How's that for a post title? This past weekend was Jared's birthday weekend and we were supposed to go to the cabin for a long weekend. That is until Emma came down with a nasty stomach bug at school on Thursday and was a total heartbreakingly sick mess the rest of the day. Our friends that were meeting us at the cabin also have little ones, and everyone agreed that it was too risky to have us all cooped up in a cabin together (without running water), so the cabin trip was scrapped. To say Jared was bummed would be an understatement. He'd been looking forward to this trip for months! I promised I would try to salvage his birthday, so we planned a day trip to Annapolis for Saturday afternoon. Now, Emma gets pretty restless if she's stuck in the car for more than half an hour, and it takes a little over an hour to get to Annapolis - so the car ride was less than stellar. But I was still optimistic the rest of the day would be okay. The sun was shining, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the weather was perfect... except it was freezing cold and our dear daughter happened to be at the tail end of an "I don't want to wear my mittens!" phase. She also happens to be in an "I want to walk on my own but I don't want to hold your hand" phase. Ahhh, life with a toddler. 98% of the time, Emma is a truly awesome and great kid... but that 2% she's not is pretty dang miserable for all involved. We were quite the spectacle walking around the Naval Academy with our half frozen baby being carried against her will. Yep - we were those parents. Did I mention it was Jared's birthday? Yeah.
I will say that Bancroft Hall was really impressive (just a little fancier than my dorm at MSU) and Memorial Hall was somber and powerful. (Thanks for the recommendation, Jill!)
After touring the Academy, we made our way over to the shops and restaurants of historic Annapolis. Emma was still pretty miserable at this point, so we made a stop for something sweet and to warm our bones a bit. Things started to pick up after that, and before we headed to dinner at Joss Sushi (heads up if you go there that they don't have high chairs or booster seats, but are otherwise family friendly) we stopped into an oil and vinegar shop called Seasons. Jared and I are pretty big fans of anything balsamic, and had a field day tasting all the different flavors. We walked out with an 18 year aged Balsamic, an amazing Black Cherry Balsamic, and a Tuscan herb infused olive oil. It was kind of the highlight of our whole day, and we spent a good part of Sunday planning out how we would use our new purchases at dinner that night.
We decided on homemade Focaccia bread to accompany a simple roast chicken dinner, and for dessert - ohhhhh, this dessert... vanilla ice cream topped with fresh cherries cooked in a black cherry balsamic reduction. It was heavenly. HEAVENLY. My mouth is still watering looking at the picture.
So, all in all, Jared's birthday was still kind of a bust... but Emma has worn her mittens every day since Saturday, and we had some seriously kickass food on Sunday night thanks to our Seasons haul. And there's always next year.