I can’t believe my winter break is over already! It’s times like these that I am envious of all of you who are on the semester system. My school has trimesters, so our winter breaks are always so much shorter! To top it off, this is probably my last winter break…ever. For those of you already out in the working world, what was it like the first time you realized you wouldn’t have more than a couple of days off around the holidays? I’m sure it’s going to take some getting used to!
He looks pretty happy in this picture, doesn’t he? Last night we went to dinner to celebrate Papa Bender’s birthday! He doesn’t look a day over 25, right? 😉 His birthday is actually on January 11, but I wanted to be a part of the celebration, so we got started a little early.
We went to our favorite Italian restaurant, Constantino’s. Unfortunately, the lighting was not conducive for food blogging, so I decided to make some of the pictures black and white to make them look a bit better. I’m switchin’ it up a bit! First off, we have the bread basket, which is incredible. My favorite is the sesame seed breadstick, so I immediately snagged 1/2 of one and spread it with some olive tapenade (the little blob on the plate).
We also ordered a bottle of red wine because Papa Bender loves it (if you couldn’t tell from my wine-filled nights over break). It was called La Montesa – superb. I thought this picture was worthy of color because the light from the candle captured the image better.
As an appetizer, we started out with the mussels and calamari. My brother is a big fan of the calamari so we let him rule there (it’s the plate in the background), but the rest of us are huge fans of the mussels (foreground), especially the wine sauce that they are served in. We saved a couple of pieces of bread for dipping!
As for my entree, I went the soup and salad route. I had a bowl of Parmesan Brodo which was basically a parmesan broth with Italian couscous on the bottom and herbs on top.
My salad was the Tricolore, which was served with romaine lettuce, blue cheese, kalamata olives and shrimp and topped with balsamic vinaigrette.
Then it was time for the main event – singing to my dad! There was even a guitarist there to play “Happy Birthday” and my dad was presented with a gorgeous plate of tiramisu, complete with a chocolate drizzled message…
Don’t worry, my dad’s name is Stephen, not Steph 😉 The tiramisu was amazing! It’s one of my all-time favorite desserts, so it’s always a treat to have a bite (or 2, or 3, or 4) when we are out at a nice restaurant. Oh, and I may have had some of that chocolate drizzle, too! It was a great way to end my break while simultaneously celebrating my dad’s special day, which is exactly one week later!
Before the birthday festivities, my family and I squeezed in another morning golf round. I might have accidentally woken up 20 minutes before we needed to leave (darn alarm clock!), so my breakfast was really rushed. I made a mug of Coffee Cocoa and a slice of Arnold toast with peanut butter.
It was a bit chilly out there at first, but the clouds quickly cleared and we had another pleasant day on the course. Another bittersweet moment as I head back to the winter tundra also known as Chicago. After the round, we came back and made another easy lunch, starting with another plate of cheese and crackers (same as yesterday). Just like before, I stuck to the gouda and greyére cheeses with yummy tomato and cracked pepper Triscuits. I had about 8 or 9 crackers with cheese.
We also split a container of Costco’s Dim Sum (one of my favorite meals from Costco ever). I had two potstickers, two shrimp dumplings and three “clam” dumplings. The clam dumplings aren’t really seafood, but they look kind of like clams, so that’s what I’m calling them. There were also some peapods and leftover caprese salad on my plate, but I didn’t eat the caprese because it was a little off after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days.
The rest of the day was spent reading Breaking Dawn and exercising. My family and I went to the gym in the late afternoon and I did 20 minutes on the Cardio Wave, 20 minutes on the treadmill (alternating between 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0 in three-minute intervals at 1.5% incline) and a lunge workout – I’ll post the exact details on the Workouts page soon.
Which shoe do you put on first?
I laughed when I found this question because it’s one of those things you never really think about until someone asks you. But after imagining myself putting on several different pairs of shoes, it seems I always start by putting my right foot in first. Do the Hokey Pokey!
I might be MIA for a day or so as I get settled back at school. But don’t worry, I’ll be back soon enough! I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday