The only thing better than a 3-day weekend? A 3-and-a-half day weekend. :) Since the 4th was on a Friday this year, we got our summer half-day Friday on Thursday and it was glorious. It all started with me morphing into Super Errand Girl and, I am not even kidding, in 4 hours going to Wal*Mart, the bank, Macy*s, Williams-Sonoma, Linens 'N Things, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Now I know 4 hours is a long time to be shopping, but that's SEVEN places, people. The best part was that we actually made money off of it - I won an award at work for which I received $100 (deposited at the bank), and I spent a grand total of about $29 (about $3 not including Wal*Mart...you still think I'm making this up) since we had wedding gift cards at each of these places and we wanted to use them up in getting all our new house-y things for our open house next weekend. So a huge thank you to all who were kind enough to gift us something in honor of our nuptials. :)
When I got back to the city (finally), I met Dan, Nastya, and Lee at Reading Terminal where we bought approximately 7/8 of the produce place and several types of cheeses for the weekend festivities. That night, we went to Vetri for dinner. Vetri is widely lauded as the best Italian restaurant on the east coast, if not the entire country. Sooo we decided to check it out. OH MAN. Yeah, the portions were miniscule, but the FOOD. Oh, the food. It was magnificent. It was actually less pricey than I expected (~$20 for a pasta entree), so if we had each gotten two entrees, which would have been plenty sufficient, it would've been more along the lines of what I expected in terms of price. So anyway, the spinach gnocchi literally melted into a light, fluffy ball of goodness in my mouth, and the almond tortellini and eggplant ravioli were both wonderful, as was the golden onion crepe with truffle sauce. Whoo boy.
After dinner, we got some Capogiro and wandered over to Independence Mall, where the Philly Pops were performing patriotic music in front of Independence Hall. A Tommy J look-a-like read the Declaration, and the band played the tunes to each division of the services (veterans were asked to stand). Perfect 4th-eve activity.
The next day, we slept in, had Liz & co. drop by to say hi, and went to eat at Sabrina's Cafe, one of our favorite places in the city. Delightful. We went back over to Independence Hall and did a little tour with our wonderful guide, Larry, but sadly missed the giant block of cheese (I'm skeptical about it being donated for food...it was sitting outside the whole time...) and then went home and rested for a bit. Dan & I went over to the Art Museum to meet up with Liz & her friends for John Legend and awesome fireworks behind (and in front of!) the museum. Spectacular, despite the occasional rain.
Saturday was filled with cooking (I made apple scones and a zucchini/asparagus/basil frittata for brunch) and grilling (burgers/veggie burgers, corn, portabellos, other veggie skewers, and the hottest jalapeno poppers on the planet, with caprese salad, good cheese, homemade guacamole, etc.). Let's just say we created our first true feast. Thank heavens Nastya & Lee were there to help out. We went over and watched Fireworks and heard Boyz II Men (whoo!) in the rain that night. We were soaked.
Sunday deserves its own post, and this is getting really long. And the lengthiness is directly correlating to how badly written it is.