Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring break with Erin

I have a lot of teacher friends in the local K-12 schools, and they all had off this week for spring break.  Lucky for me, I have a long weekend since my schools are religiously based and shut-down for the holiday.  I haven't seen Erin in FOREVER, so I drove out her way because she lives near Phoenixville, another adorable town similar to West Chester.

We always go to lunch at the same place ... I don't actually know the name of it, but looking at Google Maps I would guess that it's the Artisan Gallery and Cafe.  The store is stocked with shelves of ceramics and paintings cover the walls--everything's for sale and made by local artists.  I always get soup and quiche; Erin always gets a vegetarian panini.

Yesterday, however, there was something else to be had: French macarons!!

I saw them in the pastry case (next to an incredible looking cupcake) and freaked OUT.  Erin confessed that she had never had one, so I bought one of each flavor for the two of us to try.  The pale one is coffee, the green is pistachio, and the brown is chocolate with caramel sea salt filling.

(It must also be said the the chicken florentine soup and the Italian veggie quiche were "ah-MAH-zing" ... do you watch Happy Endings?)

The macarons were great--rather than being flat, thick, chewy (like the horrible one in New York) these were light as air with a really crunchy, yet oh-so-thin, crust.  It is irrational how stuff like this makes me SO HAPPY.  Personally, I think the coffee one was my favorite--Erin's vote surely goes to the chocolate?  I don't think we discussed it because they're really small and we tried to make each one last as long as we could (and yet, there was a fair amount of gobbling going on--it's a delicate balance).

So Erin's officially had her first macaron!  I think Erin should learn how to make these (I wonder if America's Test Kitchen has worked on this yet?) and then teach me how.  They have a reputation for being pretty difficult.  They're definitely a project for a perfectionist.  (You have tons of free time, right Erin?)

No trip to Phoenixville is complete without the Diving Cat.  Seriously, I want a Diving Cat in West Chester so bad, it's not even funny. But every time I ask the owner to consider opening one out my way, she pauses and says, "Well, I can't ride my bike to work if I open one there."  I hate to say it, but that's a good reason.

While we were there, Erin and I both found earrings that we wanted. Erin and I both consider ourselves fiscally responsible people. Erin and I are bad influences on each other.  We both played that, "Oh, I don't know ..." game until I finally said, "I'll buy mine if you buy yours." Erin said something to the effect of, "You're not a very helpful person," and then she walked over to the register.  Even more hilariously, Erin put the earrings on, paid for them, and walked out of the store.  No bags or packaging for her! For whatever reason, I saw this as defiantly liberating.  (I know: it's just earrings. Go figure.)

Finally, no trip to Phoenixville is complete without stopping at the enormous Good Will.  Erin always looks at the lamps and the glass dishes.  While she sorts through ornate candy dishes and whatnot, she's always muttering to me, "I know it is COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL to even look at these because I do NOT need one more ... but I just can't help it" while I nod my head and say, "Tell me about it."  Luckily, Erin did NOT buy a single glass anything, but she did find a really pretty shower curtain and I found a $0.97 Blessed Mother statue.

Then we went we to Erin's most favoritist store of all, CVS, and we bought razors and allergy meds before going back to Erin's house.  Erin's house is so much fun because Izzy lives there.

This is Izzy.
Izzy has many talents, including singing opera:

And she can also walk the tightrope:

I don't think Erin likes it when Izzy walks the tightrope, but I think Izzy really doesn't care.

She can do other things like hide in the basement ceiling, but I don't have pictures of that.

I asked Erin to hold Izzy for a picture even though Izzy doesn't really like to be picked up. The main point of taking these pictures was to capture the new earrings, but Izzy stole the show.

Izzy's really good at squirming too.

I really liked the blue earrings (we learned they are chalcedony) with the pinky peach scarf.  Erin said she was already stretching her comfort zone with two different patterns on her scarf and shirt.  I liked the whole thing together.

Sans cat
Yes, Erin: You are a Cat Lady. But, don't worry: So am I ... there's just no one hanging around my house to take pictures of it.

See? I like the scarf with the shirt.  Keep mixing it up, Erin!

I promise these are the last two cat pictures, and then I'll stop.

It was such a fun day after a pretty stressful week at school.  I cannot believe that Easter arrived so quickly. I have to dye eggs, make a few side dishes for Sunday, and I really want to make some carrot cookies.  We'll see what I manage to get accomplished.

btw, big shout out to Erin's mom, Susie, for giving me a really awesome thermos for my coffee after reading this post about spilling coffee all over myself.  Thank you! You know I will use this! ; )

1 comment:

Jess said...

LOOVE the earings Erin! And I'm with Jo - I like the look of mixing up the patterns!