December 30th 2011 3:17 am
[ View A Comments ]
The most delicious flavor of Southern Ocean Blue Cod served on a bed of mashed sweet potato and mushy peas filled my mouth with great delight as I reached for my glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Howie had decided that as we were childless for a few days it was a great opportunity to travel to St Moritz for some fun in the snow and relaxation.
We were sitting at the dining table on our private jet KKC001 eating our dinner. He was working on some business deal on his laptop, and my thoughts were back home with Howard Jr. I wondered if I should have written Lexi and Zak a list of instructions to accompany him, like I had always done when he was a baby.
"Do you think..................?" I breathed as I looked up at Howie across the table where he was just finishing his huge rare Texas T Bone.
"Howard Jr is just fine Holly," Howie interrupted as he placed his paw on mine, and then added with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "I've sent Zak 50 texts since we left home and he is giving me a running documentary of Howard Jr's progress - Howard Jr just visited the bathroom, and yes, he washed his paws after the event!"
I sighed as I looked away from him and took a sip of my glass of Sav. It was obvious I was not going to get any sympathy from my husband concerning my motherly worries.
"I booked an appointment for tomorrow at The Women's Spa with Joyti," I said as I decided to change the subject.
"Whatever did you do that for?" Howie asked as he gazed at his PC screen. "I didn't book us into The Kempinski. I've booked us into Badrutt's Palace."
"Howard you know I only like staying........." I gasped in absolute horror. It was too late. I had fallen hook, line, and sinker for an obvious tease, and now Howard was laughing at me like never before.
I ignored his laughter and sipped my Sauvignon Blanc, drifting deep into thoughts of how one day I am going to tease him about something that will make me laugh until my sides ache and tears roll down my cheeks. This hasn't ever happened yet, but I am sure it will one day somewhere in the future.
The fresh Swiss alpine air seemed to sting my cheeks as I walked with Howie from our Lamborghini up the front steps of my old familiar childhood haunt Kempinski Grand Hotel Des Bains. The beautiful snow covered lawns with the tall snow laden pine trees had a charming winter wonderland appearance. Happy childhood memories of this place always fill my mind whenever I return here.
"Miz 'Olleeee," a familiar voice instantly caught my attention and a smile spread across my face as I noted Valentino was still serving on reception, just like he always had.
As the bellboy closed the main door of our suite behind Howie and me, I glanced around the main room where we were, and thought of how the room still smelled the same, had the same bowls of beautiful white orchids that were there when I was a little girl. While Howie always likes far more modern things than me, I love tradition, and this place is a family tradition for me.
Howie walked over to the bar fridge, and a smile creased his lips as he looked inside.
"I suppose there's something to be said for tradition," he remarked as he took out a bottle of his favorite label beer and then sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs beside the fire, "they get it right everytime."
We ate dinner in our suite the first night we were there. The rack of lamb I ordered was so delicious, as were the grilled pears with mascarpone. Our early evening alone together was a wonderful start to our holiday in the mountains as we were both up extremely early the next morning to fit some skiing in before lunch.
My visit to The Women's Spa was everything I wanted it to be, and I wished Joyti could move back to San Fransisco with me and be my fulltime beauty therapist.
It was 8.00pm by the time Howie and I were seated at our table in the Ca d'Oro restaurant where we always dine when we stay there. A smile creased my lips as I gazed into my wonderful husband's eyes across the rim of my champagne flute and I thought of how there could never be any other Dogster Man in my life ever. I suddenly frowned as Howie scribbled something on the back of one of his business cards and whispered in our waiter's ear as he handed it to him. My thoughts went to who else was also eating in the restaurant and I gave a little sigh.
"Prince Fardog usually stays at Badrutt's Palace," I remarked quietly.
"He plays a mean game of cards," Howie remarked as the waiter returned from Prince Fardog's table with another business card that he handed to Howie.
Howie's eyes started to twinkle as he read a message on the back of the business card, and I knew exactly what was probably written there word for word.
"Darling I get the impression that you might feel like playing cards tonight," I commented as our soup was placed in front of us by our waiter.
"No, darling," Howie said as he placed his napkin in his lap. "I just merely thought of cards when I saw Prince Fardog sitting at the table over there." He placed his paw on mine and our eyes met. "I'd never abandon my beautiful wife for a cut throat card game where the guys just sit around wearing their sunglasses, smoking cigars and drinking Cognac."
As I dipped my spoon into my broccoli creme soup my thoughts went to my precious angel mama, and one of her sayings about how to maintain a happy marriage - "Sometimes a woman has to know when to graciously allow her husband the freedom he desires, so that she may enjoy him more when he returns to her."
Howie had not just merely "thought" of cards! He kept glancing over at Prince Fardog's table every now and then during our entire meal.
Finally I couldn't stand this obvious distraction any longer. I leaned back in my chair as the waiter took my main course plate away from in front of me. Howie was absent mindedly playing with the base of his water glass, obviously deep in thought about something!
"Darling I really don't feel like dessert tonight," I told him quietly. "In fact I just feel like an early night if you must know. Maybe you would like to see if Prince Fardog is playing cards tonight if you don't want to turn in just now?"
This brought an instant extremely predictable twinkle into Howie's eyes, and a smile to his face.
The view from the living room window of our suite was simply beautiful as I stood there an hour later gazing over the grounds around the hotel. A smile creased my lips as I turned around and walked into the entrance hall to answer the door. It would be my hot chocolate I had ordered.
"Valentino," I gasped with delight as the older man stood there holding the tray with my hot chocolate on. "I didn't know the senior hotel managers here did room service!"
"Miz 'Olleeee," he said with a beaming grin as we walked into the living room and he placed my hot chocolate on a small table beside one of the leather chairs that was beside the fire, "I only deliver to our most special guests, just to check that they are 'appeee with our service."
Childhood memories of this kind, gentle man flooded my mind as I studied the wrinkled lines of his face.
"Is there anything you wish us to provide for you?" he asked. "You know you only need ask, and it will be so."
My thoughts went to what I wanted right at that moment (apart from having my Howie back with me).
"I just wish I could go for a walk in the grounds," I told him as I thought of the immaculately groomed driveways and paths around the hotel. "The hotel always looks so magnificent late at night in the snow, but I don't think my husband will be finished with his business until real late."
"Valentino will take you then," he said as he gave a tiny bow of his head.
The snow crunched beneath our boots as Valentino and I walked along one of the pathways through the pine trees talking about the hotel, and all that had been going on there since my last visit. I gently pulled the hood of my fur cloak around my ears, it seemed so cold.
"You must miss your beautiful mama," Valentino commented as we walked along. "She was a very beautiful, gracious lady, who was loved by all."
My thoughts went to mama, and of all the happy memories I had of her at this place.
"Did you notice that your friend Prince Fardog is staying 'ere at the present?" Valentino asked quietly.
I sighed quietly as I thought back to the day Valentino picked me up from the bottom of one of the marble staircases near the reception desk, Prince Fardog having carelessly knocked me down about half a dozen of the stairs with his ski poles.
"I had noticed him in the dining room tonight," I replied quietly.
"He has just remarried for the fourth time," Valentino continued. "His new wife is a beautiful French poodle named Gigi."
My thoughts went to how Prince Fardog's father had been friends with my father, and of how our two families had sometimes gone on vacation together when I was young. The family seemed to have an obsession with holidaying on luxury yatchs in the mediterranean. Prince Fardog, somewhat older than me, had always had a different girlfriend almost everytime I had met up with him.
"The Prince has always had the most beautiful women," I remarked as I noticed a snowflake falling from the sky.
"True," Valentino agreed as he looked up at the soft flakes that were starting to fall from the sky, "but the most beautiful young woman of all was never meant to be his to have." His kind eyes met mine for a fleeting second. "You were the cutest of all little girls," he continued, "and you have grown into the most exquisitely beautiful young woman ever. Your mama was a very beautiful woman, but I think that your beauty surpasses even hers."
I blushed as we stopped walking and stood at the end of the long straight driveway that leads up to the main hotel entrance. It had a castle like appearance with it's blue window shutters, iron balconies and towers, as it stood amongst the flood lights in the falling snow. There was only one thing missing at that moment, and that was Howie. I so wished he had been there to slide his big muscly arm around me and place a tender kiss on my head.
"How is your family?" I asked Valentino as we started to walk down the long driveway towards the hotel.
When we arrived back inside the hotel we went and sat in one of the private lounges, drank the most delicious hot chocolate, and continued to reminisce on days gone by at the hotel, those who had worked there as well as those who visited. I think it was about 2am by the time I returned to my suite and went to bed after a most happy, pleasant evening.
The sound of someone stumbling through the bedroom doorway in the dark woke me up with a start, and I could smell the distinct aroma of cigar smoke.
"Howie, what time is it?" I gasped as I turned the bedside light on just as he sat down on the side of the bed.
"I think it's about 5am," Howie replied as he turned around on the bed to face me and started to pull his shoe off.
It was then that I noticed the sparkle in his eyes, and the huge grin of immense satisfaction on his face.
"I guess you won big at cards?" I asked as he lay down on the bed beside me and undid the buttons on his shirt.
"Did you know that you are now the owner of a luxury yatch, Mrs Howard?" he asked with a chuckle as he looked up at me with one of his charming schoolboy expressions.
"You won a boat?" I gasped in shock.
"It's a yatch, not a just a boat," Howie replied with a grin. "I tried to get him to bet his best luxury yatch, but he wouldn't. This is only his third best one, and it's kept at the marina in Montenegro."
I started to giggle as I thought of how Prince Fardog probably owns at least half a dozen luxury yatchs and keeps them in the finest marina's all over the world.
"I think my wonderful husband played some very good cards tonight," I told him as I ran my paw through his hair and studied his handsome face.
"Hmmmmm, I think I did," he murmured as our eyes met. "However, the whole time I was playing cards I kept thinking of how all I really wanted was to be with you going for a walk in the snow, and drinking hot chocolate beside the fire before we went to bed."
"Awwww Howie," I whispered as I placed a tiny loving kiss on his brow, and thought of mama's words of advice, "have I told you lately just how much I love you?"
Howie grinned as he took his cellphone out of his pocket and brought up pictures of the most beautiful luxury yatch in the marina at Montenegro.
"You can never tell me that you love me too often Holly," he said as he held out his phone to me. "Maybe you'd like to tell me a whole lot more if I extend our vacation so as we can go and check out this yatch."
A huge grin spread across my face and my heart started to race with excitement as I sat there studying the most beautiful luxury yatch I had ever seen.
"Do you think Lexi and Zak would mind if Howard Jr stays with them for another week?" I asked as I noted the jacuzzi on the top deck.
(What does RSS do?)