Who Needs Thanksgiving for Great Meals and Fun?

Being a vegetarian and having most of my family in CA, Thanksgiving is not exactly high on my list as  my fav holidays so I don’t really do much to celebrate it on the actual day.  However, this year I did have some fun get-togethers to kickstart the holiday season.

My former co-workers and me

My former co-workers and me

On Friday, I had previous colleagues from my suburban school district days as a speech pathologist (how’s that for a mouthful…I know a good speech therapist that can help you with articulating that!) over to ‘do’ lunch.  Since most of us are retired, conversation did not cover much about the insanity of working in special education but rather revolved around family, what we’re doing with ourselves and how much fun it is to be doing what we want (and getting to go to the bathroom whenever we really need to instead of holding it FOREVER!)  We had lots of good vegetarian food and even some great wine…another thing we could NEVER do while working!!!

What a fun time we had and how full we all were!

That evening, I met with another group of friends from my days as a singer in Vaud-Villities at Mellow Mushroom for dinner and laughs.  I love that restaurant but Friday nights there are pandemonium!!  Of course, we had fun no matter.  Yes, I also was a songstress.  Actually, that was one of my first forays in the world of artistic endeavors.  That was what I wanted to be when I grew up but alas, my dad wanted me to have gainful employment so speech therapy took over…have to say that I don’t regret that now that I can look back although at the time, I felt like my dreams were being squelched.  Anyway, I digress!  We had a wonderful time catching up and eating and planning the next time we’d meet.

pasqualesIn addition to those fun times, my guy was in town and we chose Wednesday as a day to play and take in Uptown Westerville as we have never really visited all of the shops there.  We were starving (geez, seems all I write about is eating!) so we started our adventure at Pasquale’s for  a late lunch.  OMG…their pizza was delizioso!  tu mangi!  I haven’t been there is ages and would highly recommend going there to anyone who really loves a more traditionally prepared Italian pizza without tons of cheese.

From there, we ventured down State Street and stopped in Ohio Art Market. ohio art As they explain on their FB page:

Ohio Art Market has been in historic uptown Westerville for more than 2 years. The store features Ohio Artists and offers an extensive variety of hand made items. We have original art, jewelry, things for the home and gourmet treats for both you and your furry friends along with items that are uniquely Westerville. Come in and find the perfect unique gift made right here in Ohio!

And their description is spot on!  Although they have been there for over 2 years, I’m embarrassed to say this was my first visit. They feature artists from all over Ohio, many of which create some very upscale items.  There are also many from Central Ohio and the Westerville area.  I honed in on a few that were so unique, especially a milliner who makes the most deliciously crafted little hats!  I got several cards and plan on interviewing some of these folks soon so make sure to keep checking back for my featured artist posts!  I will definitely be heading there more often! https://www.facebook.com/ohioartmarket

Next we foraged through one of our favorite antique stores, Westerville Antiques-Collectibles on North State. stinky Of course, part of the allure is their kitty, Stinky, who looks just like Ron’s big guy, Big Fat Kitty…She is just gorgeous and loves to sleep in the funniest places.  If you are looking for fun items to upcycle or repurpose in your art, this place is the bomb!  Great buttons, old postcards, jewelry, so much stuff!  We love hanging out there, searching, laughing and talking to both of the owners as well as seeing the kitty princess.

stinky sleepsFrom there we stopped at Good Vibes Winery and were lucky enough to see the owner and winemaker, himself, Tony.  Ron had never been there so Tony gave him a brief tour and then told us about his limited bottles of Happy Togethergood vibes

(he only made 120 small bottles of this scrumptious dessert wine that combines overtones of chocolate with cherries and raspberries).  I decided to splurge and bought a bottle of this sweetness and would highly recommend you get yourself in there and get a bottle while the getting is good!   http://www.good-vibes-winery.com/

olive storefronttwist on lolivesolives

As we were headed to the car, we noticed a chalkboard sign directing us into one of the Uptown alleys where there are fun little boutiques …having owned my own catering business and cooking school in another life time, I was enthralled by the sign’s indication that there was olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings being held just a few steps away.  We were rewarded with one of the best finds of the day, a little shop called A Twist on Olives and it’s owner, Rosa.  Not only did we get to sample some of her exquisite oils and vinegars, we learned more about her, her background and her Italian heritage.  What a delight it was to meet her and hear her and Ron compare notes about being brought up in an Italian family!  We tasted several types but settled on Persian Lime EVOO, Green Chile EVOO and Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar.  When combined, the Persian Lime and balsamic vinegar, make a divine vinaigrette that I got to taste while at the store.  That is something that is really pretty cool about this shop….you are encouraged to not only taste individual flavors but they make recommendations about what vinegars and oils make good combos; giving you small containers to actually make the vinaigrette  so you can experiment before buying.  I was psyched that we took this detour to meet Rosa, learn more about her store and have a great place so close to home to buy gourmet condiments!  http://www.atwistonolives

What a delightful couple of days….I won’t feel like I am missing much on Thursday when most of you will be slaving over the stove and hanging with friends and family.  I will most likely be vegging out in my p.j.’s for a good portion of the day, taking Aroon for a walk and getting myself psyched for Alternative Fashion Mob’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday shopping events!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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