Monday, June 25, 2012

Birthday Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday lovelies!
 We are wet, but drying out down here in Tampa.
 Luckily, the birthday boy did not float away this weekend!

Oh hey, Deb.
Tropical Storm Debby decided to join us for Eric's celebrations, and really outstayed her welcome.  We got almost sixteen inches of rain in one day yesterday at my house.
It did not stop raining, literally, for more than 18 hours yesterday.

That is why our pond looks like this...but perhaps a bit higher by now. 
 I haven't looked at the pool, but I'm sure it has become an infinity pool by this point.
Those plants in the water are normally about, ohhhh 3 or 4 feet tall. You are seeing the tip top of them.

And that is why a main street near my office looks like this...

We are still under a tropical storm warning, but no major damage or flooding at my house at least - just a lot of wind along with the rain. And, knock on wood, we have not completely lost power, which is more than a lot of Bay area residents can say. 

The problem is, Debby just keeps hovering in the Gulf.
Very little movement over the weekend.
 We'd like you to go ahead and move along, please.

Pierre was not a fan of this weather. At all. 
He was so annoyed by the noises, that he buried his head in the corner of the couch last night in an attempt to go to sleep. 
Eric asked if he was scared...
No, just grouchy.

Luckily, none of our major birthday plans necessarily involved outdoor activity!
We would have liked to have gone to the beach with Pierre early Saturday morning, but we'll just save that for another weekend. 

Friday night, we met up with a small group of Eric's close friends at Brass Tap, a really great craft beer bar near our house. 

I tried a Bell's Winter White - which was just a slightly less sweet Hefeweizen, and it was delicious. Will totally order again, and buy when it's out in the winter. Not sure why they had a winter seasonal on draft right now, but really, is anyone at all surprised that I ordered it?

Saturday was low key, and after I made a terrible pot of coffee at home we went to Dunkin for an early morning boost, and the birthday boy got to open his presents.

We had a lazy day indoors and then headed to The Refinery for dinner.  This restaurant is all about farm-to-table dining, and their menu changes every Thursday depending on what ingredients they can get fresh from local farms. 
It did not disappoint. 

I had the Pork Scrapple, which was delicious.  I remember older relatives talking about scrapple as "poor man's" food back in the day. Basically, you scrambled eggs from the farm, and then threw in whatever you had left to eat in the winter...which was normally black eyed peas (or some other kind of bean), onion, potatoes, and canned tomatoes, plus some kind of pork that you fried up and slapped on top.
I love that dishes like this are making a comeback as "gourmet southern" in restaurants these days. 
Mine did not disappoint on Saturday.

 Eric ordered the right-off-the-boat flounder, in some type of gravy/stew, and it was delicious. 

I also had a really great seared watermelon appetizer with blue cheese, cashews, jalepeno, and mango chutney, which I sadly forgot to take a photo of. An interesting combo of flavors, but very, very good.

We skipped dessert there because we had a host of sweet treats waiting at home. (And had quite a scary experience on the way there...which I will describe further in a post tomorrow.) Every year, in lieu of a cake, Eric requests a box of small treats from Alessi Bakery in Tampa. Plus, G bought him a very large box of French Macarons from Le Macaron, a divine French patisserie in the area. They are the closest things we have had to Pierre Herme in Paris, and were a sweet surprise for the birthday boy this weekend!

We combined with fresh espresso, and they were SUPER yummy! Thanks G!
Even though we aren't big cake eaters, I always have to get something to put a candle in! This year's cupcake selection? Peanut Butter and Jelly. And it was just as good as it sounds. Of course, our resident peanut-butter-lover, Pierre, got a small taste.

Sunday was another low key day spent in pajamas with rain, rain, and more torrential rain. This called for lingering over a pot of coffee, homemade Frosty Paws for Pierre (recipe here), reading the newspaper cover to cover, vacation planning (do tell - has anyone been Dubrovnik?), and a homemade Southern vegetable "dinnah".

Pardon the dim lighting - natural light, or the lack thereof, wasn't cutting it.
Butter beans, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, and biscuits with honey.
Hit the spot on such a dreary day. 

All in all, it was quite a nice weekend, although we were getting a bit stir-crazy there toward the end. 
The rain stopped momentarily this morning, and I took Pierre out for a walk, only to get stuck in a torrential downpour and gusty wind 10 minutes later. 
One (re)blow-dryed head of hair, and one blow-dryed dog later, I headed to work. 

I hope you all are having sunny Mondays today :)
And just in case you needed a smile, here are some of the outtakes from Pierre's happy birthday photo to Eric...

Note the lip stuck on his tooth...

Annnd we're out :)


  1. Glad you did not float away! Pierre looks uber cute nose in couch!

  2. Glad you guys stayed safe during the storm. Looks like a great birthday weekend! Have a great week.

  3. Glad Debby decided to spare y'all when it came to the bad stuff! But... I wouldn't mind you sending her my way. We would give anything for 16 inches of rain around here : /

  4. wow wow wow that is a lot of fun!! glad there wasn't any serious damage andthe rain didn't ruin any birthday plans. i love the commentary with your basset hound at the end too cute

  5. We're feeling your pain here in the Florida Keys. It has been AWFUL! Happy birthday to your guy!!

  6. Looks like Debby needs to move her vaca elsewhere! Glad the weather didn't spoil the fun though! Might I add I absolutely HATE when I make a bad brew of coffee. Definitely leaves a sour taste in your mouth for the day to come!

  7. Wow that's some crazy rain, thanks a lot Debby. Poor Pierre, he's too cute burying his head in the pillow. Looks like you guys had fun though - those craft beers look yummy!

    I'm a new follower, love your blog!

  8. Pierre seems as moody as Floyd...must be a basset thing! Love those outtakes! Floyd's lip gets stuck like that all the time!

    Glad you guys got to have some birthday fun despite the weather!