Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Awesome weekend

This weekend was nothing short of awesome. I celebrated Valentine's Day for the first time since Gary! That was a loooonnnnggg time ago. Nick isn't one to believe in Cupid or Hallmark cards (he actually said "I'm not getting you one of those" after a Hallmark commercial), which I totally agree with, but it is nice to do something different and feel special. So instead of the normal roses and chocolate thing we went back up to Bouchon Bistro in Napa for a super delicious lunch on Saturday since Chinese New Year was on Sunday. The man certainly knows the way to my heart. Good food! We started out with a dozen oysters, which I'm quite fond of now. I still prefer the tiny sweet ones, but I'm getting so much better. I haven't decided if I like to put the vinaigrette on them or not. It cuts the flavor of the oyster and then I can't really taste them. I don't think my palette is well versed enough in oysters to be able to detect the subtleties of their flavors. I wouldn't call myself a purist or anything, it's more of a lack of knowledge. For now I'll stick with the oysters as they are so that I can get a better grasp of their different tastes. Practice makes perfect!

For our entrees Nick had the fillet mignon and I had lamb with a glass of wine. Yummy! The lamb came with little sausages that had quite the kick to them. It was so good. I think that's my new favorite thing. I've been craving lamb the last few weeks, so that hit the spot. After lunch we headed across the patio to Bouchon's bakery where we got coffee and Nick had some Macarons. We sat and soaked up the sun while watching people walk by (one of my favorite hobbies). Well, I guess I should say that I was people watching and Nick was car watching. He would watch the shiny hunks of expensive metal roll by while I watched people walking dogs and checked out their shoes. Maybe that's why I like people watching so much. Dogs and shoes! Speaking of shoes, I got to wear my new red heels. I like them a lot! They're patent leather so they don't breathe much, but oh well. They aren't hideously uncomfortable so they're good in my book. Later on that day we stopped by the Napa outlets and Nick found a pretty sweet leather jacket. He had been talking about this jacket since we met and low and behold, it was in the Barney's outlet.

On Sunday I went for an early jog with Emmy and then we all headed out to the City for Chinese New Year at grandma's house. Gung Hay Fat Choy! We got there pretty early so that my mom could help with cooking all of the food. I haven't spent a CNY at home in a long time. The evening started out quietly, but then became very loud very quickly. Emmy had come along with us since we were going to be there for a while. Since she's not very good with crowds of jumping children and little doggies who want to play with her, I put her back in the car. She was stressing me out. Sparky, Dante and Auntie Mary's dog, wanted to play with her which I thought was cute. Emmy just doesn't know how to play. She kind of just looked at him and did her chin-pull-in thing (so that she could be further away from him without actually backing up) whenever he'd come up to her. Once we got home the quiet was golden. I don't remember our family being so loud before! Maybe it was because they were all babies and now they're all old enough to run around and make lots of noise. Anyway, sitting at home and watching the Olympics was blissful.

All of the grandkids. Josie, that space behind Natalee's head is for you!
Silly Dante! I just couldn't resist putting up this picture.

For once I got a holiday off. I had totally forgotten it was a holiday at all. So when Neil said that he was thinking of closing Celery, I was like, why? I snatched that holiday up quickly when he asked if I was planning to work on Monday though.

Mary (other CSR): I just want to remind you that I'm not working on Monday.
Neil: Yeah, I was thinking of closing Celery.
Me: Why?
Neil: Allison, where you planning on working Monday? (hopeful voice)
Me: Yeah...ohh it's a holiday. No!
Neil: Okay, we'll close on Monday.
Me: Really? Cool!

And so it was done. I think we were all checking in over the weekend and on Monday when we were around because we didn't want to have to deal with all the voicemails left in the inbox, but it was nice to have a day off. Usually I only get the big holidays like Christmas and Fourth of July so this was a nice change.

Originally, I had wanted to go down as a family to the San Jose Tech museum to see the Star Trek exhibit, but Christopher and my dad were going to go swimming and then pick up their scuba gear (which they spent $900 on!). I had woken up at 9am, but then deemed it too early to get up and start moving around on my day off. I should have though. As a last minute thing, I decided that I would take Emmy down to Monterey to walk around. Being the great boyfriend he is, Nick came with me because he didn't want me going alone. (He had turned his ankle midweek so he didn't want to be walking around a lot on it.) So we hopped in the car after lunch and head for the coast. It was a beautiful drive. I even wore a tank top! By the time we got there around 3:30 though, the fog had rolled in. It was still pretty nice out there. Windy, but nice. We played with Emmy on the beach for a while. I'm not sure if she's ever encountered sand before. She had it all in her mouth and fur, but she seemed like she was having fun chasing the frisbee. Then again, when does she not?

After a while of walking around the beach area, we strolled around downtown Monterey and then headed to Carmel to go to an oyster bar called A.W. Shucks. Thank goodness for iPhones. The food was delicious and the area was really nice. Emmy stayed in the car and watched people stroll past the Coach store. When we first got there we couldn't find the restaurant so we had to keep going past our car. I think she spotted us a couple of times because she'd stare right at us, but then we'd go down another street so that she wouldn't get too excited. When we finally found the restaurant, we were on the wrong side of the street, we shared a dozen oysters and a fried fish platter. Yummy, yummy, yummy. This weekend was full of good food! We've been reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and he said that you should never eat seafood on a Monday since seafood shipments generally come in on Thursdays. The seafood is probably getting ready to spoil by a Monday. Check the specials. If there's tons of seafood that's cheap, it's probably because they're trying to get rid of it. We figured that since the place specialized in oysters and seafood that we were okay...we also just wanted oysters.

Look at all the sand on her fur! We had to walk her around for a while so that she could dry and I could brush the sand off.

Happy puppy

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