Happy eve of Thanksgiving. I’m writing from the plane, where I enjoyed a glass of merlot and a Whole Foods salad. I was in such a rush that I forgot the salad dressing though, so it was kinda gross. But the wine and all the food I’ll eat tomorrow will make up for it. We’re spending the holiday with Matt’s family outside of Annapolis and I’m pumped for four days of relaxation and family time, plus the Allens’ awesome beer selection.
Speaking of awesome, I wanted to write a post to share the amazing spanish feast I enjoyed on Monday night. One of my friends was entertaining clients to develop new business, and invited Matt and I to join for dinner at a new tapas restaurant in Dallas. Casa Rubia just opened in Trinity Groves and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a food adventure!
We started the evening with a bottle of Spanish Grenache and a massive meat and cheese platter – presented with fig jam, quince, apple butter, and fresh honey.
As for the tapas, we ordered just about everything on the menu for our group of eight, plus the paella special. I didn’t get a snap of everything and the lighting was poor, but these were the highlights:
Octopus, Saffron Potatoes, Pickled Onions, Romesco Verde
Crispy Artichokes, Meyer Lemon, Fresno Chile, Mojama, Saffron Aoili
Texas Quail, Merguez, Sunchoke, Kale, Smoked Onion Broth
Maitake Mushroms, Quince, Duck Egg, Idiazabal, Soft Herbs
Lamb Belly, Moorish Spiced, Pomegranate Molasses Pickled Mustard Seeds Parsnip (who knew you could even order lamb belly – dare I say this was better than pork belly?)
And this giant Nantucket bay scallops and lobster paella easily served all eight of us.
I enjoyed every single bite and loved the experience of tasting so many unique creations.
If I don’t talk to you tomorrow: have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!
I know I haven’t been the best about posting frequently these days, but I’m thankful for those of you who still come over to visit.Read More
A little entertainment for your Wednesday morning…
Jason Andre of Seven Season Films put together a GORGEOUS video of our wedding on Bald Head Island! We had debated hiring a videographer, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that we did. Jason was easy to work with and professional and the final product was worth every penny. It is fun to see the ceremony from our guests’ perspective and I’m thrilled to be able to relive that perfect day at any moment.
We had a fabulous weekend in Nantucket! Matt was in the wedding party for one of his very best friends, so we made a long weekend out of the occasion and rented a house with some of the other groomsmen and their significant others. It was so fun being a guest at an island wedding after hosting one of my own.
We arrived on Thursday to partake in Halloween festivities. The males were pandas, so naturally the females were panda tamers.
I spent a lot of time with these lovely ladies while the groomsmen did their thing during the day. We enjoyed a stroll around town and lunch at a brew pub before we got dressed up for an incredible rehearsal dinner at Town Restaurant.
The scallops were out.of.this.world!!!!! I miss fresh seafood from the Atlantic!
The whole weekend was grey and rainy, but the sun peaked for like a split second right before the wedding. Despite the weather, the trees in Nantucket were beautiful and I found myself really missing the east coast.
The groom is so excited to lay eyes of his gorgeous bride here:
She was stunning!!!!
The reception was held at a waterfront hotel inside a cozy tent. We warmed up with butternut bisque and dark ‘n stormys during cocktail hour.
There was no wedding cake, but the phenomenal band made up for it. We danced every second of the reception, including between each course:)
I had a blast this weekend, but after the commute home, I’m quite happy to be back on the ground in Dallas!!
Congrats to Oliver and Kinnon!Read More
The wedding feels so long ago. Even though I’ve already blogged about it and shared pictures, all of the snaps were from Kath’s DSLR. The pictures from our photographer, Theo Milo, were ready once I got back from the honeymoon and they are fabulous!!!! But I had to wait for the disk to make its way to Texas before I could share them. I love them so much and am thrilled with how they turned out. Theo was super easy to work with and clearly very talented!
All that’s left are these memories. So here’s a photo dump to brighten your hump [day]!
The internet is finally up and running here in Dallas, so I’m going to pick up where I left off with the honeymoon details. One day I’ll resume regular posts:)
Matt and I chose to extend our honeymoon with a cruise so that we could see a bunch of places without the hassle of packing up and changing hotels all the time. The Greece portion was about pure relaxation, and the cruise was about seeing a lot in a small amount of time. We researched cruise lines before we left, as we didn’t want to be on a crowded ship and wanted to make sure the food would be high quality. We choose Oceania mostly for the itinerary (we had a hard time finding one that would fit and didn’t involve extra flights) and for the spacious rooms and excellent dining options. Oceania exceeded expectations in most areas! However, we probably wouldn’t do another cruise with them in the near future simply because of the cost:( It was a honeymoon splurge, but not something I could see myself paying for any time soon, especially since I think I prefer traditional vacations [hotels and local restaurants] to cruising, at least in Europe.
The room did not disappoint! We got the standard balcony room – the bed was heavenly and the extra sitting area made the room seem much more spacious. The closet space and bathroom storage were awesome. We were able to completely unpack and put our suitcases under the bed, so it felt like we were staying in our own apartment.
Having a balcony was also amazing, especially when we set sail each night. Oceania allows you to bring wine onto the ship from the ports, so we enjoyed wine on the balcony most nights to save money on drinks. The views along the Dalmatian coast were fabulous!
The ship itself was great too. It never felt crowded and all the venues were nicely decorated. We celebrated Matt’s birthday on the first night!
The ship had four speciality restaurants [French, Asian, Italian, and a steak house] plus a main dining room and casual grill. The speciality restaurants, although hard to get into at times, were outstanding and we had some of the best meals of the trip on the boat.
We had trouble holding back on the bread baskets and I loved that the variety changed with each restaurant!
My favorite was the French restaurant, especially the cheese cart!! Some of the best cheese I’ve ever had and the wine was a perfect pairing!
At this point in the trip, having all of our food included was so nice because we didn’t have to worry about what we were spending. The flip side was that we often ate until we felt sick. We regularly ordered 2-4 appetizers or 3 entrees to share, and some nights we ordered 3 desserts! I wish we had more self control because we got to the point where we’d wake up feeling terrible the next day and basically couldn’t get hungry for the next meal. Talk about first world problems.
One activity that we loved was a Sicilian cooking class! Oceania has a culinary school at sea! We learned about the local cooking practices and tried some Sicilian wine.
We also made homemade pasta with a pistachio pesto and arancini, and learned how to make homemade limoncello!
Here’s a brief recap of our stops!
We only booked one excursion through the cruise line because they were super expensive and we preferred just exploring on our own. Our one excursion was excellent though and took us on a tour of Lucca and the Tuscan countryside. We stopped at Tenuta del Buonamico for a wine and olive oil tasting along with some cheese and salami.
At the Sorrento stop, we took the ferry over to Capri! It was gorgeous, but we only had a few hours to walk around and the shops were wayy too swanky to make any purchases other than pizza and gelato:)
The town of Amalfi was one of our favorites stops – we took a short tour to the Emerald Grotto, had lunch at a fantastic slow food restaurant, and then spent the rest of the day peaking in the little pottery shops.
We only had a short stop in Sicily because we had to head back to the boat for our cooking class, but the little bit that we saw was soo pretty.
After falling in love with Greece, I was so excited to stop in Corfu. We took a bus to a quiet beach and had lunch at the most amazing little taverna. The feta below and the pork gyros were one of the best things I ate!
Montenegro was breathtaking and so different from the other stops. It felt more like northern Europe.
We hiked the 1500 steps up the walls for a spectacular view. The town was super cute and we finally founds some decent beer:)
When we set sail that night, our captain sounded the horn (whistle?) and the nuns in this little church responded with their bell to give us their blessing!
Dubrovnik was such a neat place and I would have loved more time there!
We had a nice lunch consisting of a sweet chicken specialty and mango and zucchini risotto.
We had heard about a place called ‘Buza’ for a drink and a view and went in search of it. Turns out, ‘Buza’ means ‘hole in the wall’ and we discovered a charming seaside bar just outside the walls of the old town. Loved this!
And our last stop was the lovely Venice, but I’ll save that for another post!
Happy Friday!Read More