bex77: (Default)
 My birthday was a REALLY GOOD DAY ™. 

The weather was perfect - another clear, dry, cool 70's delight! 

The best thing I did was to take off from work!  I still woke up early but enjoyed connecting with all the folks who spread good wishes around my Facebook wall and texted and emailed and called!  

N. went out to get breakfast from Dunkin' Donuts and we watched the light and fun Robin Hood episode of "Doctor Who."  

I had a short bout of "what am I doing with my life?!" that my birthdays always seem to bring about, but tamped it down with some help from my pals and some theater work! 

I meant to take a nap, but the greetings kept rolling in and I kept answering until it was time to head out for supper.  It was so wonderful to be with my sister E. and her family!  She treated N. and I to a spectacular Spanish tapas dinner at Dali in Somerville.  We had their back dining room to ourselves, surrounded by the copper celling and pots and pans!  We ordered a plethora of small plates and shared.  I started with a fun non-alcoholic drink: the Oscaritos, which is a refreshing mix of lime juice and mint and fizzy water.  I adore places that have festive drinks for those of us who can't do liquor!  

We shared so many dishes I'm not sure I can recall them all!  So many amazing tastes!  The highlights were the
- gazpacho, so cold, fresh and spicy,
- the ceviche with it's protein-rich mix of cold seafood and citrus, 
- deep-fried cheese with honey and sweet onions
- baked goat cheese with tomato and basil 
- beef short ribs in Rioja wine sauce
- duck in berry sauce,
- scallops in saffron cream
- pheasant with bacon and mushrooms
- lamb meatballs with tomato mint sauce
- prunes wrapped in bacon filled with goat cheer and almonds
- grilled baby lamb chops with peach sauce - this was my niece's choice and definitely the best of the evening with the most tender lamb I've ever eaten, marinated in delicious spices and covered in a perfect fruity sauce! 

There were several other dishes I wanted to try - their menu is astonishing! 

For dessert I had their cool and smooth flan, covered in candied clementines!  The waiters gathered around to sing happy birthday with tambourines and present me with their metal frog candelabra!  My brother-in-law took a fun photo of me giggling at all that!  

I took a few photos - pop over to Facebook if you want to see them.  

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and being part of a wonderful day! 


bex77: (Default)
 
It's my birthday and I'll write if I want to! I am taking the day off from work!  

I am so lucky to have special people in my life to celebrate my birthday!  

It's a beautiful day!  The Facebook messages and texts and emails are rolling in!
 

I started celebrating early!  

Sunday RI Adventure

The weather was perfect - clear with a few high clouds now and then, breezy, 70… it looked like the opening of "The Simpsons!"  The sun made everything look so crisp and beautiful!  It was especially appreciated after the muggy 90's and fierce thunderstorms of Saturday.

N and I made a day of it, heading out on a RI adventure!  I have never seen the roads so empty!  It was glorious to sail down I-93 and Rte 24.  

Lunch at Quito's

We started the day in Bristol with a parking spot right out front of Quito's, a fun seafood restaurant with a covered deck right on the harbor!  We shared a flight of chowders!  We got a great table right at the front looking out over the big boats and beautiful water.  It was great to compare the Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island versions of this classic.  I liked the tomatoey Manhattan more than I thought I might, did not really care for the clear broth briny RI and adore their New England.  N. had the grilled chili lime shrimp which I found tough, dry and hard to get off the skewers.  The stuffed quahog was not great either… the stuffing was packed down and dry even after a liberal dosing of lemon juice.  Our second course was better with crunchy clam fritters and coconut mango shrimp.  N's fish and chips had two huge squares of perfect fish.  

South Beach wading

We motored on along the little roads of Tiverton and Little Compton, past the cow pastures and wineries and beautiful bays to the fantastic secret South Beach.  N. played "I'm All About the Bass" for me until we crossed into the area were there is no cell signal or wifi, so we went off the grid!  They've stopped charging for parking!  We pulled most of the way down and got a beachfront parking spot. I took a bunch of photos and a video!  There were a lot of people in the water, so I decided to be brave.  I rolled up my pant legs, shucked my socks and clogs and waded in!  It was lovely! N. tried it too!  It was a little hairy getting back to the car through the stones and getting our feet cleaned off and back into our shoes, but we managed together.  After a quick look at the peaceful Tuniper Pond across the road, we headed back North. 

Farmstand colors

We pulled in at Walker's Farm Stand.  I hadn't been there before.  It's a quintessential family farm with a mix of their homegrown veggies and stuff from elsewhere, ith some cheeses and milk and goodies for the tourists.  I got a couple ears of corn, then popped in to Wilma's Bakery for walnut pumpkin bread and a fresh lemonade!  The displays in the farm stand were so pretty, I dashed back to the car for my phone and snapped a few photos, then walked down to the fields to look out over the bay and take some more! 

Grinnell's Beach Beauty

They've locked the gate and the bathrooms.  Bleh!  But the views of the little island and the big house and the boats and the water are still spectacular.  


General Store Treats

We went on to Fall River to find the Sky Beverage General Store.  It's a beautiful rehab of an old factory building with a convenience store, frozen yogurt shop, candy store and cigar shop!  We got a few Jelly Belly Beans with odd flavors like "Movie Popcorn" and made use of their strong wifi signal to upload photos.  

Dinner Delights

Then it was time to go back to Tiverton for an incredible dinner overlooking Mount Hope Bay at The Boat House.  We had the corner table overlooking the bay!  Sarah was our waitress.  Not the best we've had but a bubbly geeky enthusiastic server with a passion for a clean table.  We started with their warm sourdough rolls and whipped butter in the cute little paper bag.  N. had their Hall of Fame spicy corn chowder with chorizo, while I tried their clam chowder.  Both are delicious!  We shared the field greens with goat cheese and pecans in a champagne vinaigrette and then splurged on the raw bar sampler with 4 cocktail shrimp, 4 Point Judith Oysters and 4 Little Neck clams.  I gloried in the baked stuffed lobster with bay scallop and shrimp stuffing... so divine!  He had their sirloin steak with fried parmesan gnocchi and the fries. The impossibly young looking manager with the braces stopped by to wish me a happy birthday.  He got a little verkelmpt when we told him this is our "go-to place" for special days.  We watched the sunset over the bay as they brought me a little dessert with a candle - the dark chocolate budino (mousse) with hazelnuts and whipped cream, which was free!  They didn't have hot chocolate so I had an ice cold glass of skim milk.  Such a special place!  

There was heavier traffic going back, but it moved along and managed to "make a pocket" away from most cars most of the way.  We made it home in record time - just 66 minutes!  Whee!
 

I uploaded way too many photos to Facebook.  Please check them out over there.  The sunshine made everything look spectacular! 

This is the life!!!!




bex77: (Default)
What a week it has been! Lots of birthday celebrations. It was incredible to hear from or eat with so many people! I feel celebrated and humble, and a bit overwhelmed.

It became a bit of an experiment in communication modes.

Here's how the data played out:
- Facebook 52 wall messages
- LJ 4 comments
- Email 2 (former co-worker, college friend)
- Phone 3 (mom, older sister, and one other)
- Ecard 1 (former co-worker)
- Physical card 1 (N's dad)

So Facebook is definitely the place to be on your birthday! I heard from friends in South Africa, Sweden, many states including Hawai'i, and Australia! Nothing like a worldwide birthday!

My student workers presented me with a red velvet cupcake, and my co-workers gave me Burdick's chocolate!

I was also blessed with a fabulous series of birthday dinners.

Wednesday - The Red House with Neil for lobster risotto etc.

Friday - Chez Elizabeth's with A, J and N.
Fried chicken, roasted broccoli, rice and gravy, followed by peach/blueberry cobbler with mascarpone whipped cream. And the company of my favorite three-year-old. Hooray!

Saturday - fun with theater people - a table for six at Shanghai Village in Arlington, MA for drinks with umbrellas, shared appetizers and entrees!

Sunday - more fun with theater people - a table for ten at the brand new Foundry in Davis Square. Corn chowder and spaetzle, then a free slice of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. Finally, a birthday cake! Fun place to see and be seen.

Still have to work in dinner with my parents.

Many thanks to anyone who was in touch, and special thanks to N. and E. for arranging such great get-togethers!

Woot!

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