Woke up with an incredibly sore, raw, red throat -- every time I tried to swallow, it felt like a tennis ball was in the way.
Stayed in bed an extra hour, but knew that Sandra and Landon's cleaning lady would want to get in to clean, so guilt got me moving. Slowly.
I was getting some water from the fridge when Landon said no cold drinks for me today. He opened up the cupboards of tea (that's not a typo, Sandra's tea collection takes up two cupboards!) and found me some throat remedy, which kept me going the rest of the day.
Knowing how busy and tired and so very much NOT in need of a cold this week they were, I banished myself to the family room and computed and drank tea and maybe moped a little bit. Amber came in to keep my feet warm and keep me company. I thought it was because she wanted me to feel better, but it turns out she was locked out of Sandra and Landon's office, because they had a bunch of charts and small pieces of paper laid out on the ground. I prefer to think it's because she loves me. :-)
Don went out to do some errands, including walking Amber to the bakery and bringing back some fresh loaves of bread. Landon made tuna salad, and we had sandwiches out on the deck in the dappled sunshine.
Then Don went out to do a few more errands (collecting some items for a gift basket for the gala, including local chocolate and jams -- can't believe they made it back to the house!), and I was left to tackle the laundry. The glamorous excitement never ends.
Fortunately, in all the time being vertical and with an ocean's worth of throat remedy tea, my throat was feeling much better. Sandra and Landon were, understandably, a little sick and tired of working on the gala, so we took them out to dinner. We piled into the van and headed out. As we were leaving their driveway, we saw two deer happily bouncing their way down the road. We kept watching until they disappeared into a neighbour's yard to chow down on the garden. :-)
[Ali, don't read any further, or you might be jealous!]
At Sandra and Landon's suggestion, we took them for their "thank you" dinner to Santiago's -- Ali's favourite restaurant, in case you were wondering. We ordered a pitcher of Sangria, and then perused the menu. Sadly, many of the dishes had mussels in them, to which I have a terrible sensitivity. (I used to think it was OK if I just picked them out, until a fateful performance of Sarah's Daughters in London, when Martha was knocking on the bathroom door 30 second before our call, wondering if I was going to make it -- I did, but it was one of the scariest 90 minutes of my stage career!) The waiter assured us, though, that they could cook the paella without the mussels, and just have some mussels on the side for those who wanted it. Yay!
We ordered the aforementioned Paella, plus Argentinian Prawns (garlicky goodness!) for our main course. Sides were a large serving of their famous spaghetti squash, plus a small order of papas (little red potatoes in more garlicky goodness). The waiter looked at us and said "that's a lot of food!" Filthy unbeliever...
When the paella arrived, they had indeed cooked the mussels separately -- a LOT of mussels, probably an entire separate order's worth, in more garlicky goodness (I'm told -- didn't risk it!). This, of course, was when we figured out that Sandra was the only one in the group who actually ate mussels. A happy girl, that Sandra. :-)
We started with the papas and spaghetti squash (Ali has always hated squash, until she had this stuff -- Don's not a big squash person either, but he loved it too!). Then Sandra dove in to the mussels in garlicky goodness, and I attacked the Argentinian prawns (which I shared, of course, although I think they let me have most of them). And we all joined in on the paella, tossing the chicken and chorizo at the boys and the olives at the girls.
And yes, Mister Waiter, Sir -- we ate the whole darned thing!
The waiter tried to tempt us with dessert, but it all looked to big and heavy -- kind of like we were feeling. So instead, we grabbed Sandra's scooter and went for a stroll along the waterfront. Well, we were in luck, because there was a wooden boat festival happening down at the docks, and the public was allowed to wander up and down and look at the boats. Tarah and Daniel (my sister and her hubby) would have been very jealous. :-) There were also buskers, artisans, a band up the way... quite the happening waterfront this Labour Day weekend! It's lit up so beautifully, too -- the legislative buildings look like Christmas, with their LED lights, plus a couple of hotels doing the same. And it was such a warm, clear night. Just beautiful!
It was getting a little chilly, so we headed back to the car and home to bundle up. Landon -- naughty, naughty Landon -- asked if we'd like some 12-year-old Glenfiddich. Have I mentioned how much we love Landon? :-)
We all sat on the porch, under the stars, sipping our wee drams (it's medicinal, damnit!) and gazing at the full sky of stars.
A good night, indeed!