I'm off of work today and taking a break from packing for a quick birthday weekend post.
Activities actually started Thursday night when a co-worker treated me to ice cream at Ben & Jerry's in the Loop. And then one of my supervisees picked up my hummus and pita bread at Al-Tarboush (she was giving me a lift and we stopped there for her to get hummus, and I was too tempted to pass it up, and she paid for it). I look forward to eating at Al-Tarboush sometime - the hummus is awesome and the owner gave me a pistachio baclava-type treat because he heard it was my birthday. Yum!
On Friday, Porkchop and I hung out in the morning, and then I took her to Six Flags. Afterwards, I stopped at the garden to check on the tomato progress. So many tomatoes! And an eggplant! For the 4th of July evening, I went back to Six Flags and spent a few hours in the park. Porkchop brought me in for free as a "buddy," and while she went back to work, I had nearly an entire funnel cake and then rode the new Evel Knievel roller coaster (fun!), the Ninja (because there was no line), and Mr. Freeze. Mr. Freeze is super fast and crazy, and here's a video from YouTube:
Saturday was such a perfect day. Porkchop was off of work, so we were able to go to the Tower Grove farmers market together! YAY! We picked up green beans, carrots, sausage from Salume Bedu (one of the market's incubator businesses), tomatoes from Ivan the Fig Man, and mocha macaroons and a scone from 4 Seasons Baked Goods. After the market, we went to Local Harvest for milk and ice cream. I have decided to drink the Jesus Milk because soy milk is just too processed and shipped too far in refrigerated trucks for me to feel comfortable with it.
At home, we prepared the sausage and made a tomato-green bean-basil saute. All local except for the olive oil!
P.S. The sausage was tasty, but I find the shape SOOOOOOO disturbing.
In the afternoon, Porkchop and I went to the Sears appliance outlet near Fenton and found a refrigerator model that we like. Freezer on the bottom with two doors on top. The outlet has a few in stock, so hopefully it won't be a problem to buy one when we need it. I definitely recommend the outlet - one little scratch or ding equals $1000 off.
Katie and Beth arrived from Minneapolis via Columbia in the evening. We enjoyed a tasty meal at Thai Basil Spice on Grand and later had drinks at the Royale. Yay for Katie and Beth!
Sunday morning - my real birthday day - we had brunch at the Shangri-La Diner and returned to the apartment for present opening and more friend time.
I love Porkchop's head in this photo:
So...presents. I feel so lucky to receive such great gifts! Katie and Beth gave me The Splendid Table's: How to Eat Supper, which I'm loving so much already. And my parents gave me another super great book, Great Garden Companions, as well as Deborah Madison's Local Flavors. I also received a yoga block and the cable edition of Vogue's Stitchionary line.
Porkchop gave me the best pop-up birthday card-book ever:
And she gave me a BPA-free Nalgene (so I'm no longer poisoning myself) and the new 70 Grand t-shirt from STL Style. Once the t-shirt arrives, it will be so awesome to have a shirt with my bus on it! Actually, I look forward to it being not my bus! Anyway, Porkchop also gave me the super-duper-best-present-ever:
I can't wait to process things!
Later on Sunday, we had dinner at Onesto (YUM!) and then shaved ice with Suzi and Dale.
Today has been pack pack packing. Tomorrow, I should have my letter of commitment from the bank, so everything is still on schedule. I am excited and nervous, and I wish I didn't have to go to work at all for the next month.