Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day Trip: Summer Lovin'

When I checked the weather report for Saturday morning (something I almost never do) I automatically decided that "80 degrees, Abundant Sunshine" was code for get-to-the-beach. Brian and I packed up and headed down to Rehoboth Beach for a few relaxing hours in the sun.
It's about an hour and a half drive, so we we got there a little after noon we were already a little hungry. We conveniently parked near this restaurant, and decided it was about time that we finally try it out. The burgers were okay (a little overdone for our taste), and the brews were really good. We ate outside on the patio under the umbrella.
After feeding the meter again (note-they only take quarters, and cost about $1.50 an hour), we then found some empty sand on the beach and commenced reading and relaxing. I finished "The Stranger" by Albert Camus (not at all a beach read, I only read it b/c Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize, I wouldn't recommend the book). We spent just a few minutes in the chilly water, and got a kick out of the retro airplane advertisements that occasionally passed through the sky.
Once we had enough sun, we grabbed some popcorn from this stand (nothing special) and then headed back up to Newark.
On the way, we stopped at this stand just south of Dover. I think it was the 3rd or 4th time we've been there now. It always has pretty good looking produce. We got some asparagus, cherries, and strawberries among other things.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aquarium Update

The shells are from our trip to Assateague Island. As you can see there are still no fish yet, Brian's still getting the tank set up.

These are the red crabs that killed the snails in these cool shells so they could have them for their own.

This is the newest addition, some kind of little tree. It's closed up in this picture.

And finally the new bubble anemone-it's a little sick right now (it was on sale-and since the tanks still adjusting it seemed like a good idea to try an anemone that is on sale in case there are any problems) but it is still pretty.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009 (including book recommendations)

I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend. We ended up not going camping, and decided to avoid the crowds that are descending upon the East Coast beaches at this moment. We basically stayed around home, and just decided things on the spur of the moment. Nothing was planned.

Friday night we continued our hunt for a good pizza place in DE. We tried Ciao's Trolley Pizza &  Grill based on good reviews I had found. It turned out to be a little more casual restaurant than we were expecting. It reminded us of Slices in Tempe. We ordered slices at the counter (though you can order a whole pizza) and ate outside on the patio in the beautiful weather. It was pretty good pizza to try if you are in the area, which was a quaint beautiful little part of Wilmington. Just be careful what you sprinkle on your pizza. Brian ended up seasoning his with garlic powder that he thought was Parmesan.

We then headed to the nearest theater to see the new Night at the Museum movie. As D.C. and the Smithsonians has quickly became my favorite DE getaway, I enjoyed seeing the familiar sights in the movie. It wasn't quite as entertaining as the first, but definitely worth the time to see.

On Saturday morning we went for a 2 mile walk in the warm weather, during which we tried Fresh Hot Bagel. The bagels were good, and not too big, but the service needed work (they were out of my desired spread and gave Brian a regular bagel when he ordered an everything bagel). We'd rather stick with one of the Main Street places.

Brian made a great lunch for us-Pasta Carbinara from the Rachel Ray Summer 2009 issue (he suggests adding balsamic vinegar).

We also finished off some cupcakes from Sassy Cupcakes in Newark. Though overpriced, the boutique offers different flavors daily and are good enough to merit a return trip. My favorite is the red velvet variety, while Brian has really liked the Baily's and triple chocolate flavors.

The rest of the weekend has been spent napping and reading and enjoying our time off. I've finished the following books:

"Mrs. Kimble" -is a book about a man told through his three wives. Each wife comes from a unique background and time, with very different expectations for their husband/children's father. ****.5

"American Girl" -a book set in the radical times of the 70s-it took a while for me to even understand the main plot of this book, but it ended up being interesting. It prompted me to wonder about the teaching of the Japanese-Americans internment during WWII in the US (CA and AZ mostly). I found out about this while in AZ-and I wonder how many people remember learning this in school-whether it's found it's way into the history books yet? *** Susan Choi's book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and after describing it to my husband he informed me it was loosely based on the Patty Hearst story.

"The Devil in Massachusetts" -this was one of the books I was assigned back in my Human Event class freshman year of college. I finally finished reading through this non-fiction book, and enjoyed the historical understanding I gained. ****

Saturday, May 23, 2009

D & H Jamaican

At D & H Jamaican we  had our first experience with "jerk chicken."  D & H is a little bar that was recommended to us for their good food. Though the service was slowish, and they were out of some of their side dishes, their signature dish was nice and spicy, especially good when followed by a Red Stripe. Their cabbage was a nice side dish as well.

We visited their Chestnut Hill location, there is also one in Wilmington.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

(Young Adult) Book Recommendation: Princess Academy

I have slipped in the last couple years with keeping up with the Newberry award winning books (and finalists). I picked up this Shannon Hale book this weekend and whipped right through it. It was a touching story, told well by the entertaining author. Many moral lessons and themes are nicely twisted into the plot as well. It is an unpredictable fairy tale story for older, more realistic girls. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Movie Recommendation: Slumdog Millionaire

After all the buzz about Slumdog Millionaire, we went ahead and rented it on demand. I would highly recommend it, with the disclaimer that it is not quite as happy-go-lucky, dancing, musical as it looks in some of the commercials, it is a lot deeper and darker than that. *****

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Newest Quilt

This quilt isn't done yet, but I went ahead and hung the pieced top until I have time to finish it. I still need to actually sandwich the top, inside padding, and backing, do the actual quilting, and put the final binding around the outside. My inspiration for this was creating a patriotic themed quilt for the summer season.

Our plants (or My Husband is going to be an excellent gardener when he gets some land)

Brian's got a few fresh herbs and vegetables growing.
Red Lettuce


Romaine Lettuce




Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day Trip: Getting out and Around

I wanted to get out of the area for a little bit, so we drove up north and went on a few shopping excursions. As always, I want to chronicle the places we visited.

Before we even got out of town, Brian wanted to stop for coffee, so we stopped in at Newark (Deli and) Bagels. For a Saturday morning in a college town, it was packed! I assumed it would be deserted, but it was quite crowded. I had a very salty "salt bagel" and they slathered on plenty of cream cheese. I would definitely make a return trip.

Next we stopped at that favorite cheese shop of ours in Gap, PA. We got some Spanish cheese, New Amsterdam Gouda, and the mango dessert cheese.

]Next, we went to an antique mall. It was our first time at such a place. Brian found a lot of cool old books, but didn't get any. I brought home a couple old mason jars, buttons, and quilting squares. It was very interesting, almost like a museum-without all the reading. :)

Then, we stopped at a farmer's market in Bird-in-Hand. It was a little more market than farm-and Brian just grabbed some pie and dismissed the rest of the place. He was getting hungry for lunch.

After getting back to Newark, we grabbed lunch at Jake's Hamburgers. This popular place is order-at-the-counter fast food that is pretty good. We haven't tried their milkshakes yet. We will definitely be back to try them.

And that completed our Saturday.