Friday, June 28, 2013

Birthday 2013

This year I have had a rather quiet birthday so far. This morning Andrea and I made a quick trip to the German Gourmet to pick up some pastries. 

                               Almond bishop hat

                                Fresh fruit quark

I spent the rest of the day at home. It is a good thing I did because I received many telephone calls from family and friends.

In the middle of the afternoon the doorbell rang and there was a box of eighteen beautiful red and pink roses (nine of each color) from my dear friends Larissa, Ivan, and Oksana. I took some photos but they do not do the flowers justice. And I couldn't get a shot that included all of the roses. But these photos will have to do. The roses are exquisite.

Nicoletta sent me a bottle of Un Jardin sur le Nil perfume. Deliciously exotic! I also liked the box and am using it for my many wonderful birthday cards.

I also found many, many birthday greetings on Facebook - from family and friends in Singapore, Jordan, Italy, France, the US, and especially from Norway. And a few electronic birthday cards.

All in all, a heart-warming day. But - there will be more to come!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Baptism: A Very Special Occasion

Andrea and I are the proud godparents of a very special young man. Here are some photos from this special day.

 Christine, Perry, Andrea

After the baptism, we had a celebration at Perry's house.

 Here are Perry and his brother cutting their cake.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gospel Music and Champagne

We had a wonderful outing today. Our friend George invited Andrea, Ivan, Larissa, and me to join him for mass at his church, St. Augustine's, the Mother Church of Black Catholics in the nation's capital. We were very impressed with the vitality of the pastor, the congregation, and, most of all, of the gospel choir. The music truly rocked the foundations of the church!

The church was founded in 1858 and is located at 15th and V Streets NW.

Here is a photo of the interior of this beautiful church.

 Andrea snapped a photo of me in front of the statue of a statue of St. Martin de Porres, an Afro- Peruvian who was the first patron of the Black church in the Americas.

 Here we are in our pew - Ivan, Larissa, Christine, and George.

After the service George graciously treated us to lunch at Lillies. Located in Woodley Park near the National Zoo, it features Italian-Mediterranean dishes.

Here we are at our table - Christine, Andrea, Ivan, Larissa, and George.

 Thank you, George, for a very special day indeed!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day at Menomale

We celebrated Father's Day 2013 at Menomale, the pizzeria voted #1 by the Washingtonian magazine. We had high expectations and we were not disappointed. The food, the service, and the ambience were all perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope to return to this authentic Italian restaurant in the near future.

Menomale is located in NE Washington near Catholic University.

 The Family:Marcello, Christine, Andrea, Christian, Michelle, and Colin

 Andrea was in his element, speaking in Italian with the owner, the server, and other customers. He was looking handsome in his royal purple shirt, a birthday gift from Nicoletta.

 Christine and Andrea with the owner Ettore

 Michelle advising Christian on the menu choices

Marcello advising Colin

Christine's choice: baked chickpeas with Fior di Latte and Feta cheese and crostini. Perfectly delicious!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Name Sisters' Lunch

My name sister and I met again for lunch at Busboys and Poets. This time, however, we had two additional participants, her beautiful children. I enjoyed the company of all three!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Outing with Colin

Colin and I spent a wonderful day at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

We first visited the Insect Zoo.

One of the museum's insect scientists came with his cart of insects and Colin was happy to hold one of the caterpillars in his hand. He just loves bugs!!

We then walked around, observing the insects in the display areas. We saw this orange-kneed tarantula. Colin was not allowed to hold it! It was safely kept under glass!!

We then had a delightful time in the Butterfly Pavilion. Colin was an expert as he had gone there on a field trip with his class just a short time ago.

        Butterflies of the Week: A Very Happy Colin

The butterfly guide noticed Colin's shirt and asked him if he was in college already. I replied that he was a very precocious boy. 

The Pavilion was a paradise for the butterflies - in the midst of the beautiful flowers and plants.

We had to be very careful, however, not to step on the butterflies. Many were calmly sitting on the floor. And sometimes they just as calmly sat on people's heads! We were thoroughly checked before exiting because we were told that the butterflies would want to leave with us. Why, I don't know. They had a nice life in the Pavillion.

We had lunch in the museum's cafeteria. Colin had a naked dog and I had a garden burger. We were both satisfied with our choices.

We then we took the Metro home and Nonno met us at the station.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this delightful grandson. And he was a very happy camper. He did not like riding the Metro under the Potomac River, however. It made his ears pop, he said.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Christian is a champion!

We went to watch Christian's flag football games. We were all thrilled that his team won the morning game which meant that the team moved on to the championship game. And then they won the championship game! So it was a great day! We were all happy, especially Christian!

 The Champ with his trophy

 Colin the Spectator

 Michelle and Nonno


Saturday, June 08, 2013

June Birthday Club

Indra, Eleanor, and I met for our traditional June birthdays lunch. We met, as usual, at Aladdin's in Shirlington. And, as usual, we had a lovely time. We talked for three hours without batting an eyelash. Andrea was astounded. "Whatever could you find to talk about for so long?" We have no trouble finding exciting topics of conversation!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Birthday Lunch with Carol

 Carol and I met for lunch at the Silver Diner. We had a wonderful time talking abour a variety of subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her scholarly sojourn in Florence.

I had a delicious bowl of vegetarian chili and a nice salad with greens, vegetables, and fruits.

Carol gave me this lovely mosaic pendant from Italy. It is very special.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Circa with a Japanese friend

A Japanese friend came to town and we met for tea at Circa. Although the time was short, we had a very nice time, catching up.

Manabu gave me a box of delicious little strawberry-flavored chocolate cakes from Japan.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Dining out with my Iowa cousin and family

My cousin Johnne came to town with his wife and grandson. We met for dinner at Founding Farmers, one of my favorite restaurants in DC. It is owned by a group of North Dakota farmers. We ate well. It was wonderful spending an evening with these special cousins.

 My cousin Johnne

Linda and Aaron

Bigne's for dessert - delicious!