Posted by: mick | April 27, 2007

Going going, back back to Philly, Philly…

Tomorrow Jason and I head back to Philly for a very short weekend visit. Among our to-do’s: visit with my Mom, go see my grandparents, party like it’s 1999 (literally, that’s the year we graduated) at my high school best friend’s wedding, help Mom in her garden, meet her new kitty, and fly back. This will all be accomplished in under 48 hours.

I’m really excited for the weekend, though I’m also sad because it means that my vacation is almost over. It has been such an incredible week. J and I originally considered a few days at the Cape for a nice relaxing get-away, but now that we’re moving to Michigan in a few months, we thought better of it. The week has been spent primarily lounging on the futon, going for a few runs, spending lots of quality time with J-Man and the mows, and knitting. I’ve got lots to show for it, but more on that later.

First, I’ve got to spend some time ruminating on the hands-down highlight of the week: The Celebration Dinner. J has been trying to take me to Top of the Hub for the past two years, but I’ve always made excuses. He’s tried for anniversaries, birthdays, passing comps, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and several other occasions, but I’ve always played the money card. Yes, I know I’m really lucky to have a boyfriend who wants to shower me with such lavish dinners, and I really appreciate that. But the fact that he wants to do it is enough for me; I know how much he loves me, and don’t need him to drop his life savings on a meal to prove it. Plus, he’s a poor grad student, which typically means not-very-deep pockets. After having eaten there, however, I may have to change my tune. This place was simply incredible. It’s on the 52nd floor of the Pru (for the out-of-towners, that’s a big building in the center of Boston), and is floor to ceiling windows. We got a window table and were able to take in the entire city and then some. The sun set while we ate, and the city view at night was just as breathtaking with the lights. So beautiful. The atmosphere alone is worth a visit, but the food matches it in splendor. We had a crabcake appetizer with avocado cream on the side, and I nearly cried when I spotted it on the menu as it combines two of my favorite foods ever. We had a nice bottle of wine, and we each got a delicious lamb entree and a wonderful dessert. My lamb was a shank. This is pretty adventurous eating for someone who less than a month ago was a vegetarian, but I thought, “I always get seafood. I’ll try something I’ve never had before.” Of course, I didn’t realize in my naivete that “shank” means “giant thigh with bone in.” I was a little squeamish at the sight of the bone and the red meat, but that went away as soon as I took a bite. Talk about melt in your mouth deliciousness. And rosemary mashed potatoes? Don’t mind if I do! The food was all so delicous, and the service was quite good. If you’re in Boston and looking for a special celebration venue, I highly recommend this place. We had a wonderful, romantic meal. (Not so romantic, however, that it couldn’t include a drinking game. Our waiter, who was very nice, had a peculiar tic. He would say “Enjoy” every time he left the table. Every time, without fail. This left us confused when he’d say it after, say, clearing our plates, or between courses when there was nothing on the table but our napkins. I, being the mature almost-PhD student that I am, suggested we drink every time he said it. It’s a miracle we made it out of there still standing.)

On my Dad’s birthday yesterday, I had a nice day with J as well. I visited his class and met some of his students, who right off the bat asked when we were getting married. I’m pretty sure my Mom called them with a script beforehand. Then we did some shopping, which was surprisingly fruitful. Behold, my summer clothing wares: new spring clothes

The shorts and tanks on the right are from Gap, and the other shirts are from Urban Outfitters. The three skirts are all the same in different colors, and those and the socks are from H and M. I got all of this plus new moisturizer from Kiehl’s for about $130 bucks, which I consider a steal. There was a little self-loathing and thigh pinching, as is typical when I’m buying clothes, but J was able to rescue me with a Greek salad from Steve’s for lunch. Then we headed home, where I worked on Branching Out a bit. I have some photos of my progress so far:branching out colorsbranching sunbranching detail

The first shot is blurry, but probably the best indication of the colors. The second is much clearer, and the third provides some stitch detail. I’d say I’m about halfway through the first ball of yarn, and since this will most likely stretch considerably with blocking, I may not use any of the second ball. I think instead I’ll try a pair of socks? Which, yes, I’m still obsessed with and, no, I still haven’t taught myself how to knit. Newbury Yarns may be having a sock class this summer, and if they do I’ll definitely treat myself. My feet are aching for some scromfy hand-knitted goodness. (Scromfy: scrunchy and comfy. Go with it.) I’ve had a few “Oh crap” moments with the lace, mainly where I lost track of what I was doing due to cat distraction. Other than that it’s going pretty well. I’m hoping the prof it’s for, being a non-knitter, won’t look at it and find the one or two wonky leaves. If she does, tough cookies; the mistakes give it character (that’s the denial talking).

So that’s been my vacation on the whole. I’m sad to see it go, but hey, we’ve had a good run. And next week is my last week of work, woo-hoo! I haven’t done anymore work on Honeymoon lately, mainly because I’m up to the splitting for the straps/decreases section, and that looks a little attention consuming. I want to work on it when it’s my only project on the needles, which may have to wait until after summer classes start in May.

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