Thursday, January 4, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a safe and wonderful celebration. We did except for hubby. He had to work. Although he was hoping to get off early enough to join us, it didn't happen. I had to be satisfied with wishing him a happy new year over the phone.

One of our neighbors invited us over for a small, informal gathering of friends and their families. It was nice. My youngest had two younger children to play with but sometimes she played the baby of them all. We were all in the basement just hanging out. I decided to get some snacks upstairs and eventually the rest of the party moved upstairs as well.

I brought some spirits to share. I wanted to try something different so I asked the clerk for recommendations on a liquor that can be drank straight over ice. I picked limoncello creme (couldn't find a good image of this) as well as:

I also bought my fav red wine:

This is only red wine I could appreciate after years of trying this and that. I first had it while at Outback Steak House. I love that place. A friend of mine, who's into wine, recommended I try this:

It's good too. I ended up drinking a glass of limoncello over ice and then switching to diet A & W root beer. I'm not much of a drinker but I wanted to try that limoncello creme. It tastes like Bailey's Irish Creme but with a lemon flavor to it. Not my fav.

We ended up staying until around 2:00 am. I was really sleepy and had a big date the next day. It was time for our 11th annual girlfriends lunch at:

I love the ambience in this restaurant. The decor has whimsical, warm, old world feel. I love the look of plaster on the walls. It reminds me of the stucco homes in San Diego. And, the iron scroll work and light fixtures are to die for.

I wanted something light to eat but filling. The Cheesecake Factory has a large selection of the best food in HUGE portions. I ended up ordering the black bean soup for an appetizer and the Thai Lettuce Wraps for my entree. I thought the soup would be whole beans but it was pureed. Even so, it was delicious. The Thai Lettuce Wraps are messy to eat but hmmm, hmmm, good! I passed on getting cheesecake. It's blasphemous NOT order cheesecake while at the Cheesecake Factory. Yes, I was guilty but with good reason. There was a Cheesecake at my in-law's house plus I'm trying to return to adhering to my Weight Watcher's plan. I did bring Mike an meatloaf dinner for him to take to work. It was enough for him to eat for three meals!

Here are the lovely ladies who attended this year's event. Each year there is usually a core group consisting of 5 of us. Then year-to-year people come and go. Some come and stay a few years. We didn't start this with beginning a tradition in mind. But, over the years it grew on us; I look forward to our lunch every New Year's Day.

Afterwards, I headed over to my in-laws house for a visit and snack. My mother-in-law usually makes a nice Sunday dinner which always includes black-eyed peas. I had to get some of those for good luck.

Finally, I took my son downtown to view President Ford's body in state. Mikey isn't particularly a fan of President Ford. However, my son has an eye for historical events. As tired as I was, we drove downtown, parked 4 blocks away, and stood in line for about 1 1/2 hours to go past the casket for a few seconds. All-in-all it was worth it because I got to spend one-on-one time with my son, we were a part of an important historic event, and I have a liking for Gerald Ford, interestingly. Boy, it's nice living in the nation's capitol during these times.

At a conference I attended last year, Gerald Ford's son Steve was the keynote speaker during the luncheon. Here is Steve with his mother Betty. Betty has made great contributions to the nation as well.

Steve Ford was excellent speaker and I learned some surprising things about President Ford. He was a man of conviction, high moral standards, humility, and compassion. He was an a-typical politician because of those traits. What a wonderful and full life he must have lived those 93 years.

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