According to Wikipedia, " Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada." And the day after thanksgiving has now gained cult status as "Black Friday" in shopping crazy USA for retail deals on offer that kick-start Christmas shopping, so much so that most companies and schools have declared it a holiday thereby making the last week of November a long weekend. Naturally most non US families utilize this opportunity for vacation. We were no different and had been thinking of making a small trip to the Olympic National Forest in the neighboring state of Washington. This post is not about the trip, will shortly put up one about it complete with pictures of the snow capped peaks and the lush rain forests.This is about a very special thanksgiving surprise that came our way.
It was the first time we were driving to a place where carrying snow chains was mandated by law. It was also the first time I was at the wheel for such a long distance(nearly 300 miles), my previous longest being a little over 50 miles. Oh yes, my husband is a brave guy :P The drive only got more scenic as we drove on and was very enjoyable. After a visit to mountain peaks during which I happily handed over the wheel to S, we took a small break in the city of Port Angeles. Having soaked ourselves in the festive spirit of the holiday weekend, it was time to head to the lodge for the night. Actually it was only around 5PM in the evening but with early nightfall these days, the earlier we reached the cozy lodge the better we thought. It was time to drive through narrow, curvy roads. With the fog deciding to accompany us all the way, it was a very tense drive to the lodge. My prayer quota must have reached record levels during that 20 odd mile drive as I gripped the steering wheel tightly and trudged along, allowing many cars to pass by me as I chose to go slow and steady. As always S was boosting my confidence, guiding me cautiously. A visibly relieved S and me stepped out after we parked our car near the main lodge to check-in. It was all decked up for the season with lights and their Christmas tree was up and twinkling as well. A fire crackled in the reception area dotted with cushy armchairs and on the walls as a reminder of the old hunting era we saw mounted elk heads.
Now this century-old lodge is nestled on the shores of Lake Crescent surrounded by the Olympic mountain chain and is quite well-known for dishing out delicious seafood. We made reservation for a table for two as we were hungry yet hesitant about the vegetarian options. The long waiting time meant we unpacked and freshened up in our room before returning to the dining area. The fog had taken over the air and so the lake was not visible to our naked eyes. With limited veggie options available, we placed our orders and began discussing about things to do and places to cover the next day. Soon our order arrived and we dug into it relishing the warm fresh food. A couple of morsels into our dinner, our waitress drops by and tells us that she had some surprise news for us. An unknown gentleman had paid for our dinner, she added that he had also taken care of her tip and we could pick a dessert of our choice as well when we were ready. While we mumbled thanks and asked her if we could thank our mystery host, she said she had only seen him that evening was unsure if he would ever return. As was his wish, she informed us only after he left the restaurant. She was as surprised as we were and had inquired him about this kind gesture. Every year, during the Thanksgiving week he went around sponsoring someone's meal and that day we were the chosen ones. And so it was that we were treated to a free dinner followed by delicious dessert all thanks to a mysterious gentleman. Since we'll never know who it was, we can only wish him and his dear ones the very best in life. Thank you stranger for gifting us a memorable Thanksgiving!!