Friday night we went down to Arts, Beats, and Eats. If you have never heard of this festival, it is worth a look. It is HUGE! They have 8 stages of various types of music, artists from all over the world and in every medium, and every type of food you can think of. There are carnival rides for the kids, and beer and cocktail stands for the adults. It is my brother's favorite time of year, and he spends most of the time there while it is running Thursday-Monday. We didn't get much time to explore, but long enough for me to buy an amazing organic white balsamic vinegar. Here is the salad I made today for my lunch. White balsamic & basil vinaigrette over greens, cucumbers, strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and pecans. YUM!
At night we attempted to watch a dance competition that was eventually cancelled because of a televised football game (are you kidding me??), but ended up doing some dancing of our own, got all sweaty, and went home.
Saturday was a late day waking up (thank goodness!), and off to Katy's parent's house for a day that soothed my soul. It was a day that reminded me what I live for, and what I strive for. That balance of fun, family, nature, food, and rest.
As soon as we arrived, her father, donning an alien-like white bee-keepers suit (not even for Halloween!), was unloading trays of honeycomb and succulent dripping honey. We were immediately put to work uncapping the combs (cutting off the top so that the honey can flow out), spinning them in the centrifuge to release the honey, and fishing out bees that got stuck in the honey as they were eating. Amazingly, no one except for Katy's dad got stung, but that was down at the hives when he was stealing all of their food.
We also ate bits of hot honey and honeycomb right off the tray. It was amazing. We put back the trays, leaving some of the honeycomb, and some of the honey, for the bee's dinner.
Honey harvesting was followed by a nature trail walk (at power speed) with Jason identifying various plants and weeds. I learned that my moon flowers that I cherish so much every summer is actually a weed, as we saw it next to the trail every so often.
A nacho bar dinner was next with more toppings than I've ever seen. We were literally handed pie pans and told to "fill up". I ate everything but about 4 bites. Our after-dinner stroll through the woods taught me that I am amazingly good at spotting mushrooms in the forest. Even though I don't like them! Katy hauled our finds back to the house for identification. We don't want anyone to "die by mushroom".
It doesn't end there - off to Katy's hometown peach fest to meet up with friends in the beer tent, and going on carnival rides in heels. Oh yeah, we're just big kids. People watching was .... interesting.
Sunday I went for brunch at my lovely friend Christy's house, who had an amazing spread and a pretty good crowd. After having a mimosa, french toast, eggs, cheesy potatoes, and pumpkin cheesecake, I waddled out the door, "eat and run" style.
After a little bit of relaxing at home (its amazing how much couch time I actually get with all of the activities I do. Maybe I really have more time for the gym and hill climbs than I thought I had), Sea picked me up in the old Chevy for a friend's BBQ. Beer, burgers, and friends. A perfect Sunday afternoon.
Monday we headed up to Granny's for a gourmet Labor Day BBQ. At Gran's request, we invited friends over for one last dip in the pool (closing soon due to cold nights), and she suggested filet mignons. Um YEAH! So naturally I was in charge of the food. I grilled 11 steaks, most of them to perfection, which was nerve racking! Also served was salad, grilled corn, roasted potatoes, carmelized onions, and zip sauce. For dessert I picked up a recipe for a fresh berry cheesecake tart. A beautiful day!
And that is the ending to my weekend. How did yours go? Did you have any fun? Did I miss any festivals?
Peace. Love. Serene.