Friday, February 26, 2010


We just got back from a four day ski extravaganza. It was much more fun than I anticipated since A) I hate snow, and B) I don't know how to ski. But my husband loves it, the kids are young enough to get going and I was taking one for the team. (Plus, I get veto power on the next vacation, and let's just say that I'm holding out for Hawaii. After paying the astronomical ski rentals, that should be in 2025).

We had a great time- the kids played in the snow, yadda yadda yadda. I won't bore you with the family togetherness, but I did meet the coolest lady. On the way home, we drove through a pretty intense snowstorm. We careened down the mountain in our chains, and decided we'd better try and get ahead of the storm and would stop for breakfast further down the mountain.

After driving an hour and a half, we stopped at a place called Jack's Cafe in Bishop, California. Your typical hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint, this place was exactly what we needed. Known for their homemade pie and muffins, the place was brimming with locals eating eggs, huevos rancheros and drinking your standard white diner mugs of coffee.

Our waitress appeared. She looked like an extra from the tv show "Alice." She was gritty, had a smoker's voice and crows feet deeply embedded on either sides of her eyes. She smiled, (which wrinkled up the crows feet) and asked us if we were on our way to play in the snow.

"On our way back, actually." My husband replied, and she took notice of his weary face and white knuckles.

"Did you need chains this morning?" she asked.

"We sure did." my husband grimaced.

She smiled, and immediately careened up and down the aisles, telling everyone to "chain up" if they were headed up the mountain. She refilled our coffee cups, yelled at the bus boy to give us more water and brought me a blueberry muffin that was larger than my 4 year old's head.

Her girlfriends came in and sat at her station. She paused to gossip and give them their cheese omelettes. She was clearly in her element- trading one liners with her regulars and wielding her pot of coffee like she was General Folgers. It was, seriously, the best service I have ever had. I wished I could eat breakfast every morning at Jack's- and then I remembered the snow, waved goodbye, and got the hell out of there.

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