i ♥ sunday mornings
and by that, i mean real sunday mornings, when both josh and i are off for the second day in a row. they are precious -- so few and far between! but i can't think of anything i enjoy more than lounging in bed until whenever, brewing coffee and eating a leisurely breakfast with radioparadise in the background, and just basking in the promise of an entire day off ahead.
even though i'm sure i'll be filling the hours with mundane household tasks, it's just so nice to just do things on our own agenda. in some ways, i'm jealous of those of you who get true 'sunday mornings' every week; at the same time, perhaps it's the rarity of these peaceful times that makes them that much more special.
☑ laundry (don't feel bad for me: it's my fave household task.)
☑ google reader catchup!
☑ check out jamie oliver's food revolution since everyone's all abuzz about it
☑ 8-9 mile run with sound opinions
☑ meal planning & weekly WF pilgrimage
ahh, there is NOTHING on that list that doesn't sound enjoyable to me (what can i say? folding warm clothes makes me inexplicably happy). a bit busy, but still a DAY OF REST for me . . .
+ a raleigh restaurant review. josh and i don't get to raleigh all that often -- but between ben folds and last night, we've been twice in the past week! the triangle (raleigh / durham / chapel hill) is quite interesting in that each area truly has its own flavor.
■ durham: some depressed areas, but urban scene on the rise. diverse and colorful! increasingly trendy/gentrified with amazing culinary options, but sometimes a bit rough around the edges.
■ chapel hill: suburbia, college-town style. tar heel territory . . . but feels safe and comfortable to me. chock full of students, but family-oriented as well.
■ raleigh: the true city out of the three. professionals rather than students. less academia, more $$$. fewer transplants and more actual born 'n' bred southerners.
because the movie we wanted to see was only playing out in raleigh (crazy heart -- S+J = 2 thumbs up!), we decided to head there for dinner as well. a brief convo with my sister (she lives in raleigh, but is currently on business in london!), and we had our target: sitti, located just blocks from the progress energy center where we saw ben folds 2 nights ago.
sitti calls itself 'upscale lebanese' -- and they fully lived up to this promise! we were in somewhat of a rush to get to our movie, and our lovely server accomodated us 100% without making us feel like we were putting anyone out. the atmosphere was refined but comfortable, with warm wood tones and subtle middle eastern touches.
obligatory menu shot:
enjoying a glass of a light lebanese red -- i asked for a recommendation and was really happy with what the server chose for me! it was fruity and paired beautifully with my meal.
absolutely delicious freshly baked (warm!) pita, served with a sort of spiced olive oil paste that i absolutely loved.
lovely presentation for this baba ghanouj appetizer, which had an interesting nutty quality (tahini?). it goes without saying that this also went perfectly with the pita above.
josh also ordered a sausage appetizer, which i had a taste of. it was chewy and a bit sweet -- not necessarily my thing, but tasty nonetheless. he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.
not feeling super-hungry, i ordered a salad for my main course -- a bright and citrusy combination of oranges, dates, walnuts, goat cheese, and mixed greens, in a lemony vinaigrette. a flavor explosion! it hit the spot.
josh chose lamb fatteh (one of our favorite dishes at lebanese taverna, a DC chain that we adore). as usual, capturing this shot was difficult (his fork is always a blur!). i tasted it, and the rich and tangy bite with pine nut crunch was a luscious reminder of the signature dish at LT. YUM.
i would have loved to stay for dessert! but our movie time drew near, so we had to head out. next time, though -- and there WILL be a next time. this was one of the best dining experiences i've had in raleigh, and the best middle eastern food i've had in the triangle. the prices were very reasonable and the service was impeccable. i try to provide balanced reviews, but have absolutely nothing negative to say about our sitti experience!
and that's not all
for once, we were well-rested enough to do more than just hit a restaurant and pass out! it was still light as we hit the road:
ohhhh how i missed my GPS when my car was in the shop. it really does make venturing into lesser-known territory like this a million times easier.
apparently josh was still hungry as we arrived (on time!) to the movie theater. the colony theater is an independent movie theater located downtown, and they feature a full beer/wine menu. i remember being so weirded out about alcohol in theaters when i moved to NC! i don't think it's allowed in PA.
random fact: i really don't like popcorn.
we both really liked the movie. and in an uncharacteristic move, we actually had energy left at the end. good thing, because we had an important stop on our agenda.
party like it's 2010
a 25th + 30th bday party for durham friends lacey + craig! we met the pair via this blog, crazily enough -- they are a fun and interesting couple that i feel lucky to have gotten to meet!
craig hit the big 3-0 last night. here he is flashing a 30 necklace (i reminded him multiple times that i'll need to borrow it in less than 2 months . . .)
and lacey celebrated a much easier milestone: the quarter century. she was smokin' in a strapless dress:
fueled by mojitos + other assorted beverages, much dancing ensued:
awww. lacey and craig: happy bday again, and we should hang out again soon!
josh and i headed out at around 11:30 -- not impressive for normal people, but pretty earthshattering for us. and it was totally fun! now i'm inspired, and scheming a party for my own 30th. why not, right?
oh, and look who else had a birthday:
!!! happy birthday, gaga. i celebrated by rocking out to "telephone" upon arriving home. my own dance party . . .