summer flashback :: whiskey kitchen


A dream come true for me is to hang out in restaurants, watching the food come to life as servers match diners' expectations with the chef's vision on a plate. It's such a vibrant atmosphere, in a restaurant, and so much happens between the front door and the kitchen.

My friend Kim and I got that chance last May, when a student from our Ditch Your Gear class asked us to attend one of the opening parties for her new venture, The Whiskey Kitchen. The only caveat? That we come cameras in hand.

It was a great evening. Kim and I were both testing our new Fujis, and having the small camera helped me to feel unobtrusive as we shot servers, food and guests. We mingled as the house got ready to open up, and the excitement in the air was thrilling to witness. Neel joined me later for a special Opening Party dinner and we split an appetizer before ordering crab cakes and a beet burger. The strawberry shortcake did. me. in.

After our families left (Kim's family joined her for dinner too.), Kim and I stuck around for the remainder of the evening as the room got more and more lively. People were eating, people were drinking, people were laughing. You could feel the energy and excitement of the new venture thrumming through the air. I was thrilled to be a part of it.

If you're local, The Whiskey Kitchen is located at 2149 General Booth Blvd. in Virginia Beach. They're open seven days a week and in addition to any spirit you could desire, they have an astonishing variety of craft beers on tap.

weekend recap, mother's day edition

1. wonder wheel | 2. empty | 3. horizon | 4. whiskey kitchen | 5. neel's garden | 6. mother's day bouquet | 7. my hearts | 8. mother's day shout out

1. wonder wheel | 2. empty | 3. horizon | 4. whiskey kitchen | 5. neel's garden | 6. mother's day bouquet | 7. my hearts | 8. mother's day shout out

I had to scrabble all the way back to Thursday for this week's photo collage, partly because the blues are so pretty and just scream summer to me, but also because the middle photo (of the eggs, graciously gifted by my friend Kim) was chosen this week to be featured by 365_today, which is a photo-a-day community on Instagram. That was a total bonus! You guys know I love prompts, but I tend to be particular about them (when they're not my own). I drop in and out of various prompt groups as the themes speak to me, and I never dreamed I'd be featured. For some reason this one hit the mark. Made my week.

Oh, and that photo of the empty plate? I'll have more to say about that later, but I spent Friday night, also with my friend Kim, at the soft opening ("What the hell is a soft opening? When they opened The Flamingo, one day it was closed, the next it was open. End of story. I know, I was there." ~Saul Bloom, Ocean's 13) of the Whiskey Kitchen taking pictures for our friend and owner Delynda. It was thrilling to be there and we had a great meal! Like I said, more on that later...

We had a lovely Mother's Day, heading back to our traditional brunch spot (I love brunch), the same place where this happened last year. Remember that? I'd totally forgotten until our neighbor reminded me. Yesterday's brunch was pretty tame! My favorite gift came from Callum who gave a donation in my name to the wonderful organization, Midwives for Haiti.

Midwives for Haiti was previously unknown to me, but it's an organization that combines two things that are dear to my heart. I've always been fascinated with Haiti, and as a former birth doula, safe prenatal care and healthy deliveries for both mom and baby are very important to me.

Let me tell you a bit more about it. Haiti has a population of 10 Million and is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The statistics for mothers and children are devastating. 75% of women are not attended at their births by skilled professionals, and the maternal mortality rate in the country is alarmingly high. Out of every 100,000 births, 350 women will die (as a comparison, 12.7 women out of every 100,000 will die in the US). Haiti is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere to give birth, and most maternal deaths would be prevented with adequate care. Haiti also has the highest infant and children mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, with children who have lost their mothers 10 times more likely to die prematurely.

The 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti also closed the government midwifery school. Midwives for Haiti seeks to train Haitian nurses to become skilled birth attendants. Their goal is to help reduce Haiti's maternal mortality rate by 75% by 2015.

"By ensuring that all mothers in Haiti receive prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care by Skilled Birth Attendants, more mothers will be there to care for their families. Communities and a developing country will continue to be built around the strength and industry of women." *

What an amazing organization in a stunning and heartbreaking country. My boy knows me well. Made his Momma proud.

*All information via Midwives for Haiti.