Happy Sunday Funday, kids! Did you spend your entire weekend eating delicious foods? I did! I have a birthday coming up, which for me is an excuse to just stuff my face.
1. I was up bright and early on Friday morning (seriously -- alarm went off at 3:30) to fly to New York for a long weekend. I was home by 10am and set up a makeshift office in my childhood bedroom for a full day of work. It was a loooonnggg day, but I made it through and headed out for Birthday Dinner #1, a cozy little dinner with my family. We went to Toast, a great little restaurant near my parents' house. It's everyone's favorite breakfast spot by day and perfect spot for drinks and dessert by night. Their dinner menu includes entrees, tapas-style sharing dishes, and cheese plates -- we ordered a bunch of things and shared some tasty bites. The food was great, but I wanted to save plenty of room for dessert: chocolate fondue. We ordered the milk chocolate fondue, which came with an enormous platter of fruit, cookies, marshmallows, rice krispy treats, and an entire funnel cake. Perfection.
2. I spent Saturday in the city, soaking up the gorgeous fall weather and catching up with friends. It is weird to feel a little bit like a tourist in a city that has been home to me for most of my adult life, but it's been more than 2 years since I was a resident and New York is a city that changes every single day. Being in NYC means being surrounded by the familiar (never get tired of walking through Bryant Park on a sunny Saturday) and the unfamilar (there's a third H&M on 34th Street now?!?). Happily, my subway game is still strong -- got a seat on each ride, and knew which car would be closest to the exit at my destination station.
High on my to-do list was the John Singer Sargent exhibit at The Met. My undergrad and graduate degrees are in art history and my master's thesis was on Sargent portraits, so this was a treat. I met my best friend Sara on the museum steps on a perfect fall afternoon for some serious art-ing. It was a gorgeous show, and then we did a lap of some of our favorite permanent galleries -- photography! Egyptian carvings! Impressionists! It was like speed dating for fine art. I wish we'd had more time, but stop number two was equally important: lunch. Last year we discovered the best Cobb salads in New York City hiding in fun, low-key little Mexican restaurant and it's our favorite lunch spot whenever we get together. The key is that they are SO generous with the good stuff: chicken, bacon, avocado. Yum.
3. If you're a regular reader, you've probably figured out I'm not the kind of girl who can live on salad alone (even if had about half an avocado on it -- seriously, SO generous). I am proud to say I completed the NYC street food hat trick while running around all day: a hot dog (procured from a cart in front of The Met, because we needed a little sustenance before art-ing), a giant pretzel (scarfed down after elbowing a ton of tourists in H&M). and a Mr. Softee cone (as a reward for a great day). Those are the street foods I am always craving, so why not knock them out in one day? I didn't wear my Fitbit, but I'm pretty sure I walked at least a million steps over the course of the day and easily burned it all off.
4. After lunch, Sara and I did a little power shopping. We hit some of our favorite spots, and even though I might have said something to the effect of "I'm just going to browse...", I left with a few gems. My favorite is this gorgeous little top from H&M. It a really rich, sophisticated shade of green with delicate detailing at the neck and sweet little gossamer ruffles at the sleeves. Perfect on its own, great under a blazer. You'll see the rest of my purchases in Monday's September budget roundup.
5. And today, more eating, more celebrating. I started with brunch with extended family at one of our favorite spots that offers an enormous buffet of Mediterranean dishes and classic breakfast foods. The mimosas are a great touch and always lead to some silly conversations. Everyone leaves with big smiles and full bellies.
After a nice nap, I was ready for Birthday Dinner #2 with one of my oldest friends and her five (yes, 5?) kids. Christy and I have been friends since 5th grade and I love catching up with her when I'm home. We took a picnic dinner to a local playground (and enjoyed a little adult conversation while the little ones climbed, swung, and slid) and then headed to a carnival. I kind of love carnival games, and I had a blast watching the kids ride all of the stomach churning rides they could handle. Ah, to be young and stupid and willing and able to be spun around like a top over and over again.
Going to bed with a happy heart and happy belly -- it's so nice to be home and be with some of my favorite people on earth. I have a few more days in New York, including a few more birthday dinners (and CAKE!!!!). This week I'll begin a brand new year on this earth, and I'm sure it is going to be a great one.