Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Grand Time Was Had

We had a really nice Independence Day long weekend.  Mr. Helen was supposed to work then at the last minute they gave him the day off.  As he had already taken Sunday off that gave us 3 days off in a row together - the most time we've had together since our vacation in May.

On July 4th it poured rain here as two fronts met - a cold front coming from the north clashed with the remnants of Hurricane Arthur.  Of course that postponed all the fireworks shows and I'm sure many other festivities but we had planned on having our cookout on the 5th since we knew that rain was coming.

It was nice to have a day to prep food without feeling rushed.  I managed to go out for a run that morning in the thick, humid air thinking I could get 4 on the 4th in before the rain came but that didn't quite work out.  I was about a mile and a half in when I felt a few drops so I decided I'd better turn around and head home.

This house is owned by Connecticut College.  I couldn't resist taking a photo of it because it looked so New Englandy.

Before I'd hit the two mile mark it was raining hard.  I honestly don't mind running in summer rain but I didn't have a hat on so it makes it a bit tough to keep your head up.  At 2.5 miles in the thunder started which made me run as fast as I could for the last 1/2 mile home.  Once home, I did another mile on the treadmill to get my four miles, even if it wasn't like I'd originally planned.

In the afternoon, while it still poured rain, we decided to use a gift certificate to go to a local restaurant that has pub style food for a very late lunch/early dinner.   I think we may have reached the early bird senior citizen stage as we seem more and more to like this sort of timing on weekend eating.  Mr. Helen ordered the Grilled Cheese Lobster and I ordered the Grilled Reuben sans sauerkraut which I can't stand.  And yes, I know that technically means I had a Grilled Corned Beef and Swiss lol.  I chose to have a new type of french fry:  the Buffalo fry.  Turns out Frank's (the hot sauce maker) also makes a dry rub and they put that on the fries.  They were delicious!  In fact, everything was delicious!

Grilled Cheese Lobster

Grilled Reuben with Buffalo Fries

Saturday the weather could not have been any more perfect for our cookout - low 80's with no humidity!  We had invited 25 people, 18 confirmed and 8 showed up.  I wasn't upset because I always feel these things work out just the way they should.  I had made usual cookout fare:  Baby Back Ribs, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Brats, Baked Beans, Macaroni and Cheese.  One guest brought a huge green salad and another brought a huge fruit salad so we had a pretty nice rounded meal in the end.  I also made two fabulous desserts: a Chocolate Lasagne and a Pineapple Dream Cake.  I've made the chocolate lasagne before and it's just an easy, delicious icebox style dessert great for a crowd.  I did the other dessert because I have a sister-in-law who is allergic to chocolate.  It was super easy as well and she loved it!

A great time was had by all and I was given two patriotic hostess gifts, the first being a pretty bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers.

The second gift came from my mom, who is a hoot.  She told me she saw this in the store a couple weeks ago and bought it hoping someone would invite her to a cookout so she could give it.  I was the lucky recipient...

On Sunday, we went to the beach very early and stayed for about four hours.  Just as we were leaving they were closing the beach because it was full.  We were glad we went early!

At the end of the day on Sunday, Mr. Helen and I agreed the long weekend had felt like a mini-vacation.  That's they way they should be, right?


  1. Sounds like the perfect weekend!

    And wow...kudos to you for actually doing that last mile on the treadmill in order to actually complete the miles you had set out to do! Now THAT is dedication!

  2. Glad you had a good time with the long weekend, even with the rain. Your cookout sounds delicious. I'm in for the ribs and chocolate lasagne, yum. :)

    We seem to go out to eat midway between lunch and dinner on the weekends - I prefer to think of it as being efficient...only eating one meal instead of two. NOT senior citizen, lol!!

    That soap dispenser is too funny. Of course I kept thinking "you're wasting soap" every time you played a new song. Sigh...you'd think I grew up in the Depression!

  3. That sounds like the perfect weekend to me! A bit of work, a bit of family, and a bit of fun - love it! Tony wasn't feeling well, so we laid low, still was a relaxing weekend though!

  4. Check out this link Helen!


  5. Sounds like a great weekend! I don't mind getting wet myself when out, but I hate biking in the rain because it is hard on the bike mechanics.

    I was thrilled to have a 3 day weekend myself - the first since our vacation in February!

    I hoped the no-show people called at least. 10 people is a lot for confirming and not coming.

  6. Wonderful weekend! I'm with you on the sour kraut... uhg... A little summer mini-vaycay! That lobster grilled cheese---omgoodness... wow...I must try a version of this very soon. Excellent--running in the rain... I bet it felt good! The last part where you're sprinting--is it just me, or do we automatically run faster in a thunderstorm? I think we do, naturally.

  7. Helen what a lovely weekend and your food: how could one confirm and not show up for that? I know I wouldn't do that to you. Sounds like you had a perfect mini vacation.

  8. I'll have pineapple dream cake, please! And your mom is too funny--that soap dispenser made me laugh. Also, very fun to hear your voice!

  9. That dispenser is the best! And grilled cheese and lobster?!!!