain.
If all of Richmond was on vacation last week, they're all out eating this week.
The evidence: on a rainy night that should have kept diners in, a friend and I walked into the Savory Grain about 8:15 and found the only seats available were two at the bar.
If not for the rain, I've no doubt the patio would have been full, too.
Looking around to marvel at another weekday full house (like last night), I noticed name tags on a bunch of people.
It would have made it so easy to go up and talk to strangers, but I refrained.
Turns out they were doing a farm to table five-course dinner tonight and the place was bustling with the sound of lively conversations and servers everywhere.
Ordering a glass of lemony Villa San Martino pinot grigio, I couldn't help but notice a bling-covered blond and her much older date at mid-bar.
I know I'm in the minority by eschewing jewelry altogether, but does anyone really need to wear two rings the size of eggs?
It had been a couple of months since I'd been in, so I was pleased to see some new items on the menu.
Although we weren't eligible for the meal featuring local produce from Farm Table, I decided to go with a salad of baby romaine with cherry tomatoes, bacon, anchovies and lemon-thyme blue cheese dressing, hoping the greens and tomatoes were part of the Farm Table haul.
They certainly tasted fresh enough to be.
My companion went with a behemoth of a crabcake sandwich, a work in progress, we were told, being judged by the Baltimore-raised husband of the owner.
I think we can all agree that only a Marylander is qualified to determine a crabcake's worthiness.
Of course, I say that as someone who was raised in Maryland.
Gradually the name tag people, looking happily sated, began to leave and things settled down to the point where music was audible and it was easier to eavesdrop.
Suddenly a friend appeared and I got to hear about her plans to take off with her boyfriend and dog and work on organic farms indefinitely.
While I admire her sense of adventure, I think I'll happily stay right here in the city, thank you very much.
But even a city girl likes to enjoy a rainy night, and with peach ice cream already crossed off the chalkboard dessert menu, we had no further reason to stay.
Debating between Chimborazo and Byrd Park, we ended up at Fountain Lake where a surprising number of cars were already parked.
We put a blanket on a wet bench, the better to enjoy the wide-open sky view of the lightening show going on, but the reflection of the fountain and street lights on the lake was almost as compelling, if man-made.
The best effects came when the sky lit up and cast enormous, eerie silver reflections on the rippling water.
And while you'd think we were the oddballs for being outside what with lightening and occasional raindrops falling, there was a steady stream of people walking by, also oblivious to or even downright happy about the weather.
I know the duck that suddenly paddled by seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.
Still missing the beach, but reminding myself how much there is to like about being home again.
A rainy night will do it every time.