Monday, July 21, 2014

Gas Station Pizza Lessons

I had huge happy plans for this weekend. I was even going to bring out the Canon and take a bunch of photos depicting the big, beautiful life we live. 

Friday night, we were going to go to Hawkins Family Farm  for their "Fridays on the Farm Pizza". I've written about this before (you can find that post here.) It's a scenic environment for a casual picnic dinner, and the pizza is delicious. When we got there, the so called farm was packed with cars, parked bumper to freakin' bumper. It was sold out. No pizza for us. 

By the time we got there, we were craving pizza in a giant ugly way so we decided to explore the lovely town of North Manchester. It's a college town, so surely there's a decent pizza joint nearby. 

We stopped at a gas station to ask the locals for recommendations. Laura accosted a friendly gentleman and had a lively and lengthy conversation while the kids and I starved to death in the Subaru.

It turns out that after Hawkins Farm, Casey's convenience store has the SECOND BEST pizza in town. Needless to say, my spirits were crushed. I had visions of watching the children play on the farm, running with the butterflies and petting free range chickens, while Laura and I enjoyed our fresh, organic pizza and bottle of Bonterra Merlot on a comfy bed of grass. 

Instead, here we were. 

The kids were thrilled with their fluorescent slushies and Cheetos appetizers. We ordered our pizza from a very cranky teenage boy and hung out at a small, grimy table.

Surprisingly, the pizza wasn't bad. Fine, it was pretty good. And the kids were deliriously happy with their cotton candy and Skittles dessert. Sometimes, second best is an OK place to be.

On Saturday, we ventured downtown for a vintage sale where the kids found a few treasures.

Fiona couldn't live without this sparkly blue ring and purple leopard print wallet.

 And Cyd fell in love with this retro cat sweater. You really can't blame her.

We had a dinner party planned for Saturday night and again, I had visions of Martha Stewart perfection.

I pictured a scenic, country setting (our backyard) with flowers, candles, and maybe some paper lanterns. I guess I'm a sucker for magical dinner ambiance. To make my dreams come true, Laura drove to Auburn to buy a large picnic table I had found on Craig's List. It was perfect!

We ran out of time and didn't get the paper lanterns or candles. But who cares? We had flowers, wine and beer and great friends. It was delicious.

After dinner, we played a friendly game of kickball and Fiona did a magic trick where she made Cyd disappear.
Cyd's not too sure about this.

Maybe I'd had one too many glasses of wine by that time but it really looked like Cyd had REALLY DISAPPEARED. I couldn't even believe my eyes! This just goes to prove that I really need to cut back on the sauce.

On Sunday morning, I had planned on a seven-mile run. Instead, I slept in until 10 a.m., had breakfast, and then went back to bed. We had nothing to do and it was glorious. 

Sunday night, we made our own pizza (bacon, blue cheese, and caramelized onions) and dessert was a spoonful of Nutella with sprinkles. It was a sweet ending to a pretty damn good weekend. 

When plans go astray, you get a chance to discover the other side of perfect. The Cheeto-orange fingers and blue slushy dyed mouths. The simple pleasure of al fresco dining with friends and the leisure of having time to spare. And sprinkles. Don't ever forget the sprinkles.  

Peace out.