Birthday Weekend

What a whirlwind of a weekend. It’s a good thing I take pictures or else I probably wouldn’t remember it all!

I kicked off my long weekend Wednesday night by walking down to Sugar Bar to celebrate my birthday with a martini. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the bar, but when I heard that you get $1 martinis on your birthday in a glow-in-the-dark martini glass, I simply had to try it.

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018Emily, Dan, and Dave met me there. We made friends-for-a-night with a guy named Dennis who insisted on buying us all a round of birthday shots. Don’t mind if I do!

017He asked if I was turning 21. Ha. Guess I still look good for my age, right? Dinner on birthday night was pizza & sushi, courtesy of my dad.

011The gourmet vegetarian at Papa Murphy’s is my favorite. The grocery store sushi was a nice treat since we have it so rarely now, but it is getting way too flippin’ expensive! I really need to start making my own.

Thursday, Dave had the day off and treated himself to a massage. I treated myself to some window shopping at Girls & Pearls while trying to decide how to spend the gift certificate my mom gave me. We met  back up at Shopko so Dave could look for a new pair of glasses, and it was such a beautiful day that I suggested we sit outside and enjoy a cold adult beverage at Guu’s. 

 

002Ahh.

Later, Dave and I tag-teamed our mutual honey-do list. I went grocery shopping while he stayed home and cleaned the house. Dave went to bed early as he had to work on Independence Day, but I got to have a little fun: I biked with my friends Em and Dan to Pfiffner Park to enjoy the first day of Riverfront Rendezvous.

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005We hung out with friends, listened to Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (a local bluegrass band), drank beer, played cards, and shared cheese curds and fries. A lovely little Thursday night. The hipster in the tree thought so, too.

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Friday, I did a little more tidying around the house in anticipation of my brother and my friend Amanda’s arrival. It’s a good thing I did, because later that day, my sister Emily, her boyfriend Christopher, and my darling niece Aurelia surprised me with a visit!

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010 What a wonderful gift. They came toting bag of groceries and Emily immediately started working on dinner for us. Amanda and Tyler came later and the weekend got even more fun!

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We had a lovely afternoon playing yard dice, grilling out, and enjoying a big bonfire.

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I think I’m mastering Aurelia’s signature smile.

For some reason, I couldn’t convince Emily and Christopher to skip work the next day, so we had to say goodbye.

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My brother gave me a beautiful pipe for my birthday!

Normally I’m up pretty early on the weekends, but this weekend, especially with guests, it was nice to sleep in a little. After coffee and showers, we met up with Em & Dan and walked to the Farmer’s Market. Gosh, I am so happy it’s summer! Have I mentioned that?

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Ty’s new hairstyle.

After stocking up on veggies and local meat, we met up with our friend Katie and her kiddos for brunch at Emy J’s. Iced matcha, a portabella pesto burger and salad for me.

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Deeelicious.

After lounging, snacks, and a viewing of What About Bob? we got all fancied up for dinner at Christian’s Bistro. We’d been to the sister restaurant Father Fats twice before before and loved it, so I was anxious to try Christian’s. 

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Unfortunately, neither Dave nor I was impressed. Though the service was top-notch, I wasn’t a fan of the food at all. It was okay, just not $30 dollars a plate oh-my-gosh-I need-this. Plus, I was a little unhappy that the upcharge from rail gin to Tanqueray was $2.50 per drink.

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Fortunately, the company was wonderful! Our friends Luke & Kirsten joined the group of us, which was splendid. Kirsten pointed out that Dave and I may be food snobs, and while I did mull this over for awhile, I don’t think a girl who eats (and loves) Cheez-its and gummy worms can be accused of being a food snob. I just like good food, and I don’t like being overcharged.

For this restaurant, I really don’t want to go into the details of why I didn’t like the food, especially since it is one of my friends’ favorite restaurants. Instead, I’ll just tell you what we ate and remind you that I love the chef’s other restaurant Father Fat’s.

The chef sent out an amuse bouche of sliced pork tenderloin in a cream sauce (just one example of the excellent service we received).

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For an appetizer, we ordered two cheese boards which featured six different varieties of cheese served with grilled bread, pistachios, and jam. (Now that I think about it, this was my favorite part of the meal. It’s hard to screw up good cheese!)

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We also had pork steam buns.

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And I had a bowl of tomato bisque with pureed kalamata olives.

This was actually pretty tasty.

This was actually pretty tasty.

For my dinner, I ordered the Cobia which was served with farro risotto and garlic scapes in a thyme butter sauce.

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I had a little more than half boxed up, and then the server brought us out complimentary desserts, which she described as bananas foster, but tasted more like French toast with a banana sauce.

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Even though the menu stated that they were unable to split checks for parties of six or more, the waitress asked us if she could, which was incredibly generous of her. 

Needless to say, I think Dave and I will be keeping Father Fat’s as our fancy restaurant. But it was so nice to have dinner with some of the best people I know.

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After we went home and changed into comfy clothes, we settled in to watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights, which was the perfect movie to end the day. Dave bought Rumchata and root beer for my birthday dessert, which, as you can expect, was fantastic.

The next morning we slept in again, then met at Em & Dan’s later in the day for breakfast: gingerbread dutch babies, courtesy of the Smitten Kitten cookbook. Yum! They smelled and tasted like Christmas.

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We hung out for a few hours before saying goodbye to Ty and Amanda and the weekend.

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