New decanter, painted by my niece. It is absolutely beautiful!

Creepy ravens skylining the edge of my office building.

Oh yeah


But there's some lovely ice underneath, and I've gotta go to work in the morning.

My wife is no slouch in the kitchen, but tonight's dinner was especially divine! I don't know what she did to the porkchops exactly, but they were GOOD!

More pictures

My wife is the greatest... Let's start with that.

For our anniversary, we had a great time. The day was celebrated in style. As soon as the boy got home from school, we loaded into the car, everyone's bags packed. The kids were deposited at my parent's house, and then we went into Reston. Checked into the Hyatt Regency, and then went shopping for my wife. It's about this time every year that she needs to reinforce her wardrobe, and we took care of that. Then we cleaned up and changed and went to McCormick and Schmick's. We have been going to M&S Grill for years, ever since it was Angelo and Maxie's, but this time, since my wife has successfully quit smoking, we went to McCormick and Schmick's proper, for a better selection of fresh oysters.

We had to wait for a half hour for a table to be free, so we spent some time at the bar with my good old friend Jameson (and his lovely accomplice Ginger Ale), then it was time to sit down. Started with the large oyster sampler, and I ordered a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Château Mont-Redon, 2003). For our entrées, I ordered a 14 oz NY strip steak, and my wife got the 1.5 lb steamed Maine lobster. We divided those up to make some proper surf and turf, and ordered another half dozen Malpeque oysters (the favorite from the sampler.)

As divine as all of this was, we were far from finished. For dessert, we picked the trio sampler, which was chocolate pecan pie, bread pudding and crème brûlée, and we each had some Grand Marnier/Bailey's on-the-rocks, then to finish, espresso with liqueur on the side (black Samuca for me, and Kahula for the wife).

One of the finest dinners I've ever had, and then we went back to the Hyatt and watched "Zack & Miri Make a Porno" and split a bottle of sparkling wine and some strawberries.

Lemme tell you... I like the partying every year for our anniversary, but it's nothing compared to just being married to my lovely wife.

I called M&S Grill this weekend to find out what their corkage fee is. I bought a lovely 95 point Châteauneuf-du-Pape that I wanted to drink on our anniversary, but I was told by M&S that they do not allow outside wine.

Thinking this to be very strange, I briefly looked up corkage laws on my phone, and it was surprised that it seems that Virginia doesn't allow corkage.

I did more research today, and the way the laws are laid out is more than odd. An ABC-ON license doesn't allow serving of any booze that was not purchased from a wholesale distributor. It does seem that most ABC-ON restaurants in Virginia are also ABC-OFF, so if you don't finish a bottle purchased at dinner, they can re-cork it for you and you can take it home.

F'ing strange.

This coming Friday, I will have been married to my lovely wife for ten years. It doesn't feel like that long most of time, but sometimes it does ;-)

Anyway, we're going to do our normal anniversary thing on Friday, which is dinner at M&S Grill (formerly Angelo and Maxie's) in Reston, maybe see a movie, and crash at the Hyatt. Oh, and during dinner, we always call my best man, and give him a load of shit for saying it wouldn't last six months. (Let's see, that makes him 20 times wrong this year!).

The big special thing we're going to do this year is Ireland. In May, we're going to spend a bit over a week in the UK, mostly Ireland, and England for a few days. So... If anyone wants to get us anything, money for Ireland is the way to go ;-)

Now, I've got to figure out something special to get her for Friday :-D

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