Friday we had off, and we spent the early part of the day relaxing. A little after 4, we were ready, but I told Jill it wasn’t time to leave yet. Then there was a knock at the door, and I don’t know what startled her more – that our friends Hannah and Dave were there, or that a limo was pulled up outside. We got inside, and spent a little more than an hour getting to DC, then cruising around the monuments (since we were early).
We pulled up to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel right on time, and were inside at CityZen and seated in minutes. We had cocktails (sangria for Jill, a Tipperary for me. A couple of nice amuse-bouches followed, a fried mushroom hush puppy (not bad for someone who’s not a mushroom fan) and a spicy custard shot. We went with the regular three course meal, a good idea as we were bursting by the end. To start, Jill had the Asparagus Thermidor, with chunks of lobster, and I had the softshell crab tempura. Jill and I had had softshell crab sandwiches at Dad’s once and she’d sworn off them for all time, but she had to taste some of mine and agree it was pretty good. Like gin, I think she might have some when it’s done by the best.
For the main course, I had a lamb rib eye and she had the shoat loin, both incredible. For dessert I had the “candy bar”, house made with nougat, peanuts and chocolate while she picked four slices of artisanal cheese from their trolley (one of the smoothest blue cheeses I’ve had). They had a couple birthday treats as well: a card signed by the staff, and a plate of sweets, both of which were pleasant surprises. Afterwards the limo was waiting, and we headed home.
Saturday we headed over to Dad’s soon after lunch. Sharon was already there, and we hung out for a bit, then she took a nap. When my mom got there, we took a walk (with Illa) on North Beach’s boardwalk, then came back and got dinner ready. Sharon and Dad had bought crab stuffed salmon and croissants, and Dad made a salad. Jill had sautÃ©ed green beans and bacon, and Mom brought an elaborate fruit salad (in a hollowed out watermelon).
We had dinner on the deck, and stayed out until it got dark. There were no fireworks in town, but we could see them going off around the bay, then headed indoors (bugs were coming out in force) to watch the remaining ones on the TV. Mom and Sharon headed off after that, then we set up our bed, stayed up a little longer reading, then went to bed.
This morning Dad made pancakes with berries and turkey bacon. We ate outside, then packed up and hit the road. We spent some time in the afternoon cleaning (and having a small fight), then Jill went off to a meeting and I started some auctions. Next I’m going to train on the Wii, then make chicken fajitas for dinner. We might watch a movie or just read later.