Last Thursday I took a plane to Virgina. You could say I went for a mini vacation, but really I went because I wanted to surprise one of my SIL’s (Katie) who was having a shinding – otherwise known as a baby shower.
The flight from Dallas was gawd awful early, but was pleasant nonetheless. No turbulence to speak of and the plane was practically empty. I had plenty of time to finish the final pieces of my gift.
There was little hope of keeping my arrival a secret for long. The plan was to stay at Christy’s (another SIL and host of said shindig). When I arrived at Christy’s later in the day Katie was already there. Apparently that’s what happens when you only live a mile or so down the road instead of several states away.
I am glad to say Katie was surprised.
Friday was spent getting ready for the Baby Shower. Christy and I ran about getting last minute things – ordering ballons, quick shopping trip to Wegmans. (Wegmans is very very similar to Central Market. If I lived in VA it would be a CM replacement for me.)
While running these errands I asked if there were any local yarn shops about. A quick look at my phone told us that there was one right next to a cupcake shop that we had stopped at earlier. We back tracked and located a small shop called Needles in the Haymarket.
It took me no time at all to strike up a conversation with the owner, Marti, who had recently taken over the shop. I expressed my gratitude for keeping the small shop open by asking about local indie yarns.
Marti pointed me in the direction of Cestari Yarns. They aren’t small, but their yarn is made in VA. She had a sample using their sock yarn in a shawl pattern that was on display that I really liked. The pattern : Lavalette by Kirsten Kapur is offered for free. However, Kirsten is asking that if you use the pattern that you consider donating to a charity for donation to Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
Marti went one step further after contacting Kirsten for permission to use the pattern for a KAL. She has been donating a percentage of the Cestari yarn sales in relation to the pattern to Fisher Center. I left Needles in the Haymarket with three skeins of a lovely cotton/wool blend sock yarn and the Lavalette pattern.
Returning to the house we began prep for the shower (actually Christy did the majority of it as I was not familiar with her kitchen). A blackberry/blueberry sorbet was made in the ice-cream maker for the punch. And mini cupcakes were baked. Yellow cake with almond butter-cream frosting. We decorated the cupcakes with blue sugar crystals and pearls.
There was plenty of activity as we stuck marshmallows on lollipop sticks, coated them in chocolate and then rolled them in various candy coatings. Two bags of Marshmallows and lots of laughter later we had the most amazing centerpieces ever.
On the day of the Shower we finished up prep by making deviled eggs and tomato, basil and mozzarella skewers; in addition to a rather strong (according to some) garlic dip.
We decorated the living room and as guests arrived we made Katie wear The Hat.
Earlier in the week Katie and Christy had a discussion regarding this hat. Katie thought she had settled the matter. She forgot momentarily that Christy was the big sister…
The Shindig was a success. There was plenty of laughter, food and fun. There were oohs and ahhs as presents were unwrapped. Comments were made as to how well dressed Gavin would be. It was enjoyable.
At the first market we stopped at one of the Farmers had white nectarines. Amazingly sweet and yummy. So much so that there were several pounds worth purchased.
The rain came down hard as we approached the second Farmers Market. But rain is not a deterrent when you have your mind set on some of the best chocolate croissants ever. Fresh baked. Yum.
George was none to pleased with having her routine out of whack and was vocal about it.
She didn’t refuse the attention though. And there was plenty of that.
I called George my “surrogate cat” which she was great at being.
After the rain subsided Katie, Christy and I went shopping. A trip to Baby’s R Us and DSW were made. The car was filled with baby items and shoes. Lots of shoes.
By the time we returned it was close to dinner and it was decided that we would go to a local joint called Okra’s. It’s one of Katie’s favorite restaurants. I’m no stranger to Cajun/Creole food. It’s quite popular in my neck of the woods. Okra’s was pretty good. I enjoyed the food very much and the company even more. It was a wonderful way to spend my last night in VA.
Monday arrived and I returned to the airport for my flight home. I want to mention that Dulles Airport is HUGE. I didn’t have issues navigating it though. And surprisingly I didn’t have to go through the xray machine this time around (I did on my flight to VA).
I can’t thank Christy enough for hosting me for this visit and I am really glad I was able to see almost everyone on this trip.
It was a lot of fun.