Friday, September 28, 2007

Michelin, Munchkin and München

Generally speaking, Miles is a pretty restaurant-friendly kid. He sleeps through many meals tucked safely away in his stroller, his gentle sing-song snoring the only indication that a baby has joined the dining party. There are exceptions, however. Classic infant meltdowns are rare; high-maintenance fidgeting and bargling are not. These situations are usually manageable, but parental stress is directly proportional to the formality of the venue.

A visit to Paris would not be complete without a little sampling of haute cuisine. But would we take Miles to a Michelin-starred restaurant, placing at risk not only our own dining experience, but that of every glaring patron in the establishment? There would seem to be no surer method of tempting fate.

So for our visit to the Relais Louis XIII, we opted for discretion over family valor, and enjoyed the dégustation in shifts. Dean took the first seating with Judith and Dave, while Lisa and Cov minded Miles (who fully justified our caution by cavorting rambunctiously throughout the evening and into the wee hours) back at the apartment. The positions were reversed for Round 2. So a splendid evening was had by all, in due course.

Just after taking the Muffinhead handoff, Dean returned a missed call from the office back in Seattle. It was his boss, who offered up a remarkable proposition: would we be willing to stay in Europe after the end of our vacation, and spend 2-3 months in either the Munich or the London office?

The offer was as enticing as it was daunting. For years we had been talking about our mutual desire to try a stint living and working in Europe -- sometime in the future. But this was now, and we had in tow a former micro-preemie with less than a year under his belt. We had only packed for a two-and-a-half week trip, we'd made no preparations to mothball our lives at home--if nothing else, the logistical implications of an extended stay set the mind reeling.

What will we do? Will Lisa and Miles be up for the adventure? Where will we end up? Stay tuned for future installments to find out! (But I'll give you a hint... we're not writing this from Seattle).

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