It began with a margarita on the Upper East side. The drink may have been almost too sweet for my liking but the price was right ($2 during Happy Hour). Besides, I was in the company of two of my favorite fellow S.U. grads that were visiting the city for the weekend... I couldn't just get a beer, or heaven forbid, water ;).
We dined at the original Brother Jimmy's, (one of the multiple country BBQ joints around the city, including my 21st birthday kick-off to the night spot.) and much to my surprise, I found a "healthy dinner" option, the Nag's Head Veggie: grilled vegetables and a baked sweet potato. Unfortunately, nothing was pure enough to cancel out the mixed drink(s) and by nine I headed home with an upset stomach.A somewhat reasonable human being would probably end the night there, but, after resting on the train ride and lying down in my own bed for a while, I started to feel better. So much so, that when high school friends invited me out with them, I jumped at the opportunity. What can I say? I would not accept a wasted night. No pun intended :).
Saturday morning I sprung out of bed with a rumbling tummy and food on the brain. I helped myself to the breakfast that is swiftly becoming a usual - (1) Place a bowl of almond milk, rolled oats, and cinnamon in the microwave for one minute, (2) Slice a banana and mash into it, (3) Top with a dollop of plain yogurt and a spoonful of almond butter, (4) Enjoy. - it's quick, easy, and delicious. I also had the true staples of green tea and water.
An inkling of a hangover unfortunately hit around one in the afternoon so a wonderfully rare nap took place. 'Twas glorious. And upon waking, I was ready to eat again. To remedy the hunger, I broke out the Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers for the first time. I was very pleased with their ingredient list, visual appeal, and taste, despite the fact that they broke apart on me after cooking.
I paired them with left-over roasted potatoes, cucumber, and carrots for a light yet all the while satisfying lunch. Then, I spent the next three hours leisurely getting ready. Don't you just love when you can do that? There was more fun to be as we celebrating my brother's high school graduation and my own college one. After picking up our cake from Whole Foods, it began...
Within a half an hour of our many guests arriving, dinner was served. I piled my own plate high with salad, grilled vegetables, broccoli rabe, eggplant rollatini, shrimp, and brown rice... and I was impressed. Everything was absolutely delicious! And with a glass of Prospero's Red Table Wine, it was even better. I'm so happy to have such a great winery so close to home and continued to reap the tasting benefits throughout the night.
Following the meal I socialized with our many guests. They included extended family members on both my mom and dad's sides, family friends, former classmates, and little cousins, lots of adorable dancing little cousins.
The elderly adults, like me, also danced the night away. My great uncle's band was playing the best of the oldies and today (I sound like a radio advertisement) and there was no stopping us. Watch the video above. Please.
I'll admit it, being home is not that bad. My family is great (99.9% of the time, ha) and being surrounded by so wonderful many people that I haven't seen in far too long reminds me of how lucky I am to be close to them again. I had such a blast basking in their spectacular company.
It was particularly special to reunite with my Aunt Donna. Donna is my mom's best best friend from high school, and middle school... and elementary school, for that matter. They grew up together :). Throughout my life she's lived close and far, first down the street, then to southern New Jersey, and now, in a small town in New Hampshire. It's because of her that I am Danielle (her last name is Daniel's) and she's why I appreciate country music and Wawa's.
Today, Sunday, we headed down down down into the city to have brunch with her son, Ryan, who's studying at Pace University. Following a tour of his apartment, the six of us headed over to Stone Street Tavern. Ryan and I sadly haven't seen each other in at least four years so it was amazing to have the chance catch up.
Originally I simply ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla, but after hearing the soup of the day (Gazpacho) I ordered that too. The tomato gazpacho was unbelievable, the quesadilla not so much. I gave most of the quesadilla to my dad :).
Alright, I guess that's what happened. Hope your weekend was glorious as well! Now, onto the work week: I have an exercise routine to finally restart (tell you more about it tomorrow), my first full 4 days at Quirky (hopefully I'll have a chance to blog for them again), an e-book to read and review (similar to the last one I did for Go Backpacking), and many more social encounters, the last of which will take place in the Hamptons with a familiar Oklahoman face. ¡Hasta mañana!