Starting with a pedicure gift from the BFF--
Then moving on to a dinner out at Vin Rouge, a restaurant I've written about before and dream about. It is that good. The Ex-Ex and I have gone there and I've been there a couple of times with friends.
This time, however, I was invited to go with a childhood friend and former across-the-creek neighbor, someone I hadn't seen in years, but reconnected with on Facebook. I rarely see or keep in touch with anyone, other than my family, from my Spruce Pine days. I am not sure why except that I moved away and moved on. So, when Miss Mary suggested dinner at Vin Rouge, I was quickly accepted. Then, add to the mix her son, Aaron, who would be there, she was bringing some girlfriends, and I would get to meet Chef Matt Kelly. Miss Mary and Matt go way back. Aaron worked for him in the past and now is back for more Durham food adventures. (More about that will follow as soon as I get another chance to talk to him and we make his grandmother's fried chicken!)
The BFF had never been to Vin Rouge, so she needed to be there, too. I was so proud of her... she ordered her first escargots!
Someone else ordered oysters.
Next came caramelized onion and goat cheese tart for the BFF.
And birthdays aren't complete with a candle stuck in something really good. In this case, a lemon tart and whipped cream.
Paul Grieco's Summer of Riesling.
Cheers, Birthday Girl!
The next day, my "real" birthday, I was taken out to lunch by the BFF. Summer vacation and eating lunch out is such a treat. We went to Bull City Burger and Brewery.
Wine Authorities. (There has been no summer slump at BCBB-- the place is breaking records.)
I am seriously addicted to their deep-fried pretzel-crusted pickle chips served with an aioli dipping sauce.
It was excellent. Beautiful inside and out.
My final celebration was a night out at the Durham Bulls baseball park for a game against Gwinnett.
Carolina Brewery's Bullpen Pale Ale. The Bulls lost, but are still in the lead, as we head into August.
Following my grandfather's tradition of bringing birthday cake to his grandchildren on his birthday, I made zucchini lemon crunch cake for my new friends, the teachers and staff of Student U. I've been lucky to work with them this summer and see what they do to make a difference in the lives of Durham students.
Skitch for rescuing me again-- the flowers are on my desk at school and I haven't photographed them yet!)
The "guys" at school showered me with food gifts. Tomatoes fresh from their gardens. (I have already consumed more than one tomato sandwich...) I plan to make penne pasta with "popped" tomato sauce for dinner tonight.
Bon appétit, family and friends! You make my life worth celebrating!