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!