Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy 16th to us!

Our anniversary fell on a Friday this year and we'd planned to send the kids over to grandma and grandpa's house for the weekend.  That didn't exactly pan out, Katherine had some volunteer work at the hospital for the new junior auxiliary recruits on Saturday morning, but it was worth the delay.  Rebecca got in another lawn mowing before the rains started again last night, Ian slept in, the boys played on the xBox, and I ran to PetSmart for some gerbil toys and Joann's for a quick project.

Saturday afternoon they were all off to grandma's and Ian and I did the most glamorous thing we could think of... a trip to Costco.  Clearly I hadn't planned things well enough to avoid that errand during our kid-free time.

Ah well.

Our date night actually took place in Occoquan at the Cock & Bowl Belgian restaurant, where the focus is on  beer and mussels.  The mussels are what we go for (the beer is good too, we typically get the fruity Lindemans, but at $6.50/ little bottle it's a lot cheaper to buy at Wegmans.  I wonder if they have a corking fee??).  Cooked in beer, or vegetables, or Gruyere cheese, or a number of other concoctions, the mussels arrive in a pile of yummy goodness.  And for dessert... a Belgian waffle, what else?  Clearly I was too busy enjoying my food, the patio weather, and the company, to remember to pull out the camera.

We'd wanted to walk around Occoquan afterwards.  It was early enough (we ate from 5-6:30) to allow plenty of light and warmth after dinner, and to avoid the hour long wait that exists by 6 p.m.  Just about every shop was closed unless you need a guitar repair or a coffee.  I do like Occoquan but its store hours are questionable.

Instead we returned home, and had an incredibly romantic evening sitting next to each other on the couch playing the newly released Diablo III for a few hours while watching hockey (the IIHF semifinals).  Nerdfest?  Don't care.  We had fun and the house was quiet, and there was nothing else we had to do.

Sunday we went to the Taste of Arlington.  I'd won an on-line contest a few weeks earlier so Ian and I each had 8 tastes, which was plenty.  Some of the booths offered little tastes, a tiny cup of coleslaw, that sort of thing.  Other tastes were a plate of food, a Thai restaurant comes to mind: rice, pad thai, chicken satay, chicken curry and a ground chicken something I'm blanking on... all on one plate for one ticket.  The Melting  Pot gave out two chocolate covered strawberries, rice krispie treat and chocolate marshmallow.  A burger place gave out 2 mini burgers.  A Lebanese spot gave a kofta stuffed 1/2  pita with vegetables and hummus. If you did it right, one set of 8 tickets was plenty of food for 2, and the other set of 8 tickets was plenty for a beer sample and some desserts.  And the food, aside from one beer sample that claimed it was Belgian but tasted like nasty bitter grapefruit flavored beer, was excellent.  If you can manage crowds it's well worth a visit next year.  Ian and I don't do crowds but the weather was gorgeous and the food good, so we hung around for about an hour then called it a day.

We picked up the kids after they finished their game of Settlers of Catan, and returned home, much rejuvenated and ready for the next 4 weeks in our home and 7 weeks in Virginia.  There's a lot happening and we're in this together.

I'm guessing for at least another 16 years.

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