Vacation is awesome. Especially when you have really fantastic family and friends who throw parties for you! And drive you around! Oh, I am verklempt.
Okay, so, I’ll try to keep the non food-related commentary to a minimum, because I have a lot of pictures, but you know that’s hard for me. Basically, you might just want to sit back, relax, and start scrolling.
We had a super fun trip on the shuttle from our town to the airport. Two and a half hours in a fifteen passenger van is my favorite way to spend an afternoon. At the airport, I found some dried bananas and cherries in one of the little shops. I know I took a picture, but I can’t find it. I’ll try to make up for it with the other six zillion that I did take.
Wednesday night we had pizza with our awesome friends Dan and Dayna, who picked us up from the airport and generously put us up for the night at their lovely home. Thursday morning, Dan made us delicious sweet potato waffles, which I really wish I’d captured on camera, but I was way too out of it. Dayna took us around town while Dan went to work, and we had another good meal at the Blue Corn Cafe. I think I had a salad, but really, the queso “appetizer” that we ordered overshadowed the rest of the meal. After lunch, we headed over to Raleigh.
Friday, we hung out with Pat and Karen, who drove all the way down from DC to come to one of our wedding celebrations. I was lame and forgot to take pictures again, but I had some delicious salmon for lunch (oh, being on a coast is such a wonderful thing). We also stopped by the new Raleigh location of Locopops, a gourmet popsicle shop that makes me want to cry little happy tears.
Then! Friday night was our first celebration, hosted by my wonderful new in-laws. It was catered, and you have to see my beautiful plate:
Clockwise from the top: couscous salad, marinated veggies, crudites, hummus, goat cheese, falafel, fruit, pitas. And I sent my brother-in-law fishing in the drinks pool for a Bad Penny, a really good brown ale from a local Raleigh brewery.
And for dessert, we had amazing cake prepared by my brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Can you believe this was the first cake she ever baked?
It had hand-whipped cream, almonds, lots of chocolate, and some sort of magic in it. Thanks, Amber!
Since no one at the party attended our wedding “reception,” we reenacted the traditional newlywed cutting of the cake. So I had a slice. Times two. And a half. It’s vacation!
It was such a great party. Even considering that I got more than twenty insect bites and had an allergic reaction later in the weekend. Totally worth it.
Saturday, Pat and Karen took us out again, and we went to visit our alma mater in Chapel Hill so that we could reminisce and walk around and buy overpriced Carolina merchandise and eat lunch at my favorite restaurant of all time, Panzanella. Again, it was vacation, so we started with calamari and a little prosecco:
And for my meal I had a portobello and zucchini sandwich with greens on the side:
I also obnoxiously took pictures of everyone else’s food, but I’m having uploading issues at the moment. Oh, and we all split a little piece of truffle cake.
After lunch I had an attack of the killer bug bites and had to go to the co-op to get bug spray and anti-itch stuff, and then we participated in a variety of other fun shopping activities and met up with more friends before heading back to Raleigh. Where we were surprised by a visit from Matt’s aunt and uncle who flew in all the way from San Diego for our next party!
Which brings me to…
Our party with Matt’s side of the family. We celebrated in a classic North Carolina way with barbeque! I had some chicken barbeque, a few corn muffins, and some leftover crudites. And a Coke. Hey, vacation.
Oh, and I split this with Matt:
Fresh Market carrot cake and some kind of delightful homemade dessert with sugar and pecans and cinnamon and lots of other tasty ingredients.
We had a great time visiting with family we haven’t seen in a long time, and, for me, meeting some new people. My in-laws are so amazing for putting all this together, and for staying up late three nights in a row in our honor.
Today, my parents came to pick me up and take me down to my hometown for the rest of the trip. We had barbeque for lunch and then hit the road, stopping in Chapel Hill again on the way. We got here just in time for my sister’s birthday dinner, which was pizza and cake.
Really, I need to lay off the cake. And get on the treadmill.