Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Gone Wild

My goal of having a more exciting summer was off to a good start this past weekend. Between hosting a party, a trip to the beach, and some wedding errands, it was definitely two days to remember. First up, the potluck:


Originally, I had envisioned a small and intimate gathering, with a sit down dinner featuring fine food, a signature cocktail, and engaging conversation. What actually happened was that I invited too many people so we had to sit on the floor in the living room, we forgot to make the cocktails ahead of time so Nathan and I were taking turns squeezing limes and muddling red peppers (delicious - recipe coming soon), and everyone got a little too drunk, so we had to (engagingly) shout to be heard. I can't complain, though - in both scenarios the food was delicious and the company was smashing, which is really all that matters when it comes to a potluck. 

I started the night by photographing dishes as they arrived, but only got as far as my offerings (falafel, pre-frying, pictured above, and my jalapeno-onion cornbread, pictured below), and Erica's fruit salad. Then I was on cocktail duty and things got a little crazy, so my camera was shoved to the side. Oh, well. All you really to know is that it was delicious. 

Vegan cornbread.

The fruitiest salad ever.

All in all, it was a fun party - our first big one since moving into this house last August, which is a little ridiculous. Next month is my birthday (the big 3-0) so I consider this past weekend's shindig a good warm up.

After everyone left, I loaded up our newly-fixed dishwasher with a million dirty dishes, wiped spilled gin off all the counters, and collapsed into bed. We slept until 9AM the next day and then, after a nice and relaxing morning, ran some wedding errands - namely, looking at suits and rings.

Display o' ties.

Between the two of us, Nathan and I know nothing about fashion or jewelry. We though it would be a good idea to learn a few things prior to making actual decisions - like what, exactly, a suit looks like in person. What Nathan's measurements are. What size rings we wear. And what we might like to slip onto our fingers and look at every day for the next 80 or so years. 

We learned quite a bit, were appropriately overwhelmed, came to no concrete decisions, and left with more questions than answers. I plan to write a more in depth post about the experience later this week, because it was definitely an experience, so stay tuned.

Nikki's Falafel Hummus Wrap.

Window shopping is exhausting so we took a mid-afternoon break and grabbed lunch at Nikki's, which was an excellent decision. Nathan and I rarely go out for lunch, and we rarely run errands together on the weekends. Most of our time off is spent with the dogs, outside (at the beach or camping), or working on our yard/garden/house. Despite the identity crisis that wedding errands can prompt, it was nice to do something a little different with our time together. Plus any day I have lunch at Nikki's is a good one.

As if our weekend had not been busy or social enough, we ended things with an evening drive out to Topsail Beach with a bunch of MFA friends. We had never been to Topsail before - it's a little further of a drive than our usual haunts, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach (yes, we have a lot of beautiful beaches to choose from. Yes, we are damn lucky.) It was worth the drive. We pulled up at around 6PM and swam for a while, then drank beers, then swam again right before the sun went down, then drank more beers, and then packed up and were home, exhausted and sandy, by 9:30PM. I don't know if it was the time of day or if this is just the nature of Topsail Beach, but the waves were awesome - big and rough - and I got knocked down many, many times. It's official - I love living by the beach.

Friends at sunset.

Topsail Beach.

I feel like I need another weekend to recover from this one, but alas - it's Monday and I have a million things to do, including but not limited to: submitting my residency paperwork so that I can get in-state tuition next year, working a few hours for my from-home job, reading essays for workshop this evening, swinging some kettlebells, buying some groceries, and washing the sand out of all our beach towels. Not a bad list, just a busy one, which means the sooner I start, the better. 

And with that - I'm off!