Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Thanks to Frank, we've had a couple of adventures in the past few days.

Yesterday we three (Frank, Odel and I) took off for a jaunt along the San Pedro River, a short drive from Bisbee. We've seen the San Pedro mostly dry, and we have seen it flooding over its banks, so high we couldn't get near to the actual riverbed.

Yesterday, it was robust but contained, living up to the name "river". Its appeal was so strong that we continued hiking along the bank even after the trail disappeared, bushwhacking through dry, head-high reeds and bunch grass. Frank assured us that, "just a little farther upriver", we would be able to cross and loop back on an abandoned railroad bed to our parking spot, much easier walking than tromping through the thick, high, brush.

We had faith and he was right - though the river was considerably higher and faster than it had been when he had hiked this loop previously. We found a downed tree with debris dams at each end and crossed, very carefully - a good adventure on a sunny day.

This evening, Frank and Sydney picked us up for the half-hour drive to Sierra Vista, for dinner at Hana Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant we have enjoyed a couple of times. The restaurant has a variety of dining options: private rooms, a sushi bar, regular tables, and hibachi tables -where you sit facing a grill with a talented chef as entertainment.

Or maybe it is the diners who provide entertainment for the chef?

This was Frank's and Sydney's second experience with the hibachi table, and Frank quickly schooled Odel on what to do when the chef points the squeeze bottle in your direction: open your mouth and drink sake! The flow doesn't stop until you either close your mouth (yes, sake runs down your chin on to your clothes) or indicate in some obvious way (wave your hands, bug out your eyes, choke) that YOU CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE!

When the chef isn't cooking or squirting sake into patrons, he flips bits of grilled food towards his rapt (and possibly somewhat inebriated) audience. Success is catching a piece of shrimp or grilled zucchini in your mouth; the floor around our corner of the table was a testiment to our lack of practice with "on the fly" dining.

This isn't an experience for the shy or quiet diner. There is a lot of laughter and comraderie around the table, with acclaim for those who acquit themselves well with the squirt bottle or flying tidbits. As for the meals: DELICIOUS!

Our next few days don't have nearly the fun factor - two nights in the refrigerator repair facility's parking lot in Tucson while the cooling unit is replaced. I'm looking forward to the result, though!

1 comment:

  1. I'm way, way, behind on my reading. But just had to comment on the sake post. What a fabulous, funny story. And the photo of Odel with the perfect open mouth was fabulous. It was even complete with strangers at the next table laughing it up also!
    Loved it. Thanks.