Sometimes the unexpected is a wonderful thing.
A sale at your favorite store gives you a bargain when you planned to pay more.
A drive home at rush hour finds all the lights going your way.
However, sometimes unmet expectations leaves an empty feeling and the smell of smoke in your hair and clothing.
So it was with our latest restaurant adventure.
The local spot has a cool name which works in puns. It's located in what must have been a boardinghouse when trains passed through town. The exterior is quaint and there are enough cars in the parking lot to indicate this little hole in the wall spot must be the place those in the know go.
As we walked in heads turned our direction. Maybe they were disappointed somebody else found their spot. Maybe they thought we didn't belong. Maybe they thought we were lost.
By the time we sat a table off to the side, we noticed the smoke.
The smoke was a bit of a surprise, since Wisconsin requires restaurants be non-smoking environments. But with just one door inside and a couple of people lighting up right outside, the laws of aerodynamics created a smoke-filled room.
We looked around and noticed patrons of all ages seeming to have a good time. We ordered from the menu, received our drinks, and chatted while we waited for our meal.
The food was pretty good - fish and a burger with a side of quintessential Wisconsin cheese curds to munch. Spotted Cow in our glasses.
Dinner was enjoyable, but the hazy odor which may have lingered since the days of legal indoor smoking became overpowering.
Funny, I remember the days before non-smoking sections and how the advent of those seemed to clear the air. But in the day when we expect clear air inside, it's a difficult adjustment.
So the food was good, but the memories are the smoke getting in our eyes.
In 2016, it was unexpected.