But, enough of that. Who's up for a recap of the last few days?
We've been getting slammed with snow on and off, but Monday we were snow-free and I headed to White Plains to catch up with Carrie, one of my bridesmaids, to check out bridesmaid dresses and to hang out. It was a day nothing short of wonderful. We walked, took the train, chatted and found two dresses that we both loved for her bridesmaid attire. When we left the fabulous loft-like bridal store, we headed back to the train, but got distracted by a carousel which we couldn't pass up. Since Carrie hasn't posted any approved photogs yet, this is going to have to do. I think she looks glamorous...sort of like a celeb turning the tables on the paparazzi, don't you agree?
I suddenly recall having posted about this day already. Woops! Sorry all...let's just call it an excuse to post a pic of Carrie and the carousel :) We had a blast!
Tuesday, we were iced in. Literally. The weather was nothing short of a nightmare and my dad's poetic description serves best to describe it: It looks like glass. So we all bummed around, read, watched CSI and SVU and Law and Order (you were totally hoping for another abbreviation on the last one after those first two, right? Sorry to disappoint!). I don't know what will become of me now that I'm so used to cable! This holiday has spoiled me. Not to mention both D and I have learned just how much we both love the show House! What will we do without him in our lives???
Wednesday we were stuck inside again-more crystal weather. We ordered pizza and didn't shower all day.
Alas, today was clear and it was my Aunt Barb's 46th birthday. After running, showering and finally figuring out how to use a flat iron for curling my hair (pics to come), we took off for the restaurant. Little did I know we were headed to the exact restaurant I worked at on and off through college and for, at least, eight months between college and moving to Pittsburgh for my masters.
Cosimo's is closest to my heart of all the places I worked. Whenever I left for a new endeavor, that inevitably fell through, they always had a place for me when I came back, even if they didn't need more staff at the time. I was lucky to have them and I learned a lot in the clips of time I worked there and gathered a tremendous amount of writing material, as well. Some of my favorite stories stem from my days at Cosimo's-meeting the Young Republican Group's president whose face I laughed in and turned away from when he tried to kiss me and instead got my ear, the Secret Admirer flowers and stuffed monkey I got on Valentine's day-left in my car only moments after I arrived at work (freaked me out-like someone was watching and waiting for me to pull in and park), all the stories and people I met while bartending, the Christmas parties we had when the kitchen staff would get so drunk they'd almost fling their dancing partners (usually us wait staff) into the buffet table...and the list goes on. Good stuff. Mostly, though, they were family. The same familiar faces greeted me tonight that I knew over six years ago now ('could it really be that long?' we asked ourselves as we embraced, reminisced and said our "hellos"). In a way, it was sad that some of them "never got out," but, still, I was glad for their sincerity, their genuine care, and, most of all, their consistency-proving that 'home' is a place you can always go back to.
So we got our own special table in the banquet room of the restaurant and top notch treatment. The room was private and isn't ordinarily opened unless there's a private party or a holiday going on. My Aunt Barb is the one to the back right in the pink sweater. Beside her is my UJ, Mom, U. Teddy, Papa, me, Cousin Jamey and Aunta Rah (Aunt Ronnie).
(Fun fact: Aunt Barb shares her birthday with her father, my grandfather-Rocco (Robert, but Rocco was his legit birth certificate name).
We started out with a toast to the birthdays and a nonstop eating fest. While Cosimo's hasn't really changed, the menu (at least the dessert menu) has...and it was fabulous.
We bombarded Aunt Barb with cards, tequila shots (it's her drink of choice, just like my brother Amit) and food. I had some calamari and focaccia (they all had antipasti and bruschetta, too, but both had balsamic-which I can't have for allergy reasons), the grilled chicken pesto penne for dinner, a dessert they called the "Vesuvius" (think thin chocolate ganache bottom, tiny drizzled layer of caramel on it, cheesecake, layer of chocolate mousse and more chocolate ganache on the edge...ouch! It was sooooo good I thought I'd go into cardiac arrest from all the sugar right then and there), a dirty martini (which in Cosimo land is served in a full martini glass with an extra two drinks in a glass of ice with a strainer) and an "Irresistible Kiss" coffee with two kinds of digestifs...one was Bailey's, but by then I was a bit too tipsy to remember the other. And of course, they all came and sang and she made a great, big, top secret wish that I hope will come true. Aunt Barb was still fairly young when we were kids. For a while, during my childhood, she and my Grandma lived with us on the top floor of our old Victorian house (it was originally the attic, but was redone into an apartment when they decided to move out of Queens). I still can't see her any older than the 22 year-old she was when first moving into our house. I suppose part of me never will.
Then, we packed up all the leftover food, handed it Jamey's way (there was so much food and no way I needed to pack in more carbs tomorrow after the Carb-fest we had tonight...I have a
wedding gown to squeeze into...remember??? You all know I'm not usually THIS obsessive about nutrition and fitness) and posed for a few pics before heading home. The one here on the right is of me and Mario-who used to be my manager and still is the manager at Cosimo's. We are standing in front of the brick oven where they make pizzas and just at Mario's shoulder, that small visible rectangle, is a memorial to Cosimo DiBrizzi who owned and created all the Cosimo's. He was a partial owner of my Cosimo's (the one we're standing in), but passed away the year after I moved on and seeing the photo and plaque dedicated to him was the first I knew of his death. Of course it surprised and saddened me, but he'd be proud to know how spirited the place still is. As for me and Mario, I'm ducking down because he's rather short and asked me to duck so he didn't feel "like such a shrimp." :) How could I say no? This guy has cleaned and bandaged my bloodied, cut finger before (bread station-sharp knives...I was in a hurry. We cleaned the whole thing out, though, and they bought a metal glove so it wouldn't happen again!)From left to right, again: Aunt Barb (the birthday girl), Jamey, Mom, UJ, Me, A. Ron, U. Ted, Papa. I think we were mostly laughing in this pic (cus most of us were drunk...only my dad and Aunt Ron drove so the rest of us could rest on our way home and relax, knowing we were in sober, safe hands).
My mom's side of the family is mostly Italian, so you can imagine what our feasts and holidays are like (if you're a regular reader, you saw the NYE dinner pics!). Here's a small taste of our good-byes.
Don't look at drunk me being a cheeseball if that's at all possible...check out the endless hugging in the background and my U. Teddy waiting his turn while UJ waits for U. Ted to pay attention and give him a hug! It's, essentially, an endless cycle of hugging and good-bye-ing. This may be the last time I see my A.Ron, U.Ted, A. Barb and cousin Jamey until my wedding! Though I will see UJ and A. Patti (who couldn't come tonight, sadly enough) on Saturday when Mom and I go back into the city to look at gowns for her. I am enjoying all this family time! Can you tell?
And in Wedding News...D found an awesome videographer named Cathy Evangelista. I figured out what gift I think I'm going to give D before our wedding ceremony (you know, during when we don't get to see each other. I hope you weren't being perverted when you first read the "gift" part! This is a PG-13 (at worst) blog!). I ordered part of the BM's gifts, mostly picked linens with Connie, checked out more flower options, saw many of the dresses my ladies will be wearing...and there's more, but I'm so tired now I can't remember. And, trust me, it's been nonstop wedding for the last couple of "iced in" days, too!
That's all for now! Tomorrow: maybe more running and wedding stuff . Saturday-Mother of the Bride gown shopping. Sunday-Missouri-bound. Hope you're all well and have settled back into work smoothly (if you're back to work!).
PS-D, if you're reading this: what do you think of this shirt on Jamey? My cousin wants to know. He and I had a good ten minute discussion on it. I think you'd dig it because it reminds me of one you have only in a different color. Love you and miss you and see you Sunday!!!