A wiry young man with a wispy ponytail and an even wispier goatee arrives, bearing menus and iced water. With a promise he’ll return shortly for our orders, he almost pirouettes as he turns to the next table. I want to giggle. He’s either a frustrated ballet dancer or an overgrown child, unable to walk when twirling will do.
“Okay, that’s done.” Marta puts the phone on the table next to her and smiles across at me. “Any idea what you’re going to get? And don’t give me that line about a horse again.”
“The usual,” I say, tossing the menu aside, narrowly missing my water glass. “And I think I want an order of their breakfast bruschetta as well. Want to split one with me?”
The Vineyard’s signature breakfast bruschetta is an amazing combination of gouda and Swiss cheeses along with thickly sliced bacon. It’s layered on freshly baked Italian bread brushed with olive oil, then broiled until the cheese is golden brown and the bacon is sizzling. By the time it arrives at our table, I’m beginning to regret the invitation to share it. In typical Marta fashion, she cuts it in two, pushing the smaller piece toward me. I just manage to control a scowl.
“I’m eating for two,” she says by way of an explanation as she takes a bite of the bread, her eyes bright with mischief. “Unless you want this back, of course.” She brandishes her piece of the bruschetta at me. I’m not fooled by her act of contrition. It’s just her way of saying there’s no way on God’s green earth I’m getting it out of her hand. The rest of the food arrives and soon we are deep into eggs and conversation, discussing Marta’s idea for the room we’ve dubbed “the nursery.” She wants to use gender-specific colors, which amuses me. I’m all for slapping up a few decals on the walls and calling it done.
“You have no sense of design,” she says with a sniff. “And we’ll have to wait, anyway. I want to get the ultrasound done first so we can see what we’re having. For the color scheme.”
“For the color scheme,” I agree, my tone just this side of sarcastic. She gives me a sharp glance and goes back to cleaning her plate, something I haven’t seen her do in what feels like years.