Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ristorante Del Lago at the Broadmoor: First S'mores

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After we toured the Penrose Museum we headed to the West side of the hotel for dinner at Ristorante Del Lago.  The view was so beautiful.  We had a table with the view of the lake.  It was peaceful and as lovely as a painted picture.  The ambiance drawing you into the feeling of a wonderful dinning experience.  The chef of the restaurant came to greet and meet Noah and to make sure he pureed a meal for Noah and a special desert.  I can't even begin to describe how incredible that is for a chef or a restaurant take interest in making Noah a meal.  I was intrigued by everything on the menu and wanted to sample everything.

We ordered the Antipasti Misti as an appetizer.  I loved how it was a little bit of everything.  Some that I was familiar with and some that I was new to me.  The Salame Rosa was incredible and one of my favorite meats but so hard to find in grocery stores, buffalo cheeses, croutons, olives, a couscous with shrimp, and pickled vegetables.  Luke had his own little appetizer of house mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes.  It was a really hard decision for me but I finally wound up deciding on Pappardelle Bolognese which was Pimontese Pasta, Braised Eagles Nest with Ranch Wagyu Beef.  Chris ordered Bucatini Cacio E Pepe, which was is a roman style cheese sauce with pepper and he added a house sausage to the dish.  He has not stopped talking about that meal.  He says it was the very best dinner he's ever had any any restaurant in his life.  Noah's grandmother ordered Colorado Striped Bass which sat beside a bed of sugar peas paired with ricotta and lemon basil pesto.  Luke had buttered noodles, and Noah had creamed noodles and cheese with pureed blueberry cheesecake for desert.    

I however was in awe of the cappuccino.  Served with a biscuit and a rock candy stir stick, it was beautiful.  A coffee work of art.  Between us we ordered five... I know who orders five cappuccinos... but I was soaking up every heavenly minute.  We don't ever get out much less have the opportunity to splurge on anything that makes us feel human, alive and happy.  I wanted just to be happy.  So we ordered five cappuccinos because it made us happy.     

The restaurant staff was incredibly sweet.  They even made Noah and Luke a s'mores kit so that they could make smores by the fire at the lake.  They even pureed chocolate and gram crackers for Noah to dip his marshmallow in.  We were given a handful of bamboo skewers and a s'mores kit in a bag.  We had never made s'mores with the boys. 

We did have a fire pit years ago before Noah was born.  Two of them actually.  And then Noah was born and with the crushing weight of feeling like all dreams and life as we knew it died, I sold them.  I figured that ship had sailed and we'd never have the need for a fire pit any longer, Noah could never do those things so I purged my life of things like that.  I took a big shovel and buried those dreams deep in the ground.   So, I suppose I was rather excited at the idea that we were going to make s'mores by the fire.  I wasn't sure how Noah would really do with a marshmallow.  But I knew he'd at least enjoy the fire and the activity itself. 
Luke was really excited.  I showed him how to cook a marshmallow to just the perfect point, add a piece of chocolate and squish it between two pieces of graham cracker.  He was in awe that he cooked and made himself a desert.  Noah eagerly awaited his marshmallow and sucked it down like he was craving that melted soft sweet goodness and chattered for more.  There was a family sitting around the fire pit who looked like they wished to be making s'mores, I didn't detect they were guests at the hotel - but a lot like us - wishing to be a part of a world that that feels a lot like you are an outsider looking in.  I offered them some bamboo sticks, a handful of marshmallows, a whole candy bar and some graham crackers.  Excitement lit up in their faces, they were so grateful.  And it felt so good to share our special moment with someone else.  And it's a good lesson to Luke and to Noah that you must always share and make an effort to include others.    
Our last cappuccinos we ordered to go, so we'd have a nice warm drink to have while we sat out on the verandas at our Cottage before going to bed.  We don't have a lot of easy moments anymore or stress-free days or days that aren't filled with worry.  And I allowed myself to just breathe - for the first time in maybe a year or more where I felt like life wasn't suffocating me.  Although I wanted to cling to that and not leave - as I was checking in to see how many emails were waiting on me... 84 and all about Noah's affairs.  I dreaded going home, it was like I got to pretend that our lives were uncomplicated.   The Broadmoor made us feel so welcomed and cared for.   Even the president of the Broadmoor, Jack Damioli, making it a special point to phone us at our Cottage to make sure that were having an enjoyable stay.   
The following morning we packed our bags and said our goodbyes to the Cottage where we made so many sweet memories as a family and headed out to the Cheyenne Zoo before we got ready to drive back home. 

Upon our return home I had casually mentioned our first s'mores experience with a friend after she showed me a picture of a homemade graham cracker she made and I explained how I had sold our fire pits years ago when Noah was baby after his diagnosis because I felt like there was no point to so many parts to our lives anymore.  Today, a fire pit with moon and stars carved out of the metal sides arrived on our doorstep.  A beautiful and heartwarming gesture.  She silently listened to me sharing a piece of my heart and sent such a thoughtful gift.  I know she wanted me to know there is always the rebirth of dreams no matter how much you think you have to give up on them.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.