Birthday Fun

As some of you know, this past week was my birthday and I know some of you would enjoy knowing what I did to celebrate; beyond online shopping for birthday gifts. (Being the introvert I am I get excited to have packages delivered at home without any malls or answering “can I help you?”.)

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The weekend before my birthday Luke took me out to all you can eat sushi at our favorite hole in the wall sushi place in Rochester. I filled up on plenty of spicy tuna  and we shared sake.

Afterwards Luke bought me shoes. Yes my husband bought me shoes for my birthday. We went to the Field and Stream by the mall and Luke bought me my first pair of Chacos. (He has been trying to get me a pair for a couple of years now).

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We then headed over to the movie theatre to see Jurassic World, which was surprisingly good. Who doesn’t like a dinosaur action movie with awesome John Williams music?

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Realizing the time after the movie we rushed over to our favorite yogurt shop just before they closed. We felt bad making her turn the machines on again which ment a soupy dessert and a few bug bites from eating it outside. Still it was a great birthday date.

very_berry_LOGOOther than this,  I decided also to make myself a few b-day treats. As you should know from reading my blog I enjoy baking and cooking new recipes so making my own b-day treats was fun.

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I made lemon cream scones for breakfasts which went perfect with goat cheese and strawberry rhubarb jelly.

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I also made shortcake with orange liquor macerated strawberries and homemade whipped cream. (Recipes of all of this to follow). And just in case your wondering, yes I shared my birthday treats with Luke.

Dogwood Festival and Orienteering

This past weekend was our local city Dansville’s spring festival. Unlike the larger cities the local festivals are more children and family oriented. Most events for the Dogwood festival centered around children’s performances, magic shows, choir or choral performances, and city softball or baseball games. There was also a small carnival being held at a local park. For more on Dansville’s Dogwood Days click the link: Dansville Dogwood Days

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We were not interested in much of this but did get out of the house early to explore the many yard sales happening around town. Some of the sales were posted in the local penny savers. After driving and walking around many yards we came home with a kitchen table for only 5$. It needs a little TLC  some children’s paint and stains removed but it works perfectly as extra work space in the kitchen or as a kitchen eating area.

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We also went to our second ever Orienteering event (it was a busy weekend) at Powder Mills Park in Pittsford outside of Henrietta. We decided this time to do the yellow course and jogged parts of the trail. The park was beautiful, green and shaded.

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Trails winded around and through the trees and a creek. This course was a more hilly and we had to make decisions on navigation making short cuts or taking the longer less strenuous routes.

We finished in 42 minutes and as of the time we finished we were in first place for our course.

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It was just as much fun if not more so then last month’s course. The park is more spread out, and diverse but had just as well kept shelters, bathrooms, and meeting lodges.

For more on Powder Mills Park Click here: powder mills park

Rochester Lilac Festival

It is finally and truly spring here. Once spring comes so do the festival, one or two every weekend.

This past weekend Luke and I celebrated another semester of teaching over by going to the Rochester Lilac Festival.

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This is the largest Rochester city festival lasting two full weeks and weekends. It takes place at Highland Park with food tents, many concerts from various local bands, a home and garden show, children’s shows and more. During the week they also have a Lilac run, wine and chocolate and craft beer tasting events.

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Fortunately Luke and I had heard that MCC provides parking for 2$ and a round trip shuttle back and forth to the festival. We were happy to not have to struggle to find a parking spot or fight the crowd.

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Once we were dropped off at the festival sight we briefly walked around the most crowded area where the food vendors and concerts were. Crossing the street into the larger park area we enjoyed strolling through the lilac trees which are in full bloom with purple and pink flowers and a strong fragrance.

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We passed many acoustic musicians in the park and families taking pictures or resting under the trees and shade. We came down the hill from the lilac bushes to the annual pansy bed and found several food trucks.

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We decided to try a dish from Brick N Motor, a local seasonal menu food truck. We shared a small plate of bim bap: rice, korean beef,  and kimchi topped with carrots, thai basil, sesame seeds and a poached egg. It was delicious.

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After our rest we continued back up the hill toward the reservoir through the azaleas. Past the reservoir at the top of the park hill art vendors were selling their pottery, wood vases, lilac oils and candles, clothes, photography etc. alongside with a few other food vendors.

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Passing the conservatory we decided to make our way back down the hill and finish off our tour of the festival looking at larger food tents and vendors while listening to a little music.

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It was a warm day and crowded but it was a fun festival, with free entertainment and great food.

To find out more about the festival click: Lilac Festival

Our Rochester Routine

Once every 3 months or so Luke and I take a weekend day trip up to Rochester, NY. It is our closest big city. The first fews time we drove up just to explore and find out what shopping/food options were available. Now we have made it a routine to stop at two specific areas:

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First up is Pittsford Plaza. This mall area has several stores we like to go to including the original (and nicest) Wegmans, a two story Barnes and Nobles, a movie theatre, our closest Cheesecake Factory, and Trader Joes. We usually stop in Barnes and Nobles to get Starbucks in the Cafe and pursue some books.

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We rarely actually buy books but as bookstores in general are disappearing we enjoy being able to  flip through a book before buying it for cheap online at Amazon. Awhile back we were looking at homemade beer recipe books (see Bottling our first homemade brew). This time around with a Christmas gift card in hand we perused the international cooking area. Taking pictures of the book info for Sushi, Curry Crockpot recipes, and a Korean Cook Book we ended up only buying me a new journal. But we left with ideas for birthday present books. 🙂

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Our next stop was Trader Joes. Growing up in SoCal Trader Joes were common and many. In fact my grandfather owned a dry cleaning business across the street from the original Trader Joes in South Pasadena. Trader Joes just has certain products (at certain prices) we can’t get anywhere else; so we stock up. This time around we walked away with frozen swordfish steaks, ginger snaps, crackers, and  a whole lot of coffee.  We enjoyed samples of cheese, vegi chili with corn chips, and I had a caffeine boost of sample size cup of their dark roast coffee.

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The second normal stop is a suburb of Rochester: Henrietta. Here is the closest Red Robin, Melting Pot, Play it Again sports (where we ended up getting my snowshoes), and several international restaurants and grocery stores. In Henrietta we usually stop at the Korean food market to pick up frozen beef for eating Korean BBQ at home along with a big container of Kimchee and rice pasta. In the same shopping center is also a nice game store Millennium games. We tend to stop in there to see what is new and double check any sales. When all our shopping is through we go get dinner at Red Robin, Sticky Lips (see Kayaking and BBQ) or most often Seoul Garden: for Korean BBQ.

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On the long drive back and forth we enjoy singing along to CDs, trying to find a decent radio station, looking out the window, and just talking-about anything. Sometimes it’s nice to have a long drive to bring up topics that don’t have to have distinct starting or ending places; just sharing thoughts.

In the end we get home tired but happy with our half date half errand day in Rochester. How about you? What date/errand routines do you keep?