Quote of the Day: * Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all youth will give to you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. * ~ Omar Khayyam

Good morning!

So, I have been a very bad blogger. I have not been taking pictures of my food very often at all, nor have I been blogging! But, in my defense, (Adam and) I are both sick with a nasty cold (he’s convinced we have the swine flu), so we’ve been dragging; but, we haven’t really even had time to rest much because we’ve been doing so much “visiting.”

So, I’m going to tell you the highlights so far, and, in lieu of pictures of my food, I have some beautiful pictures of my parents garden to share.

Thursday night, Adam, my parents, and I had dinner with my Pop and Rosalie at Francesca’s, which is an Italian restaurant in south Jersey (that description narrows it down to, oh, about 6000 restaurants). Dinner was excellent – I ordered the grilled salmon on a bed of spinach with sliced cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, and mango chipotle dressing on the side. Granted, it wasn’t Italian food, but, honestly, I can cook pasta at home! I also tried a bit of my dad’s stuffed calamari and my mom’s pasta with veggies. All very good. As we were leaving the restaurant, my Pop was whispering to me about Saturday night and I wanted to kill him a little bit, but I don’t think Mama noticed anything.

Yesterday started with a trip to the gym with Mama D. She loves bringing me to the gym, as she is buddies with everyone who goes in the morning and this gives her a chance to show me off ;-) Because of her recent biopsy, she’s not allowed to walk more than 3.3. mph on the treadmill at zero incline. My mother, who lifts weights regularly with a trainer and engages in some more intense cardio than that, is going a little bit crazy, but figures it is better than nothing. I also shared this post with her, as it demonstrates that a person doesn’t need to do daily heavy cardio to look amazing (Thanks again, Heather!).  At the gym, I did 40 minutes of sweaty “Random” on the elliptical, then walked at 4.0 on “Hills” with my mom for about 30 minutes. My dad also showed his face at the gym, which was a nice surprise – he recently started going to the gym in the morning and now can’t stop spouting its virtues.

After the gym, I made a bowl of apple-cinnamon oats. I cut up half of a Winesap (SO good! I’ve had about 1500 since arriving here), added cinnamon, tossed it in the microwave briefly, then into the pot. I served it with raisins and AB and, of course, more cinnamon. Yum!

Then, I was feeling fairly lousy – this cough is making my entire upper body hurt! – so I went to lie down for another hour with Adam. We both got back up around 9 – he was going to see his mom (have I mentioned we went to high school together and our parents still live in the same town? It’s very convenient) and I was going to have lunch with Allie. Her and I went to what used to be the local diner (The Whitman Diner), but is now much “hipper”: The Whitman. Allie described it as being the same food for more money, plus a martini lounge.

Allie and I had a wonderful time at breakfast. I got an egg-white omelet, no cheese, with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers, and a side of fruit, and wheat toast. I gobbled it up! Allie and I had a great time catching up, and, she still looks beautiful (too bad I didn’t take any pictures!). As she was dropping me off, we decided that we wanted to “start things up again” because “we are so good together;” AKA, we’re going to be “real” friends again instead of just seeing each other the few times a year that I’m home. We both like this idea :-) We also made plans to hang out later that night, so I could meet her boyfriend, Mike, and she could see Adam. WooWoo!

After getting home, Adam and I went to Wawa to get him a sandwich. Whenever Adam and i are home, we make at least one trip to Wawa. It’s sort of like a 7-11 but 100 million times better! We love it, but they don’t exist outside of NJ, Philly, and Delaware. It’s heartbreaking. Then, I headed out with my mom to do some wig shopping, which was very unsuccessful. We came home with more apples and no wigs. The lady told her that 1) she has a very small head, 2) not many people have brown-grey hair and thus, there are not a lot of wigs that color, and 3) there are almost no curly wigs with the kind of (spiral) curls my mom has. My mom doesn’t want to change her look completely, and she said if she did, it would scream “cancer patient,” and if that’s going to happen, she’d rather go the scarves and turbans route. I think she’ll look cute!

The errands continued with Adam and I taking my dad’s oil to get changed. While we were waiting, we walked across the street to Friendly’s, where Adam indulged in a Reese’s Pieces Sundae the size of Mama D’s (albeit small) head.

We put the iphone on the table for size reference. Yeah, it's ginormous.

We put the iphone on the table for size reference. Yeah, it's ginormous.

I needed a few bites as well. We then got the car back and headed to Canal’s to get the 10 bottles of wine we need for tonight’s party. We got 6 red, 4 white, plus my dad has some sake – I think we should be good.

THEN, Jerry and Tina arrived!! This is when the 48-hour party began. My parents were in grad school with Jerry and Tina, and have been friends since. Jerry and TIna live on a beautiful farm in Virginia, where they grow a LOT of good food, as well as have a lake full of fish. It’s interesting to be an adult, hanging out with your parents and their adult friends – they’ve definitely dropped all pretenses around me and Adam. It’s almost as though the 6 of us are old friends. We’re having a blast!

We then had dinner, which was fantastic. Warm, homemade whole wheat bread, a salad of fresh mixed greens, radishes, peppers and cucumbers from their garden, and home-made salad dressings. There was also whole wheat pasta, mixed with a sauce of homemade canned tomato sauce, their own peppers and onions, and the sauteed pieces of a giant puffball mushroom they found in their yard. It was all delicious! Oh, and before dinner, we snacked on some homemade baba ganoush with pita, as well as a bit of brie and crackers. I probably ate more than I needed, but it was all so good.

After dinner, Adam and I excused ourselves to meet Allie and Mike for a drink, again, at The Whitman. Adam and I were dragging, but really wanted to see them, so we pulled it together :-) We had a great time with the two of them, though, I talked far too much! I had two martinis, but couldn’t finish the second one; luckily, Adam graciously helped me out. Though we were all having a great time, Allie had to be up early for work (she manages a hair salon!), and Adam and I were infecting everyone around us, so we didn’t stay out too late. We told them they should come over for cake tonight, after dinner, as well – hopefully, that works out well!

When we got home, I rubbed about a pound or two of Vicks Vapor Rub (the only thing helps when I have a cough!) and crashed out. Adam fell asleep on the couch (shocking!), but came to bed later.

On the agenda today:

  • Sneaking the wine over to Allie’s house (her parents are friends of my parents and will be at dinner!)
  • Sneaking flowers/balloons over to Allie’s house
  • Picking up the cake and sneaking it into the house
  • Pulling off the surprise party! :-)

I would really like to go for a run, but I’m just not sure it’s a good idea with the cough I have. My mom suggested a long walk around the neighborhood, so I may do that. We’ll see…

In closing, I leave you with some pics of my parents garden and promises that I will be back in full-blogging mode soon, and will absolutely be taking pictures at the party tonight!

The upstairs porch, where I planned to blog from yesterday.

The upstairs porch, where I planned to blog from yesterday.

I think some herbs grow in this section.

I think some herbs grow in this section.

This is where the heirloom tomatoes were.

This is where the heirloom tomatoes were.

This is where the peppers are, and the cherry tomatoes were when they were in season.

This is where the peppers are, and the cherry tomatoes were when they were in season.

Hot red peppers.

Hot red peppers.

Red bell peppers.

Red bell peppers.

Green bell pepper.

Green bell pepper.

The remains of the cherry tomatoes.

The remains of the cherry tomatoes.

The other herb garden.

The other herb garden.

Have a great day!

Emma