I got up at a reasonable hour after a reasonable amount of sleep, for a 9am flight.
I got to the airport and parked in the first spot next to the elevators in the parking garage.
I checked in and got upgraded.
My flight was on time.
I got to Hertz and they upgraded me (which has NEVER happened before) to this:
I drove with the top down 55 miles to Camarillo.
Somewhere near Thousand Oaks, I belted Eternal Flame at the top of my lungs.
I arrived an hour before my meeting and found a lovely cafe at which to lunch. I had a delicious spinach salad with grilled chicken, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and caramelized walnuts.
I got to the client meeting, and it was delightfully productive.
I drove back to LAX in almost no rush hour traffic, returned the car, and had a quick chat with my favorite Hertz employee, who is so kind and always remembers me.
There was no line at airport security.
I went to the gate area for an earlier flight that was leaving in 10 minutes.
I got a seat on the earlier flight. It was in the bulkhead, so I could put my feet up.
There was no one in the middle seat.
And no traffic on the way home.
I found a parking spot right away.
I checked my mail and got an absolutely wonderful and sweet note from my fabulous stepmom, Lindy.
I sat down to a Valentine's smorgasbord dinner of leftovers from Saturday's party, a menu consisting dominantly of cheese and chocolate.
And now I'm working on this blog entry.
In my world, Valentine's Day rarely gets better than this, a day where everything almost magically goes exactly, perfectly right. It got me to thinking about past Valentine's Days - some of which have been good, some decidedly less so, some downright disastrous. I will leave those stories to my memories. Suffice it to say, food poisoning and potted plants do not make for a romantic Valentine's Day. Trust me.
At some point in my life, I decided that I wasn't going to be a Valentine's hater. What I am a hater about is people bitching about Valentine's Day. What is the problem, people?? It's a day when you have license to eat chocolate without feeling guilty, and project love to everyone. How can anyone be bitter about that? All you need is love! Just because I'm single doesn't mean there aren't people that I love, and who love me. I refer to these people as "family and friends." And I like to celebrate them today, because they are wonderful people.
In all honesty, I didn't get my act together as much this year as in years past - I usually make and send Valentines but the two weeks of traveling prior to today really precluded serious crafts. (I still have those darn cocktail napkins I've been planning to make since October on my project list.) What I did do was manage to get a few things together for a Valentine's-themed party on Saturday. I think it was a good party because the last guests left after 3am Sunday morning. And it's taken me a few days to clean up.
Herewith, the menu:
Heart Goat Cheese, Heart Brie, Manchego and Mahon with Jams (Pumpkin and Violet) and Grapes
Mango-Avocado Salsa and Chips
Peppadew Peppers Stuffed with Boursin
O-love and Artichoke Heart Tapenade with Crostini and Carrot Sticks
Meatball Parmigiana Sliders
Outrageous Heart Brownies
Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes
Peanut Butter and Jam Heart Cookies
Conversation Hearts Candy
Wine, Champagne, Beer
And now, in pictures:
|The beginning of the brownies. Lots of chocolate and butter. |
These brownies could probably kill you.
|Ok, not probably. The will definitely kill you. At least this recipe makes 100+ brownies!|
|Now, with flour. I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose. It worked well.|
|Brownie batter spread in the pan.|
I saw this trick on Martha Stewart's show - what a brilliant idea to use binder clips to keep the parchment paper in place! I now keep four of these in the kitchen drawer.
|These look done to me. A toothpick confirms the diagnosis.|
|This stuff will knock you on your ass. Kind of like the little diapered man's arrow, I suppose. |
(Tito's, for those of you unfamiliar, is the best vodka on God's green Earth.)
Happy Valentine's Day!