Anniversary #8

As usual, I always feel so unprepared come anniversary time, which is why this post is over a month late. Honestly, I never feel like we do our anniversary justice. Given our rocky history, our relationship today is definitely something worth celebrating. We're 8 years strong!

1. Bikes

Francisco surprised me by ordering us bikes. This was something we have talked about off and on for a few years, but there were a few issues holding us back, i.e. where will we store them and how often will they really be used? Well, he decided to just bite the bullet and have a couple of extra-large boxes show up at our door.
Now, full disclosure, we didn't actually keep the bikes. Those issues that I mentioned...well, while Francisco thought they didn't exist, I still had concerns about where we storing them - the garage had become the default location, which is already on the tight side with just my car inside - and how often we would be using them - let's face it, we're both beat after work and just want to watch House on Netflix and there are so many other things I try to squeeze in on the weekends.

It was certainly interesting to ride a bike again after what's possibly been a decade, and maybe someday we'll find the room at our home and in our schedule to invest in bikes again.

2. "Fancy" Restaurants

You know we love us some good food.  Our anniversary was on a Monday, so on the Friday beforehand, we went to Bouquet over the river in Covington, KY.  We started with the Beet salad, which my husband liked. The flavors were interesting, and it was very fresh, but it probably goes over better if you're a fan of beets [which I guess I'm not.]

We also had the Bouquet Fries with dill caper aioli and house mustard. The fries were good, and I liked the aioli - the mustard was a bit on the spicy side. For our entree, we went with the Sesame Seed Encrusted Tofu, which was very flavorful overall, and the tofu had a nice crispiness while being soft on the side. It's served on a bed of rice noodles, but there was some element in the dish I just really didn't enjoy.

We definitely went with two dessert orders to make up for what had so far been a lackluster meal for me. We tried the Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownie, which had a nice balance of flavors representing all of the elements of the dish. We also tried the Chocolate Tart with Banana Cream - these flavors paired well together.
Bouquet Fries Beet Salad Sesame Seed Encrusted Tofu Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownie Chocolate Tart with Banana Cream
Sometimes when a new place is a disappointment, you seek out the familiar. In this case, we returned to Ferrari's Little Italy and Bakery on Saturday after about a year in between visits. I've found that I'm either really feeling Italian or really just not interested, and I'd found myself in an Italian mood lately. Francisco had the Tortellini Florentine, which is so good. I had the Cheese Ravioli, which was a little too bland that day. We shared a piece of tiramisu for dessert - man, I couldn't even tell you the last time we had that!
Ferrari's Little Italy and Bakery Tortellini Florentine Cheese Ravioli Tiramisu
Of course, the ultimate comfort food that you can always rely on is The Cheesecake Factory, which we ended up at on our actual anniversary. I can never go wrong with their Fried Macaroni and Cheese, while Francisco loves their Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes. Francisco had the White Truffle Raspberry Cheesecake, and I had the Salted Caramel, which was delicious, of course.
The Cheesecake Factory Fried Macaroni and Cheese Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes White Truffle Raspberry Cheesecake Salted Caramel
Finally, to wrap up our week of "fine" dining, we had dinner on Friday at Forno Osteria. This occupies the same location as our former favorite restaurant in town, M Wood Fired Oven. Admittedly, I was sad when M closed up shop, but I think I can deem Forno Osteria a fair replacement.  I started our dinner with a Black Plum Fizz from the cocktail list, which was a light drink that reminded me of a mimosa.

We started with the Truffled Cream Corn, which featured crisp corn kernels in a light, flavorful sauce. We also tried the Cauliflower Gratin - the cauliflower was cooked perfectly with a nice crunch complemented by the creaminess of the dish.  My husband also couldn't resist ordering the Blue Oven Bakery Bread Basket - he loved it.

Our server actually brought us the wrong drink at first, but we decided to order the Limonata anyway after finishing our first cocktail. It was a light, crisp drink that was just as yummy as it looked.

Finally, we ordered the Elena pizza, which is a olive oil-base pizza with Black truffle, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, and baby arugula. This had a rich creaminess, and it was on the edge of having too much gorgonzola, which gave it an intense, salty, cheesy taste.

For dessert, we went with the Warm Apple Soup, which kind of tasted like watery apple sauce but better. Unique but not my fave dessert.
3. Game Night
Probably my favorite way to spend a Saturday evening is having a few cocktails and playing some games with my husband, and that's exactly what we did. I wish we had time to do this every weekend.
4. New Cell Phone
After shattering my old cell phone screen, I wasn't terribly surprised to receive a new phone, although of course I was still grateful. It's actually a ton better than my old phone in terms of speed and image quality. It's not super fancy by any means, but we tend to be more interested in spending our many in other categories besides electronics.
5. Donut Trail Completion
I've always been a goal-oriented person - I love accomplishing even the silly and simple visiting every donut shop on the Donut Trail. It came to be something we looked forward to every Saturday morning, knowing we had to head out early to get the best selection. We completed the Trail the week of our anniversary.
We submitted our scorecard and our complimentary T-shirts came in not long after that.
6. Bedding
One of the gifts we had discussed buying for ourselves was a new bedding set. I think we officially ended up purchasing three...We bought this set first, but the quality just wasn't great, and Francisco didn't love the pattern.
Image: Bed Bath & Beyond
So, we'd been eyeing this Hotel Collection bedding set from Macy's for a very long time, but this was like an investment purchase since you'd have to buy each piece individually. And the cheapest pillow still went for like $90! We ended up buying the Duvet cover. It is a very high quality cover, but it turns out that it looked much more gray in the store and much more brown at home. In the past, the majority of my furniture was brown, and I grew to kind of hate it. I've definitely been on a gray kick lately.
Image: Macy's
Finally, on a whim, I checked Macy's website and found this Martha Stewart set on sale. It was gray and fairly neutral, so I went with it.
Image: Macy's
Also, man I need to work on my bed-making game - my bedroom is definitely not as picturesque as these retailer photos. :-P We're still figuring out what mattress we actually want under all these covers and pillows, but that's another story.
7. Vacation Decision
We were literally all over the map on where we should go on vacation this year. We were thisclose to booking a trip to the Galapagos, but the tour company we were looking at didn't offer a lot of flexibility. We were also pretty darn close to booking a trip to Iceland, but we wouldn't have been going until like November, and I knew I wouldn't be looking forward to the cold. We kept browsing Groupon deals, and saw one for London and Amsterdam that we were keen on, so we started looking into that more and comparing it to the value of us booking the components of the trip on our own. Long story short, we've decided to go to the UK and Ireland this year, and we're leaving in about 20 days! We'll actually be able to cross 5 countries off the list with this trip: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.  Woohoo!
8. Crack Pie
Oh, how I wish there was a Milk Bar nearby, although I suppose it's better for my waist line if there isn't.  A while ago, I stumbled upon this recipe to make your own Crack Pie at home. Francisco loved it; I called it punishment pie because it had so many calories, I swear I was eating nothing but plain vegetables for dinner to make up for it. He loved it so much, I even thought of ordering one from Milk as a surprise present for him, but at $46.25 per pie + shipping of $30, I just couldn't do it. I did see that they had a baking mix for sale on their website, but this was still $17 + shipping, which was discouraging. Anyways, I don't know how long this has been a thing at Target, but holy wow, they sell Milk Bar Pie Mix now, and it's only $4.99. Now, it's not branded Crack Pie at Target, so I don't know if there's an actual difference, but the description is the same.
I think I liked our homemade punishment pie better, truth be told. But someday, someday, I will try the real thing, fresh from the source. :)


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