Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend Getaway

For Christmas (and my birthday) Clay surprised me with "a couple nights away from home this weekend". He arranged to have a young couple, Mackenzie and Beau, watch the girls for us. When Mackenzie was in high school, she was one of my first babysitters when Emma was just a baby.

We left home on Friday afternoon and drove to Paris, VA to stay at the Ashby_Inn. I have been wanting to go to their restaurant for a while now. It was given 2.5 stars in the Washington_Post magazine. Their menu changes daily so they can serve the freshest local ingredients.
We started our meal with three snacks: sunchoke hummus with toast, gruyère cookies, and taco falafel with sour cream. Very fun and unique flavors. Then we shared a soup: sweet potato mulligatawny with puffed basmati rice, agave nectar, coconut, and sesame. It was delightful! A wonderful combination of flavors and textures. For our main dish I ordered goat crépinette with forbidden rice, sour cherry jus, brussels sprouts, watercress, and almonds. Clay had smoked rib loin of beef with grilled dilly beans, potato fritter, and charcutier hollandaise. My dish especially, was quite different but still very good. A melody of flavors. Finally for dessert Clay ordered black cocoa pound cake with white chocolate gelato, vanilla, crème fraîche, and croquant. I ordered warm buttercake with caramel apple ice cream, peanut crumble, brown butter. That caramel apple ice cream was very good, a very strong apple flavor. And Clay's dessert combination tasted like an upscale gourmet Oreo. Dinner left me content and happy.
It was snowing lightly the next morning we drove into Middleburg, VA and walked around the cute shops there. Then we headed to Kensington, MD to spend a few hours at the temple.
After we drove into DC to check in at the Henley_Park_Hotel. We walked to Zaytinya for dinner. It's a Greek/Mediterranean tapas restaurant and received 3 stars in the Washington_Post magazine. It's one of those fun places where you order a lot of different small plates to share. We ordered hummus  tzatziki, fattoush, sweet potato fritters, beef keftedes, and lamb kleftico. All of it was go good! When the waitress asked us about dessert Clay ordered a mini rose chocolate mouse and I asked for another serving of fattoush!! I love that stuff. It is so simple and so good (tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, radish, pita chips, pomegranate vinegar dressing). If you have a good recipe for fattoush, or know anyone who does, please send it to me!!
We strolled around DC for a bit and headed over to the Shakespeare_Theater for A Midsummer Night's Dream. We had excellent seats; 4th row center. It was so enjoyable and fun. This was the first time seeing the play for both of us.

The next morning we went to a local congregation for church. On our way, we drove past the Masonic Temple in DC. We had just read (or listened to) The_Lost_Symbol by Dan Brown this summer while on vacation. It was so cool to actually see it in person. We loved that the story took place in DC at many locations we were familiar with. Here is a map_of_locations.
After church we headed back home and back to our girls. It was a fantastic time away with my favorite person :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!
Santa brought ice skates for Emma...
and Lego Friends City Park Cafe for Rebekah.
From Grandad Bruce & Kris...

From Aunt Donese

From Grandma & Grandpa Chase
From Grandma Murray
Clay got a box of old Zelda games from me.
I love how the girls were happy all day to play together. Wish it could be like this every day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Dreaming of a White Christmas

The girls wanted to make snowflake decorations for Christmas. We had a lot of fun making different designs and a lot of paper clippings.
I made a dolphin snowflake for Emma.
And a unicorn snowflake for Rebekah.
The girls were so excited when it actually started snowing the day before Christmas. They immediately ran out to dance and play on the deck.
It continued snowing until just past dinnertime. The girls went sledding and made a snowman. What a perfect Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gingerbread House

Great Grandma Deanie sent the girls a gingerbread house kit. The girls loved putting it together. Clay helped them with the frosting.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrapping up the year

I found a great idea for Activity Days girls. We would "wrap" up the year by learning how to wrap presents. Afterwards the girls had a relay race to unwrap the presents while wearing snow mittens and kitchen mitts (sorry I can't find my source anymore). The girls had a fun time. I loved how one of the girls used her toes!! What a smart idea.