Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back from Berkeley Springs

Jeffro and I spent a nice relaxing weekend in Berkeley Springs, WV. We stayed at the Country Inn, which was a nice enough place I guess, central to everything and right next to Berkeley Springs State Park. The springs were not what I envisioned them to be, but it was kind of cool to think that George Washington had made the trek there hundreds of years ago to enjoy the mineral springs' restorative and healthy properties.

Friday we arrived at lunchtime and ate at Tari's, which also had a nice amount of local art to view. Dinner was at the Panorama at the Peak restaurant--excellent local food and a view to die for (see photo). We made a new friend sitting at the bar waiting, a very interesting "local cowboy" who, much to our surprise, liked Obama. But also said he couldn't tell many people that. Apparently WV just went non-smoking so he ran out about three times during our 15-minute conversation to smoke.

Saturday we went to Cacapon State Park and enjoyed walking along the lake to the dam/waterfall. Then we spent the rest of the day exploring the shops in Berkeley Springs and talked to a nice guy who owns a cabin nearby and told us we should have stayed at Whispering Hills. We wanted to see the Paw Paw Tunnel and the railroad bridge at Great Cacapon, but wound up unfortunately seeing neither. But the winding drive to get there was really fun. I wanted to eat at Lot 12 Public House, but there were complications so we weren't able to do that either. But I'll give them a plug here anyway since they had a booth at the farmer's market selling amazing-smelling food. When it started pouring that night, we found a great wine bar La Luna to enjoy a glass of wine and chocolate lava cake, as well as take in more local art.

Sunday we explored the local farmer's market, then discovered the beautiful Exline Iris Garden. It was tempting to buy some irises, but I don't think they would do well in my yard. Quite a spectacular place with hundreds of irises in bloom in every color.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Restaurant 3 Review

Last night Jeffro and I went to Restaurant 3 for his birthday. I wanted to try someplace different, and thought I'd remembered him talking about it sometime. Even though the menu didn't seem to be quite his thing, I went ahead with it anyway. Boy are we glad we did.

We had some old fashioned cocktails to start with, I had a Raspberry Rickey and he had a Ginger Collins. Even though I don't really like gin much, my drink went down pretty easy. For appetizers we had the Tuna Lollipops and Fried Oysters (Funny Girl Goes Blog would love both of these!). The tuna reminded me of Carlyle's awesome Seared Tuna Salad, and the oysters were substantial, the cornmeal crust perfectly crispy and the inside melt-in-your-mouth creamy.

For dinner Jeffro had the Scallops and Grits and I had the Smothered Trout. I had been debating the Crab-Crusted Black Cod or Blackened Catfish, but when I asked the waiter which he would recommend he said the Smothered Trout was the best. Since I don't normally go for "smothered" food I was doubtful, but this wasn't a typical "smothered" dish. The trout was smothered with mussels and shrimp over a bed of grits, with a wonderfully fragrant tomato-based sauce. It was crazy good. To accompany the trout I chose the Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, which was divine.

Altogether a great, and very filling, meal. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to foodies everywhere. My only complaint is I would have preferred to sit out on the balcony.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time Flying By

This was another incredibly busy week. I had something going on just about every night, concluding with a neighborhood Pet Happy Hour I organized on Friday night. We had record turnout, probably close to 100 people came! Luckily the rain held off. The crowd cleaned us out food and beverage-wise. It was a great time.

The rest of this weekend I've tried to take it easy cause I'm so tired, but we did grill out last night between the rain. Awesome turkey burgers by Funny Girl Goes Blog, and great grilled veggies. Finally got arond to watching Sling Blade, I'd never seen it before. Today I'm just going to run some errands and clean up around the house. This next week will be a bit busy, but then next weekend Jeffro and I are going away for the weekend for his birthday! I can't wait to get away for a bit of R&R!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


What fabulous weather this weekend, finally, after over a week of rain! The weekend went by way too fast, but I did enjoy grilling out, and I finally made my key lime pie, which I have to say came out quite well!

Tomorrow starts another day at work, and a crazy week of meetings. Boy do I need a vacation. Luckily Jeffro and I are going away next weekend for his birthday, I can't wait!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Weekend Goes to the Dogs

As Funny Girl Goes Blog noted, I spent part of the weekend raising money to help A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, an animal rescue organization that my neighbor is involved in. Our community had its annual spring yard sale yesterday, and a bunch of neighbors got together to donate "sellable" items, including me (yeah, cleaning out the basement!). Luckily Saturday didn't have much rain, so the turnout was great and sales were brisk. We made just over $300 (with the most expensive item being a $25 bike) in just 5 hours. It was a fun way to spend the day, visiting with neighbors and haggling over prices. At the end, even though we sold a ton of stuff, we still had a carload of items to donate to Goodwill and another carload going to a local church. It was a good day. I must say, though, that I missed NOAAgirl's presence at the yard sale this year :(

Today was completely rainy and gross but somehow that inspired me to cook. I'm making turkey burgers for dinner but a couple of other things too, and enjoying all of that creativity with a glass of Barefoot's new Pinot Noir. I bought key limes at the store and may even attempt a key lime pie! Pretty nice way to end the weekend.