1. Yes, I have new black boots. Not exciting perhaps, but I have been looking for three years for them. And the ankle boots? Well, let's talk again after the holiday, okay? | 2. Chefs in waiting | 3. Chefs at work | 4. What they made us. | 5. Movie night | 6. Cafe a deux | 7. Bathroom run | 8. Lunch date | 9. Lemon garlic mayonnaise | 10. Clams | 11. Pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. Yes. | 12. Easy Sunday morning | 13. Dark and Stormy | 14. Blustery tailgate | 15. Sunday supper | 16. This is a train. | 17. Nantucket for Thanksgiving? Yes, please. | 18. Gratitude
I have to say first that I was both heartened and saddened by everyone's makeup counter experience. Why does it have to be so hard? I don't have a problem saying "no" really, but the crushing disappointment that the makeup lady presented me with after I didn't buy that Dior pencil? I felt like I'd brought her a bad report card. The ladies at Sephora are just excited with whatever you get, but their selection of Laura Mercier wasn't as big. Oh well, win some, lose some.
When I said we have a heavy social calendar for the weekend, I wasn't kidding. If you include a date-night for me and Neel in that equation, that is. Callum slept over at a friends house, so Neel and I went back to the place I'd been to dinner with some girlfriends the week before at sat at the chefs bar. It's our favorite way to eat at this tapas joint. We watch the things come out of the kitchen and whatever looks good, we order. And it's so fun to watch the kitchen in action. We got there early, so all was calm. Chefs texting or chatting quietly. Just waiting for that rush of orders. Soon enough, things got busy. We ate some food, but that sandwich might have been the best. A crab club with bacon-friend chicken and a mango sauce. Nice. We also have a wonderful place here in Norfolk called Naro Expanded Cinema where you can see just about any movie that's ever come out and rent any movie that's ever been put into video. TV or film. See those rows of shelves? That's like a 10th of what they have available. So we hopped in and grabbed Midnight in Paris so Neel could laugh his dang fool head off. If Erin hasn't convinced you, you can trust me. It's a good movie.
We made what feels like our 20th run to The Home Depot for bathtroom stuff Saturday morning. We're almost there, and I'll have a full recap soon. Third time might be a charm with those pesky plumbers. Callum asked for extra time at this friend's house, so Neel and I snuck in some lunch before picking him up. (I've been eating some nice food lately.) And speaking of nice food. We had dinner with some lovely friends on Saturday night, old friends and new. That dinner will get its own full recap as well. All within the fullness of time, my friends. All within the fullness of time.
So by Sunday, Callum had been up until 2 AM Friday night and 11 PM the night before. He slept in while Neel and I did some work in front of the fire. I think we really got moving on the day by noon, and by 1:30 we were out the door again. This time to our friends' going-away party. Blustery and gray Virginia days are great for parties like these, and there was lots of food and kids running around while the grown-ups warmed themselves by the firepits. Saying goodbye is hard, isn't it? This is a Navy town, and we've gotten some used to it, but tonight Australia (and this particular Navy family is landing in Canberra, Catherine, to answer your question!) is feeling very far away.
You'd think we'd be done by now, but no. That's not how we roll. Not these days, at least. An impromptu dinner with other neighbors rounded out the evening. Through the force of our two kitchens we had salad, and wine, and pasta with puttanesca sauce. Sometimes it feels too much, and sometimes I think, connect. It's what we need to do.
And now we're at a new week, and Thanksgiving looms. This is my favorite season. Late November and the lead-up to Christmas. I'm filled with gratitude this year for our home and my family. For Neel's work and mine. For my dear friends here and for all of you who help make this space mean so much to me. I feel that gratitude not just this week, but every day. It's important to acknowledge it. To say it. To say how very much you all mean to me. We have a special week in store. Our holiday will be spent with dear, dear far-away friends this year. Friends who are close to my heart. We'll cook together and drink some wine. Our kids will hang out and everyone will be taller since the last time we saw them. After today, I'm signing off from SPL for a bit, to soak up the trip up the coast to New England and soak up my family and friends. To just be. We're driving up, and planning on relishing the experience. We have snacks for the car and books to read and a crate of clementines in case of scurvy. The dogs are already planning wild parties with our house sitter. I'm sure I'll be hanging out on the Gram and on Twitter as well, but I'm yearning for some time with my people. And Nantucket? Hello? I fully expect I'll stockpile a store of wonderful things to tell you all about when we return. I'll be back in this space in a week, next Tuesday, and in the meantime, know that I'm thinking of you all and wishing you the warmest of times with those most beloved to you.