For my birthday yesterday, Tony took me to dinner at Rosa Mexicano. I suggested it because it had been quite a while—a year and about a month—since we'd last gone there, with Eugene.
Tony and I both settled on the Pork Tacos independently. I ordered mine gluten-free as well to ensure there would be no mixup. I kind of assume they're always made gluten-free, but we said GF for both just to be on the safe side. They were delicious:
The corn tortillas for holding the taco fixings are in the pink container.
We got RM's wonderful guacamole to start:
The wine Tony selected was a disappointment. It sure sounded like a winner: the 2011 Zind-Humbrecht Hengst Gewürztraminer from France's Alsace region. But the alcohol was too prominent; it bit the tip of my tongue off with every sip.
For once, I didn't have any dessert. I was way too full from all of the chips, rice, and tortillas. (And pork.)
Tony got a big surprise when the check came. The wine he thought was $40 was actually $110! He didn't have his reading glasses with him, and he swears the prices weren't aligned properly with the wine names. We thought it was odd when, after Tony had made his selection, the waiter came back without the bottle to confirm that Tony wanted the second Gewürztraminer on the list. And that explains why the waiter didn't care at all that we weren't interested in dessert. :-)
Tony got me a snazzy paisley shirt ...
... and a bottle of worth-the-extra-money rioja that we had with a Newport steak dinner Friday night, with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts:
I teased Tony about always defaulting to steak and Brussels sprouts when he's left to his own devices on selecting what to make for dinner.
Yesterday afternoon, hoping I might get lucky, I had gone upstairs to see what Tony was up to. He was lying in bed, watching an episode of The Vicar of Dibley on his iPad. I snuggled up next to him, and then Grady—who's Ambien on four legs—climbed into the bed and snuggled up next to me. So I was out like a light for an hour. After he was done watching his show, Tony also fell asleep. I woke up for a minute at about 5 o'clock—just long enough for Tony to tell me what time it was—and then quickly fell back asleep for another half hour. I didn't get any sexy time, but I had a wonderful nap and came up with a new nickname for Grady: the vicar of dribbly.
Dan and Paul let me hang out in Cape May with them Aug. 15 to 17. I got to meet their fur kids, Oliver and Bessie, for the first time.
Oliver is a sweetie who acts like he's a 50-pound toy poodle. He's a cuddly lap dog:
But Bessie is my favorite. She's the cutest little baby girl. I threatened to dognap her and take her away from her "horrible" existence with D&P:
I think I can speak for both of us when I say it was love at first sight:
B&O love to play-fight with their mouths wide open, making silly noises and play-biting each other. Sometimes Oliver, who's a good deal bigger than his sister, fits his mouth over Bessie's face:
The pooches kept me company overnight. They're such love bunnies:
Oh, Paul and Dan were there, too. :-) We enjoyed good beach weather:
We made our usual lunchtime visit, on Sunday, to the Oceanview Diner, where I always get my once-a-year pork roll sandwich. With tater tots on the side. A soap store advertised on my place mat was featuring a delightfully named scent:
On our walk back to the beach from the diner, we saw this cool-looking vehicle that either D or P identified as a Volkswagen Thing:
The image quality isn't great because I zoomed in with the camera on my iPhone.
On the way to and from the diner, we nibbled on some blackberries from bushes the city had planted on the edge of the beach. There are more unripe than ripe ones in this photo:
We took a walk toward the lighthouse from the cove, but not the entire way. So it was roughly half a death march. D&P say they still use that term I coined (back in the time when, for whatever reason, I used only teeny tiny photos on the blog) for the long walk to the lighthouse, which looks to be only a short distance away, but as you walk and walk and walk and walk and ... guess what? ... walk some more, it never gets any gatdam closer.
Dan was staying in Cape May a little longer because his momma was going to visit after traveling with one of his sisters, and Miriam needed a lift home because Gerard had to leave Sunday morning for a business trip, so Paul chauffered Miriam and me up to our destinations in Less South Jersey. He took the opportunity to teach us how to speak Okie. A sample conversation with translations:
"Jeetyet?" (Did you eat yet?)
"No. Djou?" (No. Did you?)
"No. Yunto?" (No. You want to?)
"Aight." (All right.)
Not far from Mirian and Gerard's house, we drove past a P.J. Whelihan's, which I joked sounded like a cross between a P.F. Chang's and a Houlihan's. I think I'll have the corned beef sandwich and egg rolls.
There was no country music song of the weekend because we didn't listen to any country music. Paul said he doesn't really listen to it anymore; he's all about top 40. Dan listens to it more than him now.
Dan was enjoying the pop song "Rude" by Magic. Paul was sick of it. I thought the lyrics were stupid and sounded like two different songs merged together: "Why you gotta be so rude? I'm gonna marry you anyway." Wha? I said that Magic should have incorporated a clip of Stephanie Tanner from Full House saying "How rude!" into the song.
I was getting into "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha, which has a country twang to it. So maybe there was a country song of the weekend after all.
Rich picked up an industrial-size jar of Sunny Paris (photographed with a bottle of sunflower oil for comparison) for Tony at the Penzeys store near his office in New Jersey. Now we can Sunny Paris the shit out of things all fall and winter!
Last Sunday, we saw Dad for his birthday, which had been the day before (seven days before mine). Tracey had won the fixings for a barbecue from the Market Basket and so she and David had a bunch of people over for dinner that night, including Dad, Tony, and me. It was the shindig for which I'd made the ice creams mentioned in the previous post.
I didn't take a picture of/with Dad that day, because I suck. But that lapse gives me a great opportunity to segue to earlier Gerber visits that I haven't yet written about on the blog. We've done so much this summer that I haven't had time to write about them all. Tony says that's why the summer didn't seem to go by very fast: Because we had so many things to do, there were lots of milestones to remember, preventing time from slipping away from us unnoticed.
On Father's Day, Tracey and David had Dad up, as usual. But we didn't go to Preakness; David felt like barbecuing at home instead.
I brought Coffee Ice Cream to please Dad and Tracey. And Dad humored us by agreeing to go to the Ridgewood outpost of Brick Lane Curry House for lunch. Indian food! He survived the trial by curry:
Here's my plate. Most of us hit the buffet:
That afternoon, I took selfies with Molly ...
... with Dad ...
... and with the Tonester:
That's not a great photo of me—I look sort of crazed—but Tony looks adorable, so I'll run that baby.
I posted the photo with Dad on Facebook and commented: "I gave myself the butterier lighting. :-)." Let me tell you, the older I get, the more I appreciate buttery lighting.
Here's my dinner, because no one ever gets tired of looking at my plates of food. :-):
I took the ingredients for and made the salad. And here's the ice cream for dessert:
On the day after my nephews' birthday, a Wednesday, I took the day off and went out to Franklin Lakes to hang with my special guys. Tony had to work, so he didn't join me.
Tracey, M&M, and I had lunch at Park West Tavern in Ridgewood. I got the very tasty Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich topped with Lemon Confit and a side of outstanding French fries:
Then, at the Gerbers' place, there was the first of many selfies with Molly:
I posted this one on Facebook:
And then there's this shirtless one, which I also posted on Facebook, to try to prove that this then-almost-45-year-old-guy still had it going on:
And the photo got 21 Likes, so maybe I do still have it going on. :-) We were hanging out by the pool, hence the chest-out-iness.
A big reason I wanted to visit that day, rather than a day that was more convenient for Tony, was that the 'phews were scheduled to get haircuts late that afternoon. I wanted to verify that hairs were actually cut!
Here they are in a before picture, with Mike on the left:
And here they are after, on the ride home. The spot where I took the before picture was too sunny to allow us to take a nonsquinting after pic:
Mike didn't like the haircut even though he's smiling gamely for his Uncle Bill. He missed the length in the front. I was hoping it would grow on him, but when I saw him last Sunday, he said he still wasn't digging it.
When we got home, I took yet another selfie with Molly:
Tracey and David made a great dinner: steaks, asparagus, and potatoes au gratin, all on the grill. I brought salad stuff again: two types of lettuce, cucumber, limes, dill, and gem marigold blossoms. David said my salad smelled and tasted "like spa." That's fine by me.
As we were all getting dinner ready, I played some songs off my iPhone over the speaker in the Gerbers' kitchen. The nephews take after their uncle in many ways, including their taste in music. They like my tunes more their parents', which are heavy on the heavy metal.
I played some oldies but goodies ...
... as well as some more-up-to-date songs:
The so-much-fun visit was capped by ice cream cake that the Gerbers had started eating the day before:
I told the guys that Tony and I would take them to see Wicked for their birthday present. Two years ago for their birthday, I had asked them what musical they'd like to see. Mike chose Bring It On, and Matt chose Wicked. I told them we'd see Bring It On first because it had only a limited run, whereas Wicked was likely to still be on Broadway long after we were all dead. Ha! I was also hoping it might someday go on the TKTS discounted-ticket list. Fat chance! I sucked it up the other day and bought full-price tickets for M&M, Tony, and me for the middle of October.
On the most-recent visit to the Gerbers, we (Tracey, M&M, Dad, Tony, and I) went to Le Bon Choix (which means The Good Choice, for you non-Francophiles) in Ridgewood. LBC had a menu that pointed out gluten-free and dairy-free selections, and the food was quite good, so we'll be going back:
LBC has an eclectic menu, but one thing it features prominently is roast chicken. That's what the 'phews got. Here's a photo of Tracey taking a photo of M&M's lunch. I'm not the only one who does that!
Dad and I both got the buckwheat pancakes, which were fine (and unphotographed). Tony got the beet salad, which he enjoyed.
At the Gerbers', the rest of us mostly took it easy while Tracey made some salads and helped David manage the delivery from the Market Basket. Here's a photo of the lovely Japanese maple in their backyard:
A selfie with my snookums:
And a selfie with girlfriend Molly, with Mike and Matt in the background:
As always, we had a great time with the Gerbers and their friends, and the food was delicious. David grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and Tracey's salads were joined by potato salad, cole slaw, and macaroni salad from TMB.