Sunday, July 4, 2010

Things that happen on a weekend in July

It's been a busy weekend! Friday night I was in the mood for oysters, so we decided to go out to eat. But instead of going to an old stand by (Blacks, in Bethesda) we tried someplace new: 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring.

The ambiance was nice - dark hardwood, mossy green walls, cool lighting and stainless steel everything.

We were seated, and as we checked out the menus our server politely told us that they were out of (among other things) oysters. OY. Fortunately, the other menu items looked pretty interesting. I consoled myself with olives, and Monocacy Ash Goat Cheese.

They had a great wine list - including Tavel rose wine. We got a bottle of something-or-other chardonnay. I had some sort of crazy arugela and artichoke soup, and heirloom tomato salad.

The soup was a little too complex for my unsophisticated palate, but everything looked lovely and certainly satisfied.

For dessert we shared a goat cheese flan, with blueberries, cinnamon and lemon verbena ice cream.

It was brilliant! We ended up taking a walk around Silver Spring afterward - and stopped by Living Ruff to get some goodies for Locksley.

Saturday I went to Old Town Alexandria. It's one of my favorite places around this town - a few visual representations why:

(it's OLD).

For lunch/breakfast we tried Grape+Bean. It was a small place, walls lined with wine bottles, with a bar area for eating and some outside seating. They ALSO had Tavel wine available. Is the rest of the world catching on?

The place is known for their clover coffee, so I got some, naturally. For food, I ordered some tasty salmon, cucumber, and olive thing. Om nom nom.

We made our way to Paint This! for some pseudo art creation. I did something like this about a thousand years ago, but I have almost no recollection of it. So, we were going in as a new experience.

Step One was selecting an item to paint. I was torn between something I could use as an ashtray for the balcony (for company), or a piggy bank.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a sweet face.

Step Two was selecting the paint. When you're painting ceramic stuff, the paint that goes on dry will look different than when it's fired and glazed. So there's a bit of imagination involved.

My selections. I'm not too adventurous.

The artistic process for this, I've learned, must be taken in good humor. Simple, geometric, abstract themes are best for the novice. And though I'm an art kid by definition, I can quite humbly say this kind of craft takes concerted practice.

My aunt's creation.

My sister's creation.

My pig, ready to be fired!

The whole process took me a little under an hour. But, the more complex the design the longer it will take (my Aunt's took about 2 hours or so).

When it was all said and done, there was a SURPRISE waiting for me. My dear Husband had gone shopping while I was eating/ceramic-ing and picked up something:

A Charley Harper calendar!

I came home and slept for about three hours directly afterward.

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