Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Recap: Sisters' Weekend

When my sister and her husband lived in Manhattan and I lived in Pittsburgh or Maryland, I visited them a few times every year. People would ask me all the time if I knew this bar or that restaurant, and the answer was almost always a resounding "no" because when Jen and I get together, we do little other than talk and laugh. So that is exactly what we did when she came to visit me this past weekend. 

We did a quick catch-up Friday night, but went to sleep pretty soon after she arrived (it was after midnight unfortunately). Saturday morning we were up early to meet up with our parents. They drove up from Annapolis to have breakfast with us at Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point. The weather was beautiful, so Jen and I walked along the water on the promenade to meet up with them.  Breakfast was delicious and the 'rents got us started on cocktails at 9 a.m. Gotta love that kind of start to the day! Here's us on the promenade where Dad, per usual, decided he could live here...anywhere near the water is heaven for that guy ;)
Mom, me, Dad, Jen. The original 4.

After breakfast, Jen and I headed back to my apartment to change for the afternoon: hiking at Oregon Ridge and wine tasting at Basignani Winery. What an awesome way to spend some time with my sister! Outside, under the sunshine, sipping on wine. We may or may not have run across a black snake on one of the paths whereby I immediately turned around and ran for cover. Apparently I'm afraid of snakes. And apparently it's every woman for herself when it comes to survival. Pushing my sister out of my way may not have been the nicest thing to do, in hindsight ;)
View from Basignani Winery. Heaven on earth.
Saturday night we were going to go out for dinner and drinks, but it seemed that Jen caught the cold her little ones had last week. It could have been a huge bummer, and I'm very sorry that she didn't feel well ("prickly" was the term she used for her symptoms), but we stayed home in our sweats and did some more catching up. When you don't get to spend serious alone time with someone for a few years, there's a LOT of catching up to do! Honestly, I think we got to have more quality time together inside my cave of an apartment, watching "50/50," eating Oreos, and drinking tea, than we ever could have at a restaurant or bar. I highly recommend sleep overs :)
Red Door Spa at the Village Cross Keys.
Sunday morning, we got up early for breakfast and for the coup de grace of the weekend: a trip to the spa! This past week was Spa Week, which means $50 services at spas that would normally cost twice that much. Jen and I got on the waiting list for the Red Door Spa near Loyola. Luckily, I got the call last week that we were in! They didn't have a Spa Week massage, so we decided to try something new...frankly, this is the perfect time to try something a little different since I wouldn't have been too terribly disappointed with spending $50 on a crappy experience. However, this was anything but crappy! O.M.G. Our stress melter exfoliation and wrap was amazing. Truly unique. 

The technician first rubbed me down with these rough gloves. Yes, I paid good money to get roughed up and patted down...Guess I could just have asked a local cop for that! And then she lathered me up in lemon-scented oil and wrapped a plastic sheet around me for 15 minutes. It was heaven. I felt like a plastic-wrapped burrito, but it felt so decadent. A little slippery and warm, and after 15 minutes I was really ready to be unwrapped, but overall a very relaxing experience.

Jen had to leave immediately after the stress melter to go sit in rainy traffic on 95. I hope the melter helped her at least start from a lower boiling point than she would have started without it! Traffic can be quite the pressure cooker. So to cheer myself up after she left, I dropped by my friends' house with Eddie's sandwiches and then went home to watch TV, read a smutty book, and cook homemade mac and cheese.
My bechamel sauce. It's taken me years to figure this out!
It was a deliciously great weekend. Exactly what I needed, little of what I was expecting, but perfect all the same. Comfort food. Comforting sister. Comfortable clothes. Best kind of weekend :)

Anyone else enjoy the sun or hunker down in the rain? Best of both worlds this weekend, for realsies!

Stephanie Marie

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