Saturday’s birthday surprise excursion picnic was so epic that posting all of the pictures in one post would prove… unwieldy. (And I should know– I’m the queen of too-long posts.) I decided to split the experience into three posts– The Savories, The Sweets, and The Villa. (As you’ll see, the villa has a few built-in snacks of its own.)
This post is The Savories. Not actually sure if everything here counts as an official Savory Food, but this post is dedicated to everything that happened pre-dessert.
The whole drive, I kept revising my guesses as we passed through different neighborhoods. Cole had hinted that we’d be going to Little Tokyo, but as soon as we set out I knew that wasn’t the case. Hollywood? Nope, we passed it. Beverly Hills? Nope, we turned and got on the freeway. The Museum of Tolerance? (Haha.) Nope, kept going on the 10 West. Venice? Nope, headed to the PCH. Zuma Beach? Nope. When I finally guessed the Getty Villa, we were really close to it. And I was REALLY excited.
And when I found out that we were having a picnic, I was DOUBLE excited. I haven’t been on a picnic… since I was a kid? And I LOVE picnics. I don’t even know if Lauren knew how much I love picnics! (I’m just too uncool to ever pull one together… that’s what friends are for.)
I’m violating my no-faces rule because these pictures of Lauren and Cole are so adorable. Between that first picture and us actually locating the picnic area, I (the only one not lugging stuff– thanks guys!) doubled back to find a map, and it turns out that doubling back is not easy at the Getty Villa. It’s a labyrinth! (I should have sprinkled cupcake crumbs to guide my way.)
When we found the picnic area, it was lovely. Reminded me of a rest area at a (very manicured) national park. Some other group was singing happy birthday (to somebody else), and we joked that they were part of the surprise.
I’m a lazy butt and would have brought plasticware and party cups, but of course Lauren went all out with real silverware, Mason jars for cups, and IBC root beer in glass bottles. Aesthetically pleasing! (And Lauren must be strong! Wow.)
You can see in that picture that Lauren brought sliced cantaloupe and kettle corn. She also brought all manner of delicious carbs…
I was having some problems camera/exposure-wise, with the light/shade. But I think that picture is the worst of them.
Lauren MADE bruschetta (SKILLZ) and brought Sabra hummus and some sort of dip that involved pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, so I started out with a plate of what I am referring to here as “savories.”
Not only was the bruschetta super fresh and restaurant-quality tasty, but Lauren made it TO TASTE. Like, no set amount of ingredients. I didn’t ask her if she learned that while studying abroad in Italy. Will I gain that type of knowledge if I move there? (Lauren last lived with me two years ago, and I still have some of her recipes up on the fridge… but I’ve never cooked them. I’m not worthy.)
My second plate contained a melon/kettle corn/Australian licorice medley…
Lauren selected the cantaloupe using some sort of smell test that I’ve never heard of before. Smelling its belly button? (Does a melon have a belly?) I was taught to shake melons and listen for the seeds, but I can never tell if I’m hearing the seeds or just… general swishing.
Whatever she did, it worked.
As much as I was stuffing myself with all my snacky favorites, I knew that dessert was on the horizon. (And Spitz was on the horizon’s horizon.)
Here’s a sneak preview of The Sweets. Of course, Lauren and Cole brought BOTH of my favorites: Cupcakes AND French macarons. (Apparently French macarons are the new cupcakes? Fingers crossed!) (And my spell check still wants me to call them macaroons, so you might see me cave sometimes and spell it that way.)
Cole went all-out and brought Sprinkles cupcakes, from Beverly Hills.
The chart is probably too small to read on the blog, but a perfect day to go to Sprinkles (for ME) would be a Friday, because that’s the only day they have chai latte, and they also have pumpkin (!). Although on a Thursday you could try carrot and mocha.
But no regrets. There is so much pumpkin in my near future. Fall is coming. (Apparently pumpkin spice lattes are back today at Starbucks.)
Oh, sorry to digress about Sprinkles/pumpkin-y-ness. The macarons were from Trader Joe’s. Not to SPOILER ALERT, but for a frozen-section treat they were surprisingly light and fresh.
Ooh, I feel an idea coming on: a pumpkin pie flavored MACARON. I bet they already exist, since ketchup-flavored macarons are out there. (Thanks for the link, Allison!) (Maybe no thanks? Maybe barfs?) As much as I love ketchup, I have my limits. I feel queasy just thinking about ketchup macarons. Desserts and ketchup… not so much. I won’t knock ’em ’til I’ve tried them, but… I don’t know if I’d want to try them.
Theoretically the next post in this series should be “The Sweets,” but I already have the pictures for “The Villa” prepped and ready. (I can’t choose between dessert pics! As if it matters that much!) So we’ll see what pops up next. The suspense is (probably not) killing you.
On Passover we say “dayenu,” meaning “it would have been enough.” Saturday was a total Dayenu situation. The goodness just kept coming, when any one thing would have already delighted me so much! Hopefully these posts are a Dayenu for you, too. I’m trying to avoid making them into a big long draggy Seder.
Okay, Jew analogies aside– To Be Continued…
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