We had dear friends come up to visit us from Birmingham for the weekend, so Friday, Julie & I went up to Monticello while the guys did the river thing (Pat has to spend a good deal of time on the river for his job). As many times as I’ve been up to Monticello and done the tour, I still learned something new. And I always enjoy a good stroll through the gardens. The row of chives in bloom is beautiful, don’t you think?
Our annual family Cinco de Mayo bash was Saturday. What started out as an excuse to have friends over for margaritas has morfed into a huge fest, complete with entertainment for the kiddos in the form of a pinata. We went through 13 gallons of watermelon margaritas. I made them in 5 gallon batches in a cooler and just refilled Granny’s punch bowl from there. There’s also a punchbowl of lemonade for the kids – we went through 4 gallons of that. And someone showed up with Sangria and so we had a third punchbowl for those. Yes, I own three punchbowls. They come in handy.
Edie invites all her friends from school and their parents (and siblings), we invite all the neighbors within earshot (just to be polite), plus any friends outside of that circle we’ve made over the years. You’re never really sure who’s going to show up from year to year and it’s always a good time. We added the pinata a few years ago, per Edie’s request. That kid really has really tried to take over the thing. At this point, we are starting to realize it won’t be our party again until she goes to college. And she may very well come home for it with our luck. After last year’s epic pinata fail (a pair of 4 year old twins took it out, a one-two punch), our friend Eddie made a ‘stronger’ one this year, in the form of a disco ball. Despite his best efforts, it only made it in through maybe 1/3 of the kids, if that. We have ALOT of kids. We have more under 10 crashers than over 21 crashers. (We get both). The kids started lining themselves up 10 minutes before the appointed pinata time as stated on the invitation. It may not have helped that the stick Pat grabbed for them to bash the pinata with was one of my garden stakes and had a pointed end. A few used it as a spear and made a few good rips in it before someone took it down altogether. (Adults drinking copious amounts of tequila and children fighting for sugar are just destined for a good time and a few tears.) Not everyone got candy that fought for it, so we are once again having the ‘what to do about the pinata next year’ conversation. Do we have two? Do we just have extra candy on hand for everyone? (Probably the latter. Not sure we could take the excitement of a DOUBLE pinata party.)
As if being epic in size isn’t enough for us, the party goes all afternoon and into the night. It has started tapering off earlier than it used to, but it still lasted until past midnight. At one point it started raining and the party was still well over 50 guests. It is a bash. As it gets dark, it becomes bonfire time, complete with smores for the kids. By that point, it’s down to just the folks who can crawl home. Since we had more friends drive in from out of town for the day of, we ended up with a houseful of overnight guests, which came in handy for clean up the next morning. Although, for a party the size of ours, clean up is relatively easy. It takes Pat & I a little over an hour to really get everything but the big event tent down.
Wow, we sound like a circus, don’t we?
I was given passes to the Montpelier Wine Festival, so Sunday, we had a lovely drive through the Virginia countryside to yet another Presidential home for a picturesque afternoon. My editor, Rowena, from In The Kitchen Magazine gave them to me, and as her newest wine writer, I really felt I should go. There was some great wine and that day is a whole blog post in itself. I snapped that shot above out of the sunroof as we were leaving by some sweet little road. How gorgeous is that?!?!?
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Lots of good food, good booze, good friends, good times and a wonderful handmade gift from my girl for Mother’s Day. You really couldn’t ask for more.