Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Birthday Weekend That Bit Back

As I write this, I am frantically scratching at the gazillion bites that I got this weekend. Yes, a gazillion. I have 4 bites on my left forearm alone. I have so many that I'm wondering if some of these are hives - I'll ponder that thought as I continue to absentmindedly scratch.

This misery that I find myself in is a consequence of a great weekend, despite being woefully unprepared for the outdoors on Saturday. Here's what was on tap:

  • Saturday afternoon at Wells Beach in Maine: This is our favourite beach because it's easy to get parking and the beach is huge. There were decent waves for boogie boarding and I finally realized it is fun playing in the waves if you go with the waves instead of having them knock me over. If the water temperature wasn't freezing, we'd be here all the time. Unfortunately or fortunately, we're not likely to pony up $1.6M for an ocean-front home any time soon. (It does have 5 bedrooms if anyone's interested and expect us to crash at your place all the time.)
Wells Beach, Maine
  • The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine: We've been here a number of times and oddly enough, I don't think we've ever tried the lobster roll. We've either tried the fried clams or gotten the steamed lobster meals, but apparently the Clam Shack is known for their lobster roll. They even offer the choice of mayo or butter for your lobster. I love being able to choose since I'm a butter girl all the way. I found the use of a hamburger roll to be a surprise, but it didn't matter since it was toasted and buttery and good and I love Maine lobster. And that was just the appetizer for the evening.

Via The Clam Shack website

  • Essex Seafood on the North Shore was our next stop. Even though this town houses the famous rivals Woodman's and JT Farnham, both of which we've never eaten at, but we went to the divy-est of the shacks, Essex Seafood. The husband tried it a couple of weeks ago and liked it out of all the fried clams we've tried. He would know, given our fried clam crawl on the Cape that we did a few years ago. In any case, we shared a fried clam platter, accompanied by a bootleg bottle of albarino wine that paired quite nicely with the fried food. 
  • We ended the night at a pool party at a friend's place who had just moved in 8 days earlier. This was their second pool party in 8 days and I would hazard a guess that their neighbours are well on their way to hating them. This is where I think I turned into a buffet for flying critters - no bug spray, floating on an inner tube, in the dark while sipping pinot grigio. It was worth the bites since it was a lovely time hanging out with friends, and we might have stayed longer if a) a couple hadn't started making out in the shallow end, and b) someone else potentially puked in the shallow end. The husband lost his flip flops and after some searching, left the party barefoot.
  • Bondir in Cambridge: This was my choice for a fancy birthday dinner. We'd been wanting to try this restaurant since we read the great reviews at Serious Eats and Tiny Urban Kitchen at the beginning of the year. Since this is a 22-seat restaurant, it's not the kind of joint you can just pop into, and we are notoriously bad at planning in advance. The husband managed to snag a table at 8:45pm on a Sunday night with 5 days notice. I was worried we would be the last people eating in there, but the restaurant was full when we got there - there were even people who came in after us. We had an extremely good meal including dessert in an hour, and it turned out the restaurant was almost completely full when we left. This is a restaurant that emphasizes fresh, local cuisine and changes up the menu daily. Our appetizers and entrees were fantastic - we had salad and seafood and pasta and pork belly.  We also liked being able to order half portions for just about everything on the menu, which meant we could eat a number of different things and not be stuffed to the gills. The desserts were just ok - not spectacular, but nice to have a little something after the meal. The only thing that we really didn't like was a bread called The Sea, made with dehydrated shrimp, squid ink and seaweed. That wasn't just funky, it was weird and not terribly tasty, though it smelled worse than it tasted.
Finally, my birthday gift from the husband is this little baby. Isn't she purty? I feel the need to name her. I requested a small purse that tucks under my arm since it's what I use when we travel and my last purse was starting to fray. It's my way of deterring pickpockets in European cities - if they want to steal anything, they're going to have to work for it by venturing into my sweaty armpit.

via website


Jennifer said...

We love the Clam Shack-I'm all about the butter as well. Looks like the birthday weekend-minus the bug bites-was an absolute hit!

I am loving the purse-I agree, you should name her!

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