I had planned this week to share some insights about another practical Mercury Retrograde strategy– revisiting past places and experiences. After all, when Mercury is retrograde it’s a great time to put the past into a fresh perspective, taking what’s valuable for the present time and discarding what isn’t.
What I didn’t count on was just how strange my revisiting adventures would turn out to be!
Last weekend, with Mercury Retrograde in full force, Patty and I drove from southwest Florida to New Orleans, which was about 12 hours of driving time each way. The daughter of one of my top coaching clients was getting married there, and we had been invited to the wedding. With extreme delays becoming the norm for airline travel and with a big snowstorm in the Northeast snarling flights schedules even more, we decided that driving would be a much better alternative.
As it turned out, the drive was quite pleasant, but quite tiring. So after a great time revisiting New Orleans (a place I always enjoy), we decided to stop in Pensacola, Florida to rest up for a couple of nights on our way back home.
It had been a number of years since we had last been in Pensacola, but in keeping with the Mercury Retrograde revisiting strategy we checked into one of our favorite hotels there. Once we had gotten settled into our room, we decided to go to a favorite restaurant for dinner.
The place is extremely popular and it’s been a regular part of every visit we’ve made to Pensacola in the past, so we weren’t surprised to find it very crowded. The hostess told us that there would be a 50-minute delay for a table, so we squeezed in at the bar to have a couple of drinks while we waited.
We enjoyed the drinks and the conversation, but after an hour our hunger was starting to get the best of us. We complained to the hostess, who told us she wasn’t sure how much longer it would be. Finally, though, after waiting for an hour and 15 minutes, we were escorted to a table in a back corner of the restaurant.
Once we were seated, we noticed a waiter who was engaged in a conversation with a couple seated at the table next to ours. They had already finished their meal and paid their check, but the waiter was talking to them with animated descriptions of his travels and stories about his ongoing search for great deals in real estate. Although he looked at us as he was talking to these other folks, he made no acknowledgement that he planned to wait on us, so I assumed that he had finished his shift and was just passing time before he left work for the evening. I wondered how long it would be before the waiter assigned to our table would actually show.
Our stomachs were growling during the next 10 minutes as the finished his conversation. Then, after a hearty goodbye to the other diners as they got up to leave, he stepped over to our table and said “So, are you two ready to order?”
Patty made it clear that she wasn’t happy with the big delay, and since we were starving we both ordered something that we hoped could get to our table quickly. As we waited for our food, we discussed the fact that revisiting the restaurant hadn’t really provided us with a replay our past experiences there– the service had really gone downhill in the years since our last visit!
But that didn’t prepare us for what was to come. The food was every bit as tasty as I had remembered it being, so I was stunned as we neared the end of our meal and saw Patty lurch back from the table, letting out an audible gasp.
She pointed to the tabletop beside her plate. A cockroach two inches long was strolling across the table!
I grabbed my water glass and pinned down the creature. Patty summoned the waiter, who took a look at the bug and informed us that he would have to refer the matter to the manager. Patty and I stared at each other as the waiter hurried away.
After a few minutes the manager arrived. “We’ve been spraying for roaches,” he said, “and that’s what brings them out.” He apologized profusely and told us that there would be no charge for our meal, adding that he hoped we would come back to dine with them again.
We left in a hurry, commiserating over the fact that we hadn’t ordered a more expensive meal as I joked about planning to bring a live cockroach with me the next time we wanted to eat for free.
But I’m not sure if we’ll ever go back to that restaurant again. If we do, I certainly hope it won’t happen when Mercury is retrograde!