I had so much fun this weekend! It was just great all around.
I was feeling a little down on Friday by the time I left work. It had been a long day. I knew David was out having fun with his Aunt Lisa (from Iowa) and his Uncle Todd (from Hawaii) who were visiting Milwaukee. I went home and got ready to go meet them for dinner. They originally planned on Cubanitas, but I was so happy they changed their minds to Sake-Tumi. Cubanitas is pretty much my current favorite restaurant, but they have almost NOTHING that is truly South Beach friendly. And my favorite foods there (fried cassava, empanadas, guacamole with fried plantains, mojitos) are nowhere near my diet. But sashimi is most definitely on my diet!!
I met David and his family at the restaurant and pondered what to order. My favorite item, the Sexy Scallops roll, was definitely out. I went big and got the Sashimi Omakase dinner. It was 3 pieces each of 6 different kinds of sashimi! What can I say? I love raw fish! The mackerel (I think that’s what it was) was not so good. It was very tough and a little fishy. But the hamachi (yellow tail) made up for it. It was quite possibly the best hamachi ever. It was even better than the Super White Tuna, which is usually my favorite fish.
I did have a piece each of Sandy and Jeff’s sushi rolls and the creepy leg piece of our Spider Maki. But other than that, I behaved. I didn’t even order any booze!
Afterwards, we wandered to the Third Ward to check out a few Gallery Night locations before they closed. It was fun hanging out with everyone. I’ve known Lisa for a while, but this was my first time meeting Todd. He’s a funny guy. And his service dog, Luke, is totally adorable. Luke was quite the attraction at the galleries. I almost felt bad for the paintings that got ignored. I still swooned over some of the paintings, thinking how beautiful they’d look above our mantle. And I swooned over the photographs, wondering if any of my photos could or will ever fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Afterwards, Todd, Lisa, Sandy, and Jeff came over to our place to hang out for a while. We sat around in the living room talking about anything and everything. We sat around talking until midnight! We commented the next day how it felt like we were just a group of good friends and how nice that was. Nevermind the fact that Todd is as old as my mother!
The next day, David and I slowly woke up and made more plans for the day. Todd and Lisa were going back to Iowa that evening. We headed over to Sandy’s house, picking up food from Apollo Cafe on our way there. I had the lamb shank. Yum! And I avoided eating the rice pilaf and their delicious pita.
David was planning on cooking Greek food for dinner, but based on our Greek lunch, we decided to alter plans. Everyone was really excited about the “Pimp my Pizza” idea. We’ve done this many times. It can be as simple as buying frozen cheese pizzas and adding yummy gourmet ingredients to it. We decided to buy frozen crusts and add our own sauces. Then someone realized that I wouldn’t be eating the pizza and they all felt bad and wanted to have something that I could eat too. The last thing I want is for my diet to be a problem for anyone else!! I convinced them that it was okay, and I would find something equally delicious for dinner.
Todd had plans to go to the Smart Car dealership. He’s on the waiting list for one. Ironically, our Smart Car is right near the Hummer dealership. Awesome! Sandy stayed home, recovering from a migraine. Jeff went with Todd. I was curious, but was much more interested in going grocery shopping with David and Lisa. We decided to take her on a bit of a grocery store tour! She lives near Iowa City, so it’s not like she’s without quality food and shopping, but they’re a step back from what we now have in our fair city.
First we went to Trader Joe’s, which is just fun. I don’t go there very often, because it’s pretty out of our way, but I love it. We bought some cheap goat cheese (seriously? $4.99 for a big tube of it?!) and diced pancetta for a pizza. I bought a bag of lettuce for a salad. Lisa liked all the cool food choices and frozen options. It’s such a fun place to browse. We headed to the check out with a few other random items and paid less than $20 for it all! I think I love the prices most of all.
Then we went to the holy grail mecca of food (in my opinion). Whole Foods. If I could afford it, I would shop at Whole Foods for everything. For now, we’ll just go there when we need special items. We found some tomatoes that actually smelled like ripe tomatoes!! (Smell the ones in your local mega mart. They may be red, but they often smell like… nothing. Creepy!) We wandered through the aisles, in awe of everything. Lisa couldn’t get over it, and I don’t blame her. I can’t get over how great this store is.
We (read: David and Lisa) tried all the samples. I somehow was able to ignore the scones and angelfood cake. We drooled over the cheeses for a while, where a small tube of goat cheese was $5.99! I decided that the only way to remove the pizza temptation was to get something really wonderful. I got six fresh scallops. These guys are delicious, but they are too pricey to have on a regular basis. We made one last stop at Metro Market for general groceries at reasonable prices.
We went back to Sandy’s house and hung out for a while before starting food prep. The pizzas looked great! We had two goat cheese, tomato, and pancetta pizzas; one pesto, tomato, and fresh mozzarella; and one basic one with cheese and mushrooms. Once I am off Phase One of South Beach, I will be making some variation of the pesto/tomato/mozzarella pizza. That looked so delicious! I’ll use a whole wheat dough or pita or something. Yummy!
I seasoned my scallops with salt and pepper, seared them, and served them over a salad. David’s Aunt Cathy came for dinner too and brought this great salad dressing from Beans & Barley. I raved about how good it was. It was the perfect dressing for my dinner. As we were leaving, she told me she had bought two containers of it, and I could take the second one with me! I know it’s not low in fat, but it’s all natural, and that’s good enough for me!
David and I had to leave right after dinner because we were going to see The Wizard of Ozat Tosa East, my old high school. My neighbor was playing the Tin Man! I’m so happy we went. I was really blown away by some of the performances. The show stuck pretty close to the movie, even down to the staging and acting. But I’m not sure that you could deviate too far from any of that- I mean, that IS the Wizard of Oz! The most impressive part was that they actually flew people! Dorothy, Miss Gultch, the Wicked Witch, Glinda, crows, monkeys, it was so awesome!! They got one of the top stage-fly companies in the country! I’d say it was worth it. It was closing night, and they were sold out, including the balcony! The audience burst into applause every time something exciting happened, including each time the Wicked Witch flew over the stage! The tornado scene was awesome. I cried every time something cool happened. I cried at the end of the Tin Man’s song. And I nearly sobbed at curtain call.
Because this post is pictureless, here are a couple pictures I stole from his Facebook page:
I gave him so many hugs after the show. I am SO proud of him. His voice is beautiful and his acting is great. He has come such a long way, and it’s obvious he has worked hard to get here. He was not great a few years ago. I don’t think I can sing his praises enough. I hope East does a good show next year and gives him a part he can really shine in and act honestly. Let’s face it, the characters in Wiz’ of Oz are not exactly realistic.
Could this be the longest post I’ve ever written? Quite possibly. ‘Cause here comes Sunday…
Sunday we woke up slowly and ate some breakfast, and then got ready to see Tony and Tina’s Weddingfor a second time! We got a deal on the tickets and it was just as fun as before! This time I took pictures, so I will post some once I get them online. My diet was put to the test again. I avoided the baked ziti. I even pushed aside the carrots in the vegetable medley.
I did indulge in a couple sips of champagne. My big test was the wedding cake. I’ll say it over and over- my favorite food is cake. I just love it. I confess, I had a bite. Just a bite. And you know what? I really didn’t need to do that. Sticking to my diet and continuing my weight loss is much better than a piece of random cake. Now if it was really good cake, at a real wedding, that might be different. But I left my barely-touched piece in front of me. It sat there through the rest of the show. And I was hardly even tempted!
And the payoff of this “suffering?” According to the scale this morning, I am 6 pounds less than Wednesday. YAHOOOOOO!!!! I can’t wait to add a normal workout to my routine and see that number get smaller.
That, combined with the fabulous weekend weather and my upcoming vacation, makes me one happy girl!