Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jen and Jeff get married!

You might recall that I was in Dallas last weekend for a wedding. My good friend Jen, who I've known since my junior year of high school, was getting married. I knew I couldn't miss this special weekend and was so glad to have been part of the simcha (happy occasion in Hebrew).

I was eager to get out of DC for a few days since we were still in the throes of blizzard (x2) recovery. Sadly, Dallas wasn't much warmer and still had some of their snow on the ground. Nevertheless, it was nowhere near DC levels so I was happy my plane was heading for warmer (and less snow-filled) pastures. I entertained myself on the flight with the essentials - a good magazine, some gluten free snacks, and an apple.

My parents picked me up and we were immediately off for a quick lunch and some shopping at my favorite place: Whole Foods. I know I've alluded to my obsession before, but allow me to indulge just a bit. As a Texas-based company, the stores throughout the state are much better than those I have access to here in DC. I love my Whole Foods here, but nothing compares to the size, amount of products offered, special gluten free aisles, and friendliness of the staff of the Texas stores. I was starving and made a fantastic salad filled with tons of veggies. Then, we were off in search of a few things to bring back to DC as well as getting a few of my favorite gluten free products for my dad to try.

Saturday night was Jen's bachelorette party, planned by MOH and sister, Emily. She really planned a wonderful evening that hit on many of Jen's favorite things and it was a blast getting to know some of Jen's friends from school as well. Our first stop, after picking up Jen, was our private make-your-own sushi dinner! Emily is a CIA student (that's Culinary Institute of America, not Central Intelligence Agency...) and had arranged quite the feast for us at the location of her externship. There were all sorts of delicious vegetables to put in our sushi and the beauty of the crowd I was with was that everyone understood food allergies (we're all Jewish and allergies abound) and was happy to make sure fish didn't come in contact with anything else, so I didn't have to worry! I also won one of the "door prizes" - my own sushi kit complete with bamboo mat and 2 sets of chopsticks. Very excited to own chopsticks of the non-take out variety :-)



I made this beautiful creation of: seaweed, rice, red bell pepper, cucumber, mushrooms, and carrot. It was so good that I went back for a second mini roll. Mmmm!

We then headed to Central 214 in the Palomar Hotel, home of Blythe of the Naughty Kitchen. I have never seen the show but Jen is obsessed and was so surprised when we arrived. Emily had planned dessert and drinks as well as another surprise - we got to meet Blythe! She was really nice and spent a long time talking with our table.



The restaurant is fabulously decorated - there were many modern twists to the space. And, I love an open kitchen where you can see everything that's being prepared. It all looked so good!



After drool perusing the menu, I realized that there wasn't anything gluten free that I could enjoy. Not to worry though! I got to enjoy the sights of everyone's desserts, including the 2 that Blythe recommended: fried PB&J and the chocolate pecan waffle.

Our night ended shortly after dessert - the bride had a big day ahead of her and we were all exhausted from our travels.

I had my own exciting plans for Sunday morning. Earlier in the week I had decided not to tell my grandparents that I was coming to town, and instead got my parents in on a plan to surprise them for Valentine's Day. My dad had arranged for breakfast with my family, and not suspecting anything, were truly shocked when I walked up to our table! The looks on their faces were priceless and it was a special moment. I enjoyed about 1/3 of my egg white and veggie omelet and about 1/2 cup of fruit. The day before at WF, my dad and I discovered a new gluten free bagel which we split as well.

After breakfast I was off to a haircut, a few errands, and get ready for the wedding.

For those of you less familiar with the traditions associated with a Jewish wedding, this explains much of the night. It was a wonderful evening and Jen was a beautiful bride!

After Jen made her entrance and was veiled by her soon-to-be husband, there were still a few minutes until the actual ceremony. Emily found me in the crowd and presented me with a small piece of jewelry that Jen wanted me to hold during the ceremony. There is a custom of doing this to bring good wishes, love, and happiness to the jewelry-holder. It was really nice to be thought of for this honor (and I'll take any good wishes) and I appreciated it!

The ceremony was beautiful and then it was on to a night of celebration! There were many highlights, including the cutting of the cake which Emily had helped to create. It was beautiful.

Monday felt short and after packing and a quick lunch with my parents, it was off to the airport!

It was my quickest trip to Dallas in a while and was totally worth it to celebrate Jen and Jeff. It was a beautiful weekend with old friends and new and I'm happy that I was able to be present for the occasion!

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