Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Holiday weekend highlights

Finally, I've got some time to share our holiday weekend highlights!

Fri afternoon our friends John & Marty came over to show us the landscaping plan John designed for our yard. Wow - it is amazing! John currently works as a florist and has a seemingly limitless knowledge of plants and flowers. He took our desire for a low-to-no maintenance yard, our favorite blooming plants and flowers, our desire for year-round color, and the soil and climate, and converted them all into a beautiful, casual garden.
There are some hardscapes, a water feature, outdoor art work, and a meandering path - all the things we said we liked. I was expecting a hand-drawn sketch with lots of notes, but John delivered a professional landscape plan made with computer software, and a list of what to buy. Needless to say we were extremely happy and impressed. I want to hire someone to purchase and install everything now, while Spouse wants to have it done in stages. Fortunately we agree that it will need to wait until the house in VA goes to settlement and we have time to meet with a landscape company.

Marty & John joined us for dinner with 'the usual suspects'. We had our largest dinner group so far with 16 people! In addition to John & Marty, there were 2 other visitors. Olivier & Francois are 2 French Canadians vacationing from Montreal. They were nice guys whose English was much better than my French. Occasionally I tossed in a word or simple phrase in French in an attempt to make our visitors feel welcomed. I asked them if they liked Poutine and they seemed a little surprised I knew of it. One of the Americans asked what it was, and I felt slightly superior since I was able to describe it and pronounce it correctly, thanks to Tornwordo.

We had such a fun time on our 'night out on the town' with Doug & Jim a few weeks ago we decided to do it again, sort of. As we drove into Rehoboth Beach it was quite apparent it was Labor Day weekend. The little seaside resort town was absolutely packed! We drove around for nearly 40 minutes looking for a parking place. We decided to skip cocktails at a bar and have them at the restaurant instead, while we (undoubtedly) waited for a table. Sure enough, there was a 30-40 minute wait, so we squeezed into the tight bar area and ordered cocktails.

After a brief conversation with these 2 guys from Pittsburgh who looked like Sopranos caricatures, we were eventually seated. Lupa di Mare is a great restaurant, as are the rest of Matt Haley's restaurants we've visited. The 4 of us had exceptional dinners and desserts.

Sun morning Rick & Nick came over for breakfast. Spouse made blueberry oatmeal pancakes and scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage.

We enjoyed chatting with them about vintage cars, politics, and made plans to meet at the beach the next day.

That afternoon Spouse & I went to a BBQ at George & Steve's in Dover. They are sweet guys who invite us to their BBQs every Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day, only we are never able to go because we always have company on those holiday weekends. So our company cancelling actually allowed us to finally join these friends for their famous BBQ.

Upon returning from Dover we fed and walked Jordan the dog, then walked to the canal where the charter boats are docked. Doug & Jim and Rick & Nick met us there for a evening boat cruise at 7:00. Until Doug suggested this, I didn't know they offered an evening cruise. I thought they only took fishermen out for saltwater fishing. The evening cruise was just $15. and lasted an hour and a 1/2, which we all agreed was a terrific bargain. We enjoyed seeing the Lewes canal and Delaware Bay from an entirely different perspective. We saw several lighthouses and the breakwater, which controls the tides from entering the bay from the ocean. And then there was the sunset. It seemed like one of the most beautiful ever, with its hot oranges, peaches, pinks and salmons against the steel blue-grey watery horizon.
After the cruise Rick & Nick went home and Doug & Jim asked us to join them for dinner at Beseme, just across the canal from the boat. I remembered a kumquat and soba noodle dish I'd seen the last time we ate there, but I ordered something else because I was afraid it might not be enough to satisfy me. But this time I wasn't as hungry so I thought the kumquat and soba noodle dish would be perfect. Unfortunately they were out of it! Guess I'll have to go back. A guy was playing the guitar and singing, so that was a nice treat with our meals.

On Mon Spouse & I met Rick & Nick on the beach around 12:30. It was a beautiful day, with a gentle breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Not surprising, there were a lot of people on the beach since it was Labor Day. We had a great time and stayed until 3:00. Spouse & I had angus burgers and Deitz & Watson hot dogs cooked on the grill for dinner, which we ate on the screened porch while listening to Bette Midler sing the Peggy Lee songbook. Delightful!

Spouse watched TV and I watched a Netflix DVD called 'Love Affair', the 1939 film starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Its about 2 people who meet and fall in love on a cruise ship, only both of them are engaged to other people. They decided to meet at the top of the Empire State Bldg in 6 months, after they've dis-engaged themselves from their respective fiances. But Irene Dunne's character is struck by a car on her way to meet her true love. I liked the film and Irene Dunne a lot. I don't recall having seen her in any other films, although she made a bunch of them and was nominated 5 times for an Oscar.

And finally, I must plead with everyone to STOP SAYING "summer is over" just because Labor Day has passed. I lost count of how many people I heard say this over the long weekend. I love summer and am not ready for it to be over yet. Our a/c is still turned on, I'm still driving with my convertible top down, and people are still coming to the beach. Here in the mid-Atlantic region we usually experience Indian Summer well into Sept. Last year we were still going to the beach in early Oct. You may begin saying "summer is over" when the leaves are changing colors, and no sooner.


Crush du Jour: Anderson Cooper

8 comments:

A Lewis said...

I swear, you guys have so much fun....what a great weekend! And Anderson....oh yeah. We'll have to take turns.

tornwordo said...

I want to eat all of those things. So do you live in a touristy place? It seems like the cruise boat thing is kind of touristy, like here down in the old city. Awesome sunset.

Java said...

Sounds like a really fun weekend.

And no, summer isn't over. Not by a long shot. At least not around here. School has been in session for 2 weeks now, and the college started classes this week. Those are not indicators that summer is over. Close to over, maybe, but not over. Temps in the low 90s is definitely summmer weather. We won't see any chilly days until mid October at the earliest.

mistress maddie said...

A couple of things. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. We were invited to Rehoboth but had a pinic to tend to here,otherwise we might have been down there.And a BIG thank you for saying summer in not over. There is to be lots of nice weather to come yet!That drives me crazy also. Have you got Bette's new cd yet? The Peggy Lee songbook.It's excellent. And lastly,I LOVE ANDERSON COOPER! He is so handsome and hot,you would have to go post him wouldn't you?

Maddie

Gallus said...

Blueberry's again. mmmmm. I remember Blueberry weekend.

sounds like you had a fabulous time.

Michael said...

Mark,
When I read recaps of weekends like these, I think back to your CA trip when you saw the guys at the diner and imagined them with perfect lives in perfect houses with spanish tile roofs. Then I wonder if there are some guys that look at you and your clan and think "one day I could be as happy as those guys". I am sure there are. Maybe one of the hot Russian guys that wait tables in Rehoboth in the summers....I am so happy you are so happy!

PS: Poutine is awesome. Jamie was in Montreal for a conference and brought back 2 jars of poutine sauce.

RAD said...

you live the life! Nice hydrandrea and meat too!

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