I started this blog mainly for myself, as a repository of recipes, especially Greek ones since everyone knows Greek people don’t use recipes. And while I love trying new recipes and blogging about them, the absolute best part of the whole blogging experience for me has been the friendships I’ve made over the years.
For well over a year, I’ve been emailing with Courtney, Annie, Tara, and Josie on a regular basis. A while back, everyone but me (*tear*) flew to Richmond to surprise Courtney when she was expecting her baby girl. So, after seeing all the fun they had (and knowing how awesome they are from our daily conversations), I was itching to meet these ladies. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Annie earlier this year, and I was so, so excited to get to spend a weekend with everyone this October. I love these girls, and was so happy to finally get to spend some time with them.
Tara was gracious enough to host us at her new house, which is just gorgeous. She lives in CT, and fall was a beautiful time of year to visit. We all arrived on Thursday night, and of course my flight was delayed (“inclement weather” in Chicago which, FYI, meant a light drizzle). Since we got back to Tara’s pretty late, we didn’t do much but stay up chatting that night, but it was so fun and well, it’s pretty awesome that you can stay up late chatting with people you’ve never really met, but somehow know better than people you met years ago. And there were also pretzel M&Ms.
I didn’t bring my camera, which was a major bummer, but thankfully everyone was willing to share their pics so I could share them with you. :)
On Friday morning, we went to breakfast at a little local diner called Leo’s. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m more of a savory breakfast person, but I have a really hard time saying no to sweet breakfasts, or at least bites of them. So in addition to my savory egg breakfast, a few of us also shared a waffle with pumpkin cannoli cream. Um yes, the pumpkin cannoli cream is definitely something that needs to be replicated in my kitchen.
We spent most of the rest of the afternoon just hanging out and talking (and there were more pretzel M&Ms). Later on Friday, we went to dinner at a restaurant called Taste. When we hopped in the car, we basically had no idea where we were going because the few places we called were unable to accommodate us for reservations. Courtney suggested this place after searching the web during our drive, and it was definitely a good call. We split some apps, including a cheese platter and a pizza, and for my main course I got the lamb chops (big surprise, right?).
Then, we headed to the Great Jack-O-Lantern Blaze in Hudson Valley. I’d never been to anything even remotely like this and had no idea what to expect, but it was amazing. It was basically full of the most ornately decorated pumpkins. There were pumpkin groupings that replicated a zoo, life underwater, you name it. It was so cool!
And, since we didn’t have dessert at Taste, we really wanted to go somewhere after the blaze, but pretty much everything was closed. We tried to make it to a couple ice cream shops to no avail, but just as we were about to call it quits, we found a crepe/ice cream place. Bonus? It was in Sleepy Hollow, which, you know, is kinda cool.
On Saturday, we did what everyone wishes they could do shortly after waking up – went to Cupcake Camp, New Haven. This is an event where bakers (amateur and professional) bring various cupcakes and you eat them. For free. Uh yeah, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Between Josie and me, we were eating for 5 (she’s expecting twins!), which means we (rightfully) needed to consume as many cupcakes as possible. The cupcake camp was held at BAR, which also has really great pizza that we had for lunch. We had a mashed potato pizza with bacon (which sounds weird, but it was so freaking good. And carb heaven) and pizza with sausage and peppers. Both really fabulous.
After we got back to Tara’s, we started doing some menu planning and grocery shopping. We decided to make a chorizo dip (thank you, Pinterest) and some shrimp enchiladas, both which were great. (And of course we made some guac to snack on while we made dinner, since it ended up being sort of a late dinner.) Annie got to work making flour tortillas. For some reason, flour tortillas have always intimidated me, even though I’ve made corn several times. After seeing how quickly they were whipped up, now I know I need to make them on my own. The rest of us just split up the tasks, doing different things. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of people sharing my kitchen (ask my husband) but I guess it’s a bit different when they’re people who like cooking as much as you do – and when you’re working in a kitchen 3 times the size of mine. :) After dinner, we of course had leftover cupcakes.
On Sunday, all of us but Annie went home. I was sad to leave them all, especially since I’m not sure the next time we’ll get to meet up! Admittedly, I was hesitant about being away from home (not hanging with them, that always sounded great) because it had been the longest I was away from Zachary. But, the trip totally flew by (and I got to facetime with my little dude, who told me all about how dad made him fish and sweet potatoes for dinner one night).
By the way, I was on the smallest plane ever, which I was totally unprepared for. When I was boarding, I noticed people leaving their carry on luggage outside the plane door, and I asked if they ran out of overhead compartments. The lady behind me said, “Oh no. This plane is too small so there aren’t overheads.” Umm okay. I admit, I freaked a bit when I saw the size of the plane. I used to fly a lot and I’ve never been remotely scared of flying until I had a kid. Now for some reason, I get very anxious. Being on the smallest plane ever did little to soothe my fears. I mean, I was on a plane in Greece that was bigger than this one and allowed smoking. Seriously. The guy next to me said he wanted to take his coat off but he was afraid he’d accidentally punch me in the face. Hah. Anyway, thankfully I made it home safe and sound. And I can’t wait till the next time we can all get together again!