We visited the Zoo with Grammi and Poppi last weekend...it was perfect weather (unlike the last time when it was friggin' as hot as the sun) and we had a blast. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself:
Grammi showing Alex the birdies.
Riding a lion.
He was growling when I took this one. Hilarious.
At the hippo exhibit.
Playing in the stream...which may or may not
have been temporarily closed. My bad.
Poppi with his people.
If I were still 12, odds are good I would
get grounded for posting this.
There's nothing cuter than grandparents pulling a wagon.
Have I mentioned they were high school
sweethearts? I know, adorbs.
Twice a year, the fancy schmancy restaurants in Detroit host Detroit Restaurant Week. During this time, each participating restaurant features a 3 course set menu (some with a few choices per course) for $28. For wanna-be foodies like Joe and me, there's really no better way to try these restaurants than during DRW.
This time around, we tried Iridescence at the MotorCity Casino and Hotel. Um, hello? It's gorgeous. And delicious.
First up? Drinks. Specifically...vino. I ordered the "Adventures in Red," which was a super fun sampling of 4 different reds, complete with a little snacky-snack bowl of nuts, fancy cheeses and prosciutto. Notsomuch on the snack bowl, but the wine was fab.
Next, the chef delivered his "amuse bouche" to the table, which is just a fancy way of saying it's a chef's choice single-bite hors o'euvre. Ours was prosciutto, brie cheese and some greens with a balsamic "swoosh" across the plate. It even came with a tiny fork! Swoon.
For our appetizer course, Joey had the Sautéed Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (fennel pollen remoulade, cucumber, tomato, crispy corn tortilla*...not a shocker if you know him) and I opted for the Onion Soup Gratin (cippollini, pearl, vidalia onions, bells porter, comte crostini). VERY cool presentation - they poured it tableside!
For the main course, Joey got the Sautéed Atlantic Salmon (braised salsify, jerusalem artichoke purée, roasted brussels sprouts, wild mushrooms, roasted garlic beurre blanc) and I had the Potato Truffle Ravioli (peas and carrots, parmesan and mushroom cream).
For dessert, the only option on the DRW menu was a Sweet Potato Custard (cinnamon mousse, pecan pie ice cream), and it was delish. However, we couldn't resist ordering an extra Peanut Butter Bar (caramelized banana, chocolate peanut butter) which I'm still having dreams about. Oh, and they delivered hot towels just prior to this course for us to wash our hands. Be still my beating heart.
As it grew darker, the view from our windowside table grew more and more beautiful. Detroit doesn't often get the respect it deserves for being a relatively cool city, but I'm here to give it some props. Well done, D.
*And don't think for a minute (except for the peanut butter sauce) that I have the slightest idea what any of the italicized descriptors mean. Those are total copy/paste jobs from the Iridescence website.
I wore my first seasonally appropriate turtleneck today.The neck of le turtle is snuggly and glorious and I have at least eleventy of them in my closet. The fluffier, the better. And if they have buttons? Please. I'm sold.
Also? We're going to an apple farm this weekend for cider and copious amounts of donuts. There might even be a hayride in Alex's future if he shapes up and ceases throwing inanimate objects at my face.
In related news of deliciousness, today's Detroit Groupon is for VINO! $25 for $75 worth of liquid nectar. Me? I'm a red girl...preferably the cab or shiraz variety. Oh, and because it's an online store, you can get in on this deal if you live in any of these states. Weeeee!!!
It dawned on me over the weekend that Joey and I get to be Mr. & Mrs. Claus this year. And because I have a small (read: ginormous) obsession with Christmas, my gift shopping is typically done (and wrapped, thankyouverymuch) by November.
...which means it's time to get moving.
Alex's latest obsession is with balls. Hello, 12-year-old boys that got here on a Google dare. I had a not-so-glamorous parent moment last night over a set of pool cue balls that he deviously got his little paws on. Let's just say I tried to make it a teaching moment and failed. Miserably.
So in an effort to give the child some non-porcelain balls to throw at my face, I've ordered a set of pit balls for Santa to bring down our chimney.
We can bring his inflatable pool in the basement and use it as the "pit." Brills, no? Thanks for the inspiration, Blair.
Yesterday, I heard the following words/phrases uttered from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry:
For real. And no, I don't work in the Department of Redundancy Department. But I do think it's fun to reduplicate some over redundancies on le blog. It makes me feel smart, if nothing else.
In unrelated news, today is the day Kelli and David COULD find out le sex of my niephew. But they are electing not to, which is absolutely going to be the death of me. I do not understand how anyone could possibly NOT find out. I'm a planner. A know-er. A do-er. A re-duplicater.
Oh, and their baby shower? I'm attempting to top the greatest wedding shower/bachelorette party of all time, but I'm not sure if it will be possible. Mostly because I can't obsess over all things blue or pink for an over-the-top theme. This gender neutral stuff is really for the birds. A hint, perhaps?
Yesterday morning, I got up for the third consecutive week at the ass crack of dawn to inflict hot, sweaty pain upon myself.
And I rocked it.
I ran suicide sprints for 20 minutes before most of you were even upright. I did the "300" workout (read: 300 reps of exercises targeting major muscle groups) while most of you were still drooling on your pillowcases.
And it was awesome.
I'm really starting to notice a difference--not only in my body shape (well hello there, pants that I can take off without unzipping) but also in my endurance. I'm not claiming to be the next Jackie Warner (snarf) but I AM becoming a better, stronger version of me. And quite frankly, I'm loving it.
Speeeeeeeeaking of Jackie Warner, does anyone else watch (and subsequently LOVE) her new show on Bravo called 'Thintervention?' It's so, so, so funny. Nikki is a high-LAR-ious drunkard and lovingly more quotable than a Will Ferrell movie.
In related TV news--'Glee' starts tonight! Ready, set DVR!
Joey was on a fishing trip with his Fraternity Brothers this weekend, so Alex and I spent the weekend with Poppi, Uncle Kyle and Aunt Jill. (Grammi is currently in Connecticut with Kelli and David.)
Anyway, we had a super-dee-duper time. Oh, and when I say I grew up in the middle of a cornfield, I'm not kidding -- and Alex got a little taste of Momma's roots over the weekend.
Walking down the driveway. Yep! That's where I grew up!
He's a farm boy at heart.
Couldn't get enough of the tractor rides.
Look closely - you'll see an Alex and an Uncle
Kyle walking to a playground by Great Grandpa's
house. Fun fact - that big church in the background is
where my Mom and Dad were married.
We also went to the twilight balloon fest in Midland. SO freakin' cool.
This was my favorite balloon.
Poppi and Alex watching the balloons. Poppi also may or may not have fed Alex most of an elephant ear. I'm just sayin'...
In related news, Alex received his Mensa certification over the weekend. When you ask him, "Alex, what does a turkey say?" He will reply clear as day with a "Gobble, gobble." And when asked about a cow, you'll get a "Mmmmoooo" in response. I die every. single. time. Videos soon, promise.
October is just around the corner. Seriously, how did that happen? Anyway, I should probably just come out right now and admit that I'm not all that big into Halloween. Costumes creep me out and I find nothing entertaining about adolescent girls finding any lamesauce excuse to skank out a simple cat costume. Or a nurse. Or a referee. Or a clown. Yes, a clown. I've seen it.
But I digress...and realize that my attitude about Halloween has to change now that I have spawn. Since Alex is still too young to pick out a costume for himself, I've been racking my brain for the last few weeks to find something suitable/hilarious/fun/adorable. I've once again exceeded my own expectations.
Alex loves, loves, loves, loves 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' on the Disney Channel. He's now even to the point where he'll start the 'Hot Dog Dance' if he hears the tune playing in the other room. It's ah-DOOR-able. I, on the other hand, am not a huge Disney person. In fact, there's probably not one piece of Disney paraphernalia in our entire home.
Oh...but the things you do for your kids...
Yeah. I found that little gem on Craigslist for a mere $15. It's a Disney brand costume in perfect condition. He adores himself in it. I find it to be absolutely hysterical. Win, win.
There is nothing (and I mean nothing) funnier than a baby in a costume.
Oh, and as for Joe and me? We'll be unapologetically sporting these come the eve of October 31.
Our first stop on the Adventure Train was a visit to Poppi's "Family Fun Day" at his place of employment. The rain didn't stop us from having a smashingly good time, and Alex experienced his first carousel ride and a taste of cotton candy.
Before the ride started. Doesn't he look like,
"Uhhh, Mom? WTF?"
Round and round we go!
"OK. Maybe this isn't so bad, after all."
The next stop on our adventure was the "Morgulec Family Play Day." Joe's Mom (Nana) and her family organized a "mini-reunion" of sorts. All the cousins got together and had a cookout, played lots of fun games and even got to bounce around in a giant, inflatable castle. Who wouldn't love that?
A Gold medal cornhole player. I figure official rules don't apply until
he's at least two.
"Hey, Papa John...step aside. Let me
show you know it's done."
We even got special shirts made for the day!
Are you kidding me with those cheeks?
"Maaaa-uhm. This. Is. AWESOME!"
Getting a little more brave...
"A giant bouncy AND a ball?! Wicked!!!"
Daddy being silly.
The boys competing in a donut-on-a-string
eating contest. Hilarious and highly recommended
for your next family gathering.
In summary, the VeeDubs know how to par-tay. Mix a little family with a lot of fun and add a mini Alex. Presto!