Weekend Update: Last Minute Trip Home

I had big plans for this past weekend. B was going to be out of town and since it was going to be our first weekend apart in more than a year, I had a big to do list. Lay on the couch, catch up on the DVR, perhaps run the Cleveland 10 Miler (I had done 9 no problem last week), sleep late, eat some Easter candy, bake, read on my porch, go shopping, clean the bathroom and maybe grab drinks with friends. See? BIG plans for when B was rocking out at his post-wedding bachelor party for Mitch (who got married last year). SO when B messaged me on Tuesday that he had seen a great flight deal to New York and asked if I wanted to plan a last minute trip to see my parents, I realized it was a no brainer. I had been missing my family for some time and I’d still get to sleep in, wouldn’t have to clean the bathroom, and  as my brother reminded me, I’d get to enjoy some home cooked meals. AND with the weather due for sunny and 60s both days, I would definitely be able to get in a little running.

Friday night after work, my friend Samantha and I headed to Porcelli’s for Happy Hour. My Downtown Cleveland Alliance City Advocates group was hosting a Guest Bartending Event, with tips going to the DCA Ambassadors (you know, those amazing men and women that clean our streets, walk you to your car at night, give you directions, say hi to you when you’re running and ever offer you umbrellas when it’s raining and you’re working to work). It was a good event and I’m glad my fellow City Advocates put it on – I don’t know how much we raised but Porcelli’s was more crowded than I’d ever seen it (confession – I’ve only ever gone there for lunch, not for drinks on a Friday night). Plus, Samantha and I got to meet a few new people that we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

guest bartending

Drinks = Tips for DCA Safety Ambassadors!

Drinks = Tips for DCA Safety Ambassadors!

Saturday morning, I woke up EARLY (4:45 a.m. … which is still later than I woke up Monday morning, ick!) to get in  quick run before heading out on an early flight to NY. I’m still trying to make sure that I make my 1,000 mi in 2013 goal (I’m almost halfway there!), so every little run counts. Yes, I’m crazy for choosing to wake up before 5 am to run .. but at least I know I’m crazy.

As soon as I got into NY, my parents picked me up at the airport and before I even unpacked or brought my bag upstairs, we went for a walk. When the weather’s nice (which it was – sunny and 60s both days!), my parents go for longish walks on the weekend, and they asked if I wanted to come with them – of course! Their 6 mile Saturday morning walking route is nice – through some neighborhoods and a park. There was even a dog-friendly Relay For Life going on in the park, called Bark for Life , so we saw tons of people with their dogs.

Bark for Life

Bark for Life

After our walk, it was time to walk Queenie. She’s another reason I love coming home. LOOK at that face! How can you be stressed out when you’re hanging out with her?
queenie

Then it was lunchtime. My mom made an awesome veggie soup with zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and celery that we all enjoyed. I also got to have some leftover homemade pizza. For dessert, we had some of the caramel, peanut butter, chocolate oatmeal cookie bars that I had snuck on the plane (shh!).

mom's homemade vegetable soup!

mom’s homemade vegetable soup!

After lunch, my dad put me to work. He had to install a new mailbox. If you know anything about me, you know I’m not the handiest person. I don’t fix things. I don’t install things. There’s a reason I rent our apartment and can easily submit work orders (which reminds me … our tub has been clogged for a few weeks …) as opposed ot fixing things myself. Still, it was fun! I basically watched my dad do the whole thing and then helped him put the new mailbox on, but of course that’s more than I typically do. Then, I watched my dad plant. I didn’t feel like getting dirty but I was a great supervisor!

remnants of the old mailbox

remnants of the old mailbox

Yes, I'm doing handy work ... I helped my dad install a mailbox!

Yes, I’m doing handy work … I helped my dad install a mailbox!

new mailbox is installed!

new mailbox is installed!

After relaxing outside on our deck all afternoon and dozing off for a little, my mom and I went to Saturday afternoon Mass. I haven’t been to Mass with my mom in a while, and it’s something i definitely miss. Then, we decided to go to Saratoga to walk around in the nice weather and grab dinner. We ended up going to one of my favorite casual places in downtown, Ravenous, for delicious fries and crepes. We left with clean plates … but of course after walking around a little managed to make some room for frozen yogurt. I gobbled up mine (vanilla, cake batter and coconut with too many toppings to count) before thinking of snapping a photo.

Crepes and fries!

Crepes and fries!

After dinner, we watched The Life of Pi. Confession – I haven’t read the book, but I thought the movie was good, although somewhat sad at times and I may still be slightly confused at the ending.

Sunday morning, I slept in and then decided to go for a run. My parents did their 6 mile walk, so after my run, I decided to run to meet them. I ended up running 7ish miles and then walking about 1.5 mi with them, which put me over my 20+ mile goal for the week and put me at ease knowing I wouldn’t be able to run on Monday before work (I had to get up at 3 a.m. just to make my flight).

After my run/walk, it was time for some more homemade vegetable soup, cookies, and then of course, more baking! My mom, knowing how much I love to bake asked if I could make some blondies for her to freeze.

freshly baked blondies!

freshly baked blondies!

Of course I happily obliged … and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing outside.

How I spent most of the weekend ... outside!

How I spent most of the weekend … outside!

For dinner, my mom made an awesome quinoa, cauliflower, chickpea salad, to go with the salmon and asparagus my dad had cooked. I love my parents’ cooking and miss it on a nearly daily basis!

dinner

For dessert we enjoyed some of my blondies, plus ice cream.

Fact: Cookies tastes better with ice cream

Fact: Cookies taste better with ice cream

Monday morning meant getting up at 3:30 a.m. – not to work out, but to catch an earlier-than-should-be legal flight back to Cleveland. I hope I wasn’t too grumpy (little sleep+no workout=grumpy Melissa) at work, but I will be bringing in some cookies this week to bribe my coworkers just in case.

All in all, a great, relaxing weekend at home. This weekend should be a busy one filled with a few activities with B’s family (his cousin’s first communion and party, plus his brother and sister-in-law’s annual Kentucky Derby Party), so I’m glad I got some time in with my family. Hope everyone has a great week!

Some questions:

  • What’s your favorite dessert combination? (I love cookies and ice cream. Or white chocolate and peanut butter and pretzels. Or white chocolate and ice cream. Or anything with ice cream.
  • What’s the earliest you’ve had to get up for a flight?
  • Did you get outside and enjoy the warm temps this weekend?
  • Are you handy? (I’m not!)
  • Did you get in a run this weekend? (Yes – I did 11ish miles between Saturday and Sunday, despite not running the Cleveland 10 Miler)
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