We have traveled enough now that when Gene leans over the table and says, “Considering where we are, you might want to just order Vodka on the rocks,” I should heed his advice.  Did I listen? No. Once again, I ordered the nearly impossible drink for anyone under 50 to prepare . . . Dry Vodka Martini with olives. (I should preface this story with the knowledge that after visiting the “Whiskey Shop” and asking them if they had any vodka, the nice gentleman said no, just whiskey and gin. “But you can walk down the street to the grocery and they sell it in the basement.” By “down the street” he meant another half mile. So I skipped it.)

But I decided to defy the martini Gods and order a martini for dinner at the Hard Rock Café anyway. We waited, and waited. 15 minutes later, the server came out and said they were backed up at the bar. I watched as three or four dozen people sat down and ordered and got drinks. 30 minutes after ordering, I see a conference at the bar. I leaned over to Gene and said, “They are sending someone down the street to buy vodka from the basement of the grocery store.  Should I warn them that down the block means 2 miles?” And he laughed. Then, I kid you not, the bartender grabbed a bottle of vodka, started pouring, held it up to the light, stared at it, then started shaking it into the glass, shaking her head. Empty. Another conference. I looked at Gene and said, “I swear I was only kidding.” His response was, “Maybe they think that’s what they mean by shaken.”

The server brings Gene’s drink to the table and explains that since it took so long, he gave him a double to make up for it. Still no martini. Ten minutes later, and after our dinner had been served, someone runs in with a bottle of vodka and they prepare my drink – adding dry white wine. It was presented with a flourish, like I should be proud. It was terrible. Gene tried not to laugh, and no, he wouldn’t try it even though I offered him the rest of it.

So new rule, I either have to switch to gin (which every place, including the grocery store has in stock) or scotch or switch to beer. And if you order whiskey in the UK, it is going to be scotch whiskey. I’m just saying. I’m seriously considering that two mile walk to the grocery basement . . .