It's Saturday night, and plans have fallen through. Hm-m-m. Oh, I know, I'll take my birthday 'free meal' coupon to Ivar's, a Seattle favorite fast fish 'n chips restaurant (with lots of other stuff, too, of course), and have dinner there.
I notice how little traffic there is at 7:00 p.m. as I'm driving, but I'm still surprised to find a parking spot exactly in front of Ivar's--that's a first!
But walking in was a real gut punch. This is a restaurant where you place your order and pay--then seat yourself. Sometimes you have to wait for someone to vacate a table--it's so popular. Not tonight.