It was Sunday afternoon and Peter and I finally headed to the Jersey Shore. After opening up the cottage and letting some ocean breezes fill the house with fresh air, we set about doing the things you just gotta do when you’ve been gone over a week. Read Peter you have to mow the lawn, fill the bird feeders, wash the sidewalk and and and…. I put away food, clean linens and laundry, unpacked bags and then decided to open up my computer and there was a Happy Memorial Day post from Joe! WITH an invitation to stop by for a drink if we were in town. What a delightful idea!
I called Joe to say we would love to stop over, have a drink and take another look at the magnificent renovation/construction that had been done on his house over the winter. Joe said he and Michael had a couple of friends staying with them and they were going to barbeque and we were certainly welcome to join them.
NOW, you see this is what I think makes a holiday memorable. Friends are woven into the fabric of your life. We didn’t have any plans for the evening and then along comes a delightful invitation as a complete surprise from our friends, Joe and Michael. What I love about them besides the fact that they are the most perfect Yin and Yang couple is their generosity of spirit. They had house guests, close friends visiting from out of state and without a moment’s hesitation, they included us in their party!
I offered to bring dessert and with specific instructions about the importance of chocolate I went shopping. I happened to be going to Costco and for some reason, this day, the bakery area was a bit shy in the chocolate department. They had Black and White cookies but those only have some chocolate frosting and that’s only on one half; The bakery also had shortbread cookies which are to die for but again only half the cookie has some chocolate coating. Finally I spotted some Red Velvet Chocolate cupcakes. They were huge and looked good, however, for good measure as the saying goes, I tossed a bag of dark-chocolate-covered acai blueberries. I don’t think you can ever have enough chocolate on hand, especially if it’s dark chocolate.
A barbeque at Joe’s is an event! First of all, there were the guests; we met Kelly who lives in LA and Austin and is a freelance commercial producer. She spends considerable time on East Coast in NYC also and as of today is on her way to Prague to produce a Dove commercial. And Lisa, who lives in Oakland and also works in advertising and has been Michael’s friend for years. I had the opportunity to sit next to Lisa for part of the evening and really enjoyed talking to her. Monica who is a neighbor was there and it was good to see her again. She is a lively soul and has a very cute Yorkie who visits Madison regularly. Monica, Christine and Rich had dinner plans elsewhere so I’m glad we got there early enough to connect with them all before they left for Taka.
Joe and Michael are among the MOST GRACIOUS hosts. I want to call it Effortless Entertaining BUT I know it takes a lot of effort to plan and prepare an evening meal with many components. They work seamlessly together; one is cooking, the other is filling bowls, one is making drinks, the other is placing dishes and silverware out. Really it is amazing to observe this culinary choreography!
We drank, we snacked, we drank some more, we ate, we drank a bit more and ate dessert. Hours had gone by, I couldn’t believe the clock when I looked at the time! We had to go but hey we were the altacockers anyway!!
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how perfectly private the patio is now that Joe has redone the landscaping (again). We were secluded behind beautiful greenery.