When The Last Supper took place - no one, except Jesus, knew what was to come.
Because, sometimes, you just don’t really know that it’s actually The Last Supper, until The Last Supper is completely over with. Done. Finished... Time, and actions, have both passed. Jesus hung on the cross… and then it hits you - that was the last time you were able to dine with Him.
Would you have done something differently? Had you known it would be the final time? The final meal?
Would you have asked Him a different set of questions?
Would you have had a different sort of conversation?
Had a second helping of bread and butter?
Would you have ordered every dessert on the menu?
Because - what the heck - it IS The Last Supper, of course. Of all the meals in all the world, now is the time to order the chocolate lava cake, with vanilla ice cream on top, draped in chocolate syrup, and then topped with sprinkles and a cherry on top.
Over the last few months, #lastsupper might have well been trending every single day.
Because with every conversation I have had with another human being - this meal - this act - was a topic of conversation…
Where was your last dinner out?
What did you order?
Who were you with?
And even - what did you talk about?
Ahh, who were you with??? Before quarantine took us all over.
Were you with the ones you are with right now?
Were you with loved ones you now have not seen in eight weeks?
Separated by an invisible plague.
A plague that is wreaking havoc on civilization itself.
Were you celebrating a special occasion during that final meal? Or was the dinner out nothing special at all?... Just another day, just another outing. Not really having given it a passing thought.
Yes, everyone has their own Last Supper right now. We all dined out one last time before shut-down orders took over the globe. And restaurants shut their doors. Some for a short time. And sadly, some forever more. And at-home cooking and dining became the new way of life. Either that, or a whole heck of a lot of take-out, delivery, and curbside service, which started enmasse, in the wake of the pandemic.
There are lots of meaningful moments in a person’s life. Many moments that, when they are taking place, the person does not know it’s the last time. That’s why the old adage…
Live each day as if it were your last.
You don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone.
So, maybe now is the time to ask yourself: Are you living each day? Yes, even during quarantine. Are you fully alive? Each and every single day. Regardless of place? Circumstance? Location? Setting? Situation? Finances? Limitations? Roadblocks? Mystery? Scarcity? Hope? Fear?
I am. And I have been, living, each day.
For three years.
I am fully ALIVE.
Or no pandemic.
I am alive. And I am living my very best life.
I was fully alive before the world changed, and I am extremely grateful to be fully alive during it. And I’m still completely and 100% alive, as the world awakens, opens up their front doors, and steps off their front porches… many, for the first time, in a very long time.
You see, I was already out there… standing in the street… looking inward, toward humanity, inside their houses. Just waiting for y'all to come on out again. And join me. In life.
Because life - in Florida - means fresh air. While it was winter, and a cold and rainy spring, in many areas of the country, during this horrific shutdown, living in Florida during this plague was an extra special blessing to be from God Himself.
I was able to still walk outside, and get fresh, warm air, every single day. I was able to sit on my balcony, outside, every single day. I was able to literally soak in my vitamin D. The vitamin they keep discussing in the news as being imperative to fight CoVid19.
So, I’m happy to FINALLY see and hear of many other people starting their own venture outward. Yes, even New York is seeing signs of hope and life again. So, as the weather turns warmer, and brighter, in other parts of the world, many others can now also soak in their daily vitamin D. Have their coffee on their balconies. And get outside.
I’m happy to be joined with the sea of humanity as they open their front doors.
Many are afraid.
Many are terrified.
Many are following guidelines, plans, and executive, gubernatorial orders, or newly enacted city ordinances.
And, yes, many are stepping off their front porch steps at the very same time.
So, I’m out here to say to those who are starting out right now...
There’s a life to live out there.
Life is happening - whether we know it or not - whether we like it or not - and whether we want it to or not.
And life is, merely and once again, your reaction, to other actions.
I am showing you my reaction.
As the national guidelines, and statewide safer-at-home orders were slowly and gradually lifted in The Sunshine State… businesses started opening back up. Over these last many weeks, signs of optimism grew by the day.
Little by little. They opened their doors.
Many, very many in fact, are still shuttered, didn’t make it. But just as many, have once again opened.
With limited indoor seating, and tables spaced safely apart from one another, and nearly unlimited outdoor seating in the fresh air, lots of outdoor patios are having the times of their lives right now.
People are craving normalcy. People want to socialize. And people want to go out to eat.
Well, we, in Florida, were able to finally do just that.
For the first time in over two months.
We dined out.
We sat outside. We were far away from other humans. And we had a great meal. As we gazed at a gorgeous, waterfront setting.
We traveled down the winding Palm Valley Road toward the bridge.
Nestled and tucked under that large expanse of a hovering bridge is the Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill. Located at 377 South Roscoe Boulevard in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the location really is perfect as well.
On a bright and shiny and blue sky day, we arrived at the Grill for a lovely lunch outing.
We planned our outing to go earlier in the day, rather than later. My work schedule has me going to bed early, so we usually end up with a lot of lunches out - instead of dinners.
But considering this was a first meal of sorts, and it was a birthday celebration, both hubby and I were extra excited to arrive - no matter what the time was.
We knew it would take a while. We knew they had just recently opened to the public once again for dine-in service. We were prepared to wait, long.
And all their signage around the building told me another story… That they were open during the worst. That they were doing curbside pick up - and even dock side pick up, for boaters.
I was extra grateful to be a dine-in patron that day.
We had about a one and a half hour wait… They had told us about 35 minutes, it ended up being a lot longer, obviously.
We knew what we were getting into by dining at a restaurant just after an official re-opening to the public. In my mind, I treated this outing as the equivalent of visiting a restaurant on their first day of operation - a new business. A restaurant’s first day is always a huge mountain to climb. Always a challenge. And yet, no one seemed to be bothered by the wait. But it’s kinda hard to be bothered with anything at all when this is the setting:
Besides, what can one expect during a global plague, with food supply chains completely disrupted… We went more so for the experience, and what food we got - we got, in our book. And the wait - was the wait.
During that extended wait, I ordered two lemonades from the bar, and hubby ordered a birthday margarita, and then a beer on tap.
The lemonade was very, very small, and I drank it in about three gulps. Hubby’s alcohol lasted much longer than both my drinks.
We sat, in the partial shade on the wooden dock, feet hanging over the water, for a long time. After a while of watching boats go past, quite peacefully, we found some wooden adirondack chairs and decided to move. The entire wait was pleasant and calm and very enjoyable to watch all the activity going past. In that time period, we saw countless boats arrive and depart the dock. I’d say as many boats as cars coming and going from the parking lot. So this is definitely a popular spot for boaters to stop enroute.
The sun was at its hottest and brightest part of the day overhead. After seeing the dining area patio baking in the afternoon sun, we then asked for a table in the shade. They told us the wait would be much longer.
All the tables had spaces for umbrellas but there were no umbrellas to be had.
When we finally sat at our shaded table we were quite hungry and very much ready to order.
Our hostess had gloves on.
Our server had gloves on.
We ordered two side salads with a balsamic dressing. A delicious salad that, for the first time in two months, we didn’t have to prepare and cut all the fresh ingredients ourselves.
For our main course, we then each ordered two burgers with fries. Um, because, no fried food at home for two months - need I say more?
Hubby had the bacon and cheese burger, and I had the original burger. It was served hot and fresh, straight off the grill. Medium well, and perfectly done. Fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion. It was superb.
I cut my burger in half, and had the other half for dinner that night - my way of watching calorie intake during that outing.
The steak French fries were from Heaven. Because - again - key word being - fried.
We chose not to have dessert there, as I had special-ordered a few cupcakes from Cinotti’s Bakery to act as the birthday cake dessert, that we would eat at home later that evening.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. But the setting was what we especially enjoyed. And it was the action itself of dining out. Leaving the house, driving to a restaurant, reading a menu, and dining amongst others, that was most important to us on that date.
Overall, the Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill was a lovely experience. A great birthday outing. And a fabulous place to try if it happens to be your First Supper as well. The tables are spaced plenty distance apart, and the restaurant is following all the cleaning protocols in place. With employees wearing gloves, and lots of santitzing tables between customers. The setting is more than ideal, with the Intracoastal as a backdrop, and tucked just under and off to the side of the Palm Valley Bridge.
You’ll enjoy the boats coming and going. Paddleboarders going north and south. And you may especially enjoy the countless doggies - sitting on the edge of their owner’s boats. Also taking in all the sights and sounds… and smells… of the salt life, and good food.
It is my sincere hope that for those of you in states where restaurants have also been approved to reopen, just like in Florida, that you use the experience of my First Supper, as a push to get out there yourself. For those still anxiously waiting for your own First Supper. Go ahead and get ready now. Your time is coming. To start your own venture outside. To open your own front door. To step off that front porch. Find yourself an open restaurant. Wait All The Minutes. Get seated. And have a lovely meal. Have your very own First Supper. And, what the heck, maybe even order dessert while you’re at it.
It’s ok to be scared. And by all means, it’s also mostly certainly ok - to be very uncertain. And, just like The Last Supper, it’s ok if you don’t yet know when your First Supper will be. Just keep it in mind. Plan for it. Get it in your head. Because one day, and maybe when you least expect it, it will come to you.
And you can ask yourself - will you be fully alive on that fateful day? Will you be living that day like it’s your last on this Earth? Will you remember the moment - so you know what you’ve got, when it’s gone? And then, finally, who will you be with when that date arrives? ~
And for many more dining out opportunities in The Sunshine State - check out the variety of my restaurant reviews, right here:
57] First Watch on the First Coast
53] Totally Terrific & Tasty Thai @ Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine
45] Dessert First, My Friends ~ Cantina Louie
40] Visiting The Florida Cracker Kitchen ~ Jacksonville
35] Happiest Of Holidays @ Hawkers Asian Street Fare
29] Dinner & A Show ~ The 26th Annual St. Augustine Nights of Lights
15] V Pizza ~ The Very Best Pizza In Jax Beach!
*Part of ~ Bean’s Best ~ Award Winner 2019
11] Eleven South Bistro & Bar ~~ Supper Club Of The South
5] The Reef On SR A1A: Worth Pulling Over For
4] The Boathouse @ Disney Springs ~ Disney Dining At Its Best
Plus, you may be interested in some of my other pandemic related thoughts, theories, activities, and other such ponderings - down below:
73] What I’m Missing Right Now
69] Chaunie’s Coffee Truck
*Part of - Bean’s Coffee Shop Challenge - series
68] A Sunday Stroll
65] The Sea Life ~ Happy Easter
64] Stay-At-Home Sunday ~ Palm Sunday
63] Mercy & Comfort
62] PERSPECTIVE @ Seaside Sculpture Park
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
59] REACTION ~ To World War 19
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