Grab some birthday cake and hunker down, this is going to be a long one!
The weekend kicked off Friday afternoon (as they are known to do). Our special guests (Cathie and Bob!) were in town to visit and to celebrate Justin’s birthday, so he and his brother Josh acted as their welcoming comitttee and I met up with them after work at the hotel bar where we caught up and enjoyed some delightful drinks called Moscow Mules. They were served in little copper mugs, which Cathie and I obviously wanted to steal, but our very nice waitress must have noticed the squirrely looks we were shooting around and subtly deterred us. Well played, nice waitress. Well played.
See? Adorable! Apparently all it is is Vodka, Ginger Beer and lime, so consider it mixed for our next shindig.
After a couple dozen Moscow Mules we headed out to grab some dinner. We had consulted the experts (read: Yelp) to find a good spot and decided on a place on the water that had a great looking menu and live music on Friday nights. It was a small, industrial-type place with an awesome view that had outdoor seating that would be perfect during the summer. The food was pretty incredible; stand-out dishes included the red wine braised short ribs and coq au vin with dumplings. Amazing. It was a little loud in the restaurant but luckily we were kind of busy stuffing our faces and weren’t affected by it too much.
Saturday morning (fine, and part of Saturday afternoon) involved some recovery from Moscow Mule kicks and food comas and then we all met up again for round 2. It was St. Patrick’s day, which is a huge deal in town, so we thought we would play it safe and go to the most Italian neighborhood this side of Rome. It didn’t quite work out the way we planned; this normally busy part of town was filled to the brim with revelers, so parking was non-existent but people-watching was plentiful, which more than made up for the lack of street spots. Another perk was that these revelers obviously weren’t there to eat (something tells me they were there more for the booze, but who knows) so the restaurants weren’t too packed. We enjoyed another ridiculous meal and then walked around for a little while.
We might have stopped to get some cannolis (is that a word? Spellcheck is telling me it isn’t…) and some of us might have housed theirs right away.
We took in the sights
and posed for some pictures like a couple of nerds.
For the record, that’s not my cannoli. I held it for Josh while he took the picture. I saved mine to eat when we got home.
We watched The Descendants, which we both really enjoyed. It was a great plot and the acting was really good and we found ourselves laughing one minute and weeping quietly into our cannolis the next (although that second part might have just been me, it’s hard to say).
With Sunday came – you guessed it – more eating and quality time with friends and family. We had everyone over here for a cookout and we feasted like kings and queens (kings and queens like BBQ, right?). Justin smoked some ribs and brisket and I think that the general consensus was that this was the best batch yet (plus, no trips to the hospital. Huzzah!). Avert your eyes, vegetarians.
One of these days I will document Justin’s smoking process. Maybe.
I made some potato salad (recipe here, courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa):
and we rounded it out with a strawberry, goat cheese, walnut and spinach salad. You know, because we’re healthy:
And, of course, a birthday cake. Unfortunately, I’m dim and this is the only picture that I took of the cake:
I’m wondering if I could have taken a less appetizing picture. Just a little tip for the readers: definitely wait until after the candles have been lit, melted onto the cake and them removed before you snap a pic. Solid work. Anyways, the cake got the Justin Seal of Approval and that’s all that really matters, it being his birthday and all. This recipe was also courtesy of the BC (it can be found here). I used my go-to chocolate frosting instead of the one that she has listed and they complimented each other nicely (right, as if there is anything that chocolate buttercream wouldn’t compliment?)
In addition to the feast, there was also a lot of catching up and laughing and reminiscing. Brody was so excited to see everyone that he nearly imploded. It was a fun day!
On Monday, Justin and his mom walked along the water and enjoyed the beautiful weather and then we went to see The Lorax. We have gone to see a movie on Justin’s birthday for the last couple of years so we thought that we would keep the tradition alive this year too. It was a cute movie with a lot of catchy tunes and a pretty solid message. That Dr. Seuss, he’ll make you think. We bid a fond adieu to Cathie on Tuesday morning and we have been recovering ever since.
Whew! What a weekend. It was a great one, that’s for sure. B was wondering where all of our house guests went, but then he got distracted by a nap on the couch. Hounds have to rest too, you know.
That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea…