Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Weekend

I had to put the blog down for a bit. Melissa was here all weekend (Thur-Mon), so I didn't spend much time on the computer.

We had a great weekend. Couldn't have asked for anything more, except maybe an extra few Saturdays, another couple Sundays, and a much longer Monday morning.

Thursday, we met some of the 1L's at Four Peaks Brewing Co. for the weekly ASU Bar Review Happy Hour. We got there kind of late, 'cause her flight didn't get in until a little later in the evening. But there were still 10 or so law kids there, so we all mingled. Mel got to meet some of the people I've been suffering through law school with. We went to Mill Ave. after Four Peaks, to a club called Zuma. It was really crowded, but it was fun. The DJ was playing good music, and there were lot more law kids there.

Friday, I had class, so I left Melissa near a bus stop (her choice) and let her fend for herself in Tempe. She made it to Tempe Marketplace and spent a couple hours shopping while I was in class. I met her there, and we ran in to Diane (family we stayed with over the summer) and several of her family members at Target. We spent the next few hours shopping around the Marketplace, relatively unproductively, before leaving to get cleaned up for dinner.

Lyn recommended a restaurant in Tempe, calling it the best kept secret of the city. It is called House of Tricks, and it deserves its title as the best date restaurant in Tempe. It is a bit off the beaten path and sort of hard to find. We made it in time for our 7:30 reservation and were seated immediately. We opted to sit outside under the water misters. It was a bit hot, but we managed well enough. We ordered a ton of food and finished all of it. For appetizers, we got the fire roasted poblano stuffed with sweet corn, Monterey Jack, cilantro, and sweet red pepper coulis, as well as a fruit and cheese plate with grapes, apples, strawberries, toasted French bread, crackers, and all sorts of cheeses that I can't name. I know it had brie, parmesan, and blue cheese, but there were maybe three others we liked but didn't recognize.

For dinner, Mel got the the seared duck breast with goat cheese gnocchi, watercress, and blackberry vinaigrette. I had the Australian grass-fed filet mignon (asked for medium rare, but it was closer to medium) with asiago mashed potatoes, oyster mushroom demi, and pepita aioli. Mine was phenomenal, hers was decent. The duck was a little fattier than we would have liked (I know duck is generally fattier).

Dessert was a tough decision, so we went with two. I don't remember their names, and the dessert menu isn't on the web site to check. The one we didn't like was an angel food cake with berries and a berry glaze reduction on it. The cake was not the right consistency, and the glaze was a little too sweet and processed. We also got a cappuccino torte with whip cream and caramel that was very good. It had a strong enough flavor, but it wasn't overwhelmingly rich.

All in all, the restaurant was a great spot, and we definitely plan on coming back sometime.

After dinner, I took her to the Big Bang, a local piano bar that I have grown quite fond of. There are dueling pianos, and the regular entertainers are very talented (as piano players, as singers, and as entertainers). We met some law kids there for a bit, then retired, exhausted, for the night.

Saturday, we did lots more shopping at Arizona Mills, which was incredible. I got all sorts of shorts, shirts, boxers, and ties from designer names, and the most expensive thing we got was a $30 pair of sandals. The deals at Arizona Mills are outrageously good. I will be going back there any time I need clothes.

ASU football hosted Stanford Saturday night, and after shopping we went home to be picked up by the Haiks for tailgating. That was a good time, but the game was too hot and muggy. We didn't make it through the third quarter. Exhausted again (the heat drains you here), I was falling asleep in the stands. Poor form, I know, but it's no Lane Stadium, and it doesn't keep my attention. We went home and went to bed after the game.

Sunday, we got a late start before getting lunch at Tempe Marketplace. We wandered around there for awhile before coming home. I bought a new TV for my room (very excited, 32" LCD HDTV) that has no cable (faulty cable outlet) until hopefully tomorrow when Cox comes back for the third time to fix it.

We did a late dinner at Ra and stayed there talking for awhile. We got lots of different sushi rolls and a very good dessert: it was a chocolate stuffed fried banana with Kahlua caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream.

We enjoyed a relaxing night of drinks there and then wandered around Mill Ave. before a night cap at Mill Cue Club (not so classy, but fun). We went home around midnight, despite needing to get up at 4am to get Melissa to the airport. Poor planning, maybe, but we wanted to maximize our time. No regrets.

I can't wait until fall break when she comes back and we get lots of free time to explore, maybe camp in Sedona, and relax.

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