Monday, June 29, 2020

16 Year Anniversary Celebration!

Paul and I celebrated 16 years together this weekend! Our actual anniversary was on Sunday, June 28, but Saturday is a better day for celebrating (and Paul had to head to Nashville Sunday afternoon). We started our celebration with a champagne toast and some LuLu's Roman Pizza (focaccia with beet bacon, spinach, and onion).

By the way, I'm terrible at checking the vegan-ness of wines when I'm at the store, and this Martini & Rossi Asti is apparently fined with non-vegan by-products. So I'm not recommending it! I often don't think to check Barnivore until the wine is all gone. I'm not super-strict with vegan wines, but I don't want people to see it here and think it's vegan-friendly. I'll just look for a different sparkling wine next time (recommendations welcome!).

Neither of us has been to dinner at an actual restaurant since the COVID pandemic began, but everything has opened back up to 50% capacity here — despite an uptick in COVID cases. Sigh. So we figured we'd take our chances, and go on a real date. We both love Bhan Thai, so we enjoyed a nice dinner on their patio.

Outdoor gatherings are lower on the risk scale, and Bhan Thai was really great at distancing accommodations. Tables were well-spaced. Masks were required until you sit down. Staff wears masks at all times. It felt pretty darn safe! We both ordered the best dish on their menu — Pad See Ew with Tofu! I rarely go to a Thai place without ordering Pad See Ew, and Bhan Thai's is the best I've ever had.

Paul and I met at Newby's — a college bar near the University of Memphis — way back in 2004 over a game of pool. The way people used to meet back in the old days. It's so funny to me that people meet for dates on the internet now! We've made it an annual tradition to always close out anniversary date night with a game of pool at Newby's. They're open! I was definitely nervous about visiting a bar in the COVID era, but it had to be done.

We wore masks until we sat down, but we had to remove them to drink our beer. I'd hoped we could spend the evening on their patio, but it was packed when we arrived.  Fortunately, the tables inside were well-spaced to allow for distancing. Paul mentioned to the door guy that it was our anniversary, and the guy apparently told the band — the Memphis All-Stars — about it. So the band dedicated a song to us! Quite the surprise and very cool.

We enjoyed a couple drinks and played our annual pool game. I kind of hate pool, because I'm terrible at it, so this is typically the only game I play all year. We always take a shot like this one, where we're holding the numbered balls to represent the anniversary years. 

I probably won't be back in a bar for awhile. I know the bars are doing their best to keep things clean and safe, but the nature of drinking doesn't mesh with the nature of mask-wearing or distancing. So it makes me nervous! I'm down for drinking on a patio any time, but indoors can be a little scary in these crazy times.  By the way, I am NOT recommending anyone go out and risk catching anything! This was a special occasion, and we won't be doing this often. I work from home, and the only person I'm around on a regular basis is Paul. 

The next morning — Sunday — we slept in and enjoyed pancakes and vegan sausage. I used this never-fail recipe for Perfect Pancakes and fried up some Beyond Sausage Patties. We served these with Aperol Spritz Mimosas (OJ, Prosecco, Aperol).

Another great anniversary celebration! Oh, and I forgot to mention that Paul gifted me a lovely amethyst ring and some cubic zirconia earrings. We weren't supposed to do gifts, but he always likes to surprise me! Paul is quite the romantic, which is funny because I am so not romantic at all. He's an Aries, and I'm a Libra, so we're pretty much polar opposites in many ways. Like they say, opposites attract! 


VanessaKC said...

Don’t want to sound like an asshole but it’ll probably come across as such: you can drink from a straw beneath a mask. Love your blog but this is the exact type of behavior which spreads the virus. Quite irresponsible and foolish. I do genuinely love your blog, but your behavior is all of what the global communities urge us to not do. Proverbial dog and pony show.

Laura C. said...

Please consider quarantining yourself at home for the next few weeks. Even if you don't experience symptoms of the virus, you might now be an asymptomatic carrier.

Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary! I think you made a perfectly fine decision to go out and celebrate. Everything you've written here shows that you're generally very thoughtful and safe about the virus. You still work from home so it's not like you're around a lot of people every day- and I'm sure you're vigilant when you do go out about wearing a mask (other than eating and drinking.) We're all doing our best! Furthermore, your blog promotes a healthy lifestyle which is a good defense against all viruses. Thanks as aways for posting!

VanessaKC said...

I was actually afraid that you’d block me. Grateful you didn’t. Did hope for a response, based on the whole you’re waiting for such, seriously, description.

Bianca said...

Sorry VanessaKC! I did see your comment, but Blogger is weird and doesn't offer the reply feature to comments like Wordpress does. So I rarely respond to them because I just assume the commenter might never see it anyway (since it doesn't alert people when someone has responded).

But I actually hadn't even thought about drinking with a straw through my mask. Like that legit never occurred to me. This was my first indoor bar visit since our mask requirement was enacted here, and I don't get out much except to pick up takeout. So I'm learning as I go! Thanks for the advice though. I doubt I'll be back inside a bar any time soon, but I will try that next time. I'm not opposed to visiting a bar patio eventually, but inside was a little scary for me even though the tables were very safely distanced.

VanessaKC said...

Thank you for replying, and I really appreciate your honesty. Man, we are in really intense times. You are quite influential and I love what you write, was just bugged about, like, people following the lead into restaurant situations. I work in a family business and although masks are supposed to be mandatory here, people do not follow protocol. Just this past weekend I purchased stencils to paint signs regarding enforcement of mask wearing. Yeah, it’s hot and uncomfortable but I’d rather have zits than a tube down my throat! Plus I work with my dad who is compromised. I like to see my almost 96 yo grandma from afar. Thank you for recognizing and acknowledging. I know it’s hard but let’s please follow proper directions to protect not only ourselves but also everyone we may come in contact with. ✌️Thank you for being honest and cool.