I went to work, then took some self-portraits on my last day as a 20-something, while I waited for my parents to arrive from Michigan.
The evening started out our 4-day Democratic National Convention watching marathon. Tonight was Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama. As we were glued to MSNBC, I remembered how much watching the nightly news was a part of our family routine when I was growing up. We didn't sit around and debate the issues, but we watched it, often together over dinner.
I hung out around the house with my parents, hemming and hawing about where I wanted to go eat dinner. After too much searching, I settled on Henrietta's Table near Harvard Square which uses a lot of local produce. I ordered the duck. Birthdays are good opportunities to try new things.Turns out, my folks had never been to Harvard Square, so it was a good pick.
We came home, had a little dessert and watched more of the convention.
We were going to go to Martha's Vineyard, but we decided to postpone. So, we worked some more on unpacking and I got some work work done. My mom, quite the productive one, finished organizing my kitchen. I helped, but the credit goes to her. My dad hung shelves and pictures. The heightened level of organization around here is possibly the best birthday gift I could have gotten.
In the afternoon, we introduced my folks to the world of Ikea. We all restrained ourselves, and only bought a few things. While there, I took a new picture for Matt's Facebook account. Get it?
In the evening, we took the dog to the big dog park by the water, and then we made prosciutto pizzas for dinner. And you guessed it, watched more of the convention.
I started my last year of classes. Unless the school addict in me goes for an associates degree in art or something. ;) In the morning my dad dropped me off at the T, as I've decided I can't face sitting in traffic for an hour every morning. Spending more time in a crowded train is somehow less stressful. Classes are going to be better, since we get to choose them this year, and it was great seeing people again after the summer break. A friend and I had a lovely lunch on the lawn.
In the evening, Matt played hockey and was asked to join a hockey team for the winter. Free for goalies. It's been over 5 years since he had the time to join a league. Hockey makes him happy. While he played, my parents and I went to eat up at a restaurant that overlooks the Boston skyline.
For my dad and me -- burgers, beers -- and for my mom, finally some good clam chowder. Have you seen or read Gone Baby Gone? That creepy scene in the quarry at night? This restaurant is up the hill from there, and not too far from where we live.
We made it home in time for Obama's speech. I have a clear memory of driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after we first moved there and seeing Obama signs for the US Senate campaign along the way. I thought a guy with that name is not going to get elected. This was 2002. I'm glad I was wrong.
We went to Martha's Vineyard for the day, just barely dropping off the dog at Doggieritaville in time, and just barely making the ferry. We rode the bus around the island with hour-long visits at each destination. It was a full day. We withstood the 2-hour round trip bus ride to see the Aquinnah Cliffs. They are beautiful, but much smaller in person than expected (at least for someone raised near Sleeping Bear Dunes). All you can do is stand by a fence and peer over at them. So after 2 minutes of looking, we found a picnic bench and ate our lunch. We were entertained by two skunks taunting the tourists.
Then we boarded the bus for the hour-long trip to Vineyard Haven. It took 4 years, but we finally took my mom could see the Black Dog Tavern. It's been on her to-do-list.
It was a good day.
We ate deluxe omelets for breakfast, deluxe quesadillas for lunch, did some more unpacking, ran some errands, my mom repaired the three holes our little monster chewed in her beautiful quilt, I took a hike with my dad in the Blue Hills, we had pasta with fresh tomato and basil for dinner, and we finished up with caramelized local peaches, Vermont blueberries, and vanilla ice cream.
Recipe: Caramelized peaches (or nectarines)
Adapted from: Fresh Choices by David Joachim and Rochelle Davis
Start a saute pan over medium low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Not margarine, people, this requires butter. Cut a ripe peach in half longways, removing the pit. Dip the cut side of the peach in white sugar. Place the peach halves in the saute pan, and do not move them at all until the syrup that forms around the peaches starts to turn a light caramel brown. The sugar syrup should bubble for awhile. Watch it so it doesn't burn, but if things are taking too long, you can bump up the heat very slowly. Serve over vanilla ice cream, with blueberries if available, and eat before it melts!
A sweet ending to a lovely birthday week with my parents.
My parents left at 5:30am. We slept in. Today we are dog sitting this guy -- Russo, aka Rooster.
Our living room has been transformed into a wrestling pit. Which is perfect, because I can just sit here on the couch and recover.