Weekend: Piano Bar, Brunching & Running

What more does one need?

I guess an extra day in the weekend to recover from all the fun, but don’t we all wish that…

Matt and I started out the weekend by heading on an impromptu trip to Milwaukee on Friday night. First stop: Transfer Pizza for dinner. We’ve eaten there twice and both times loooved their pizza. My favorite so far is the “Katalina Pizza” — it has a garlic cream sauce, cheese, artichokes and salami. Definitely not a healthy option, but oh-so-delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I didn’t even take the time to snap a pic before devouring it…

After chowing down, we met up with my friend and then cabbed it to Lucille’s Piano Bar in downtown Milwaukee. This is our favorite place to go when we’re in Milwaukee. Dueling pianos are theeee best! If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, basically two people are playing at pianos/singing across from each other. The audience can take up their song requests (with some money to speed along their place in the queue). It’s popular for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, etc. because you can make the guest of honor sit up on stage while the piano players sing and play them a special song. You can imagine how this can be interesting (and hilarious) for the bachelor/bachelorette parties! Ha

Funny moment, off the bat, was when someone paid them $5 to play “Oh, Canada”—then someone brought up $10 to make them stop and play the US National Anthem instead. And because this is Milwaukee, you bet everyone stood up, put their hand over their hearts (with beer in their left hand) and sang along. Haha!

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille's Piano Bar

Singing the National Anthem at Lucille’s Piano Bar

We were out late, so Saturday morning had an equally late and slow start. Nursing some slight headaches, we headed out to brunch at a new (to us) place: Café Centraal.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Uhhh, amazing brunch! I mauled the Chile Rojo Corn Cakes: Cornmeal pancakes topped with fried eggs, chorizo, white cheddar cheese, chile rojo, salsa verde, housemade pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Sooo tasty. Kelsey got a yummy omelette, but Matt’s French Toast stole the show and we helped him eat it: Fresh berries on top of cinnamon coated challah French toast, layered with creamy mascarpone cheese and topped with basil.

Brunch in Milwaukee at Cafe Centraal

Last vestiges of the best french toast ever…

OMG, best french toast any of us had ever had. Go. Try it.

After brunch, Matt and I headed home for some errands and grocery shopping. We made dinner (Matt’s specialty, beef stroganoff) and then watched American Hustle. WOW, what a funny and great movie! I know it’s gotten all sorts of acclamations but it really is all it’s cracked up to be.


And I love J Law. And Bradley Cooper…

Ended the night reading some of my latest book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.


Had to force myself to put it away to go to sleep!

Snoozed away until this morning, then I spent a little over 3 hours (!!) getting in my long run for the week. Rest of the day’s forecast: Eat, take a nap, and relax! I’ll just leave all that house cleaning for, uh, tomorrow I guess… Why can’t the weekend have three days in it?

– – –

What was the highlight of your weekend?
Favorite book/movie of the moment?


Weekend: Food, Zombies & NYCM

An extra hour of sleep last night, sun up & shining early this morning, a hot mug of coffee, and the ING NYC marathon on TV this morning: Happy Sunday!

morning coffee

It doesn’t take much to put a smile on my face. Even that coffee mug makes me happy. I got it handmade from an island in Greece when I was on vacation there several years ago.

Enjoy the little things.

How’s your weekend been? Mine has been a good one—I’m finally feeling 90% recovered from this cold/bronchitis. I even have my appetite back. Woohoo! We’ve had a fun time with Matt’s brother, Andy, in town since Thursday night. There’s been a lot of time just hanging out and chatting, catching up. We’ve also eaten lots of good food: Gourmet burgers at Captain Mike’s, sushi, tapas and cheese and champagne. No wonder my appetite is coming back. 😉

We had a fun and laaate night out on Friday, including darts and karaoke and maybe some Jello shots, which left me sorta dragging most of yesterday. I haven’t been “out” in our town for months. Chalk it up to cutting out a lot of late night partying and drinks in general. Bars + late nights + marathon training aren’t the best mix. But now that my race is over, it’s nice to go have a few drinks and socialize on a Friday night, without worrying about waking up at 6-7am to run miles upon miles.

(However—I admit, I missed it: Getting up early to run, that feeling of accomplishment and re-centering myself. All before 9am. Something about it just makes me feel whole, makes my weekend complete. Looking forward to next Saturday morning already.)

I also got to flex my artistic skills and help Andy zombie-fy himself for a party at a club he went to with some friends last night. How creepy & real does this look!

Zombie Make-Up

Zombie Make-Up

Today is our last full day of having Andy around, and we might go do a little shopping before heading up to Milwaukee for the evening. No concrete plans for the night, but there’s plenty of places and things to stumble upon up and have a good time.

For now, I’m enjoying being up early but still rested from that extra hour of sleep, watching the NYC marathon on TV. Love that it is being broadcasted, so exciting for our sport to be on ESPN2.

ING New York City Marathon on TV

ING New York City Marathon on TV

This made me laugh—the network was interviewing a runner during the race, the reporter and cameraman running with her. Ha! That takes talent. The runners around them didn’t seem too excited about it…

What did you do this weekend? What ‘little things’ make your day? Would you dress up as a zombie?

I couldn’t dress up as a zombie, let around be at a party full of people looking like them—I HATE scary stuff and I’d be creeped out all night. Yet, The Walking Dead is one of my fave TV shows of the moment. Go figure.

Pig Wings & Comedy Clubs

This weekend was a whirlwind!

I kicked it off with my usual exciting Friday night routine.

Saturday, I woke up at 5:25am to go run my 17-miler. It was an okay run, besides my knee hurting me for the last ten miles, and I’m proud I finished it.

After my run, an ice bath, scarfing down some eggs, and a 45-minute nap, Matt and I headed out for the farmer’s market. My weekend is incomplete without stopping by there! This week’s haul was light because I have a lot of veggies left from last week (I’ve been lazy on the cooking front), but we got: sweet corn on the cob, heirloom onions, peaches, apples and…a coconut turtle cookie bar. I thought 17 miles deserved a sweet treat, no?

After that, we met some friends at a local BBQ cook-off. I love me some BBQ but I was hot and tired, so I didn’t feel like chowing down too much. However, I did enjoy a “pig wing.” What is a pig wing, you ask? I asked too: It’s made from the shank of the pig, so it’s just one bone with a big hunk of tender, tasty meat on the end—thus looking like a chicken wing, but tasting like a BBQ pork rib.

Matt was eager once again to take a flattering picture of me eating a pig wing:

eating pig wings


I tried a few bites of pork from several competitors, and left feeling pretty full and sleepy.

When we got home, the food coma took over and I took another nap for 30 minutes. I was trying to bank some rest, because we had plans for the night, and I did NOT want to conk out before 10pm like I have the last two weekends.

We went to a good friend’s house in Milwaukee for some grilling out & drinks around dinnertime, and then hit up Comedy Sportz Club in downtown Milwaukee at 10pm. We had a BLAST! It was a lot of fun and we were constantly laughing. It was only $10 for the show, and the drinks there were relatively inexpensive too. I definitely recommend it for a fun night out, any local people out there. 🙂

We had such a good time at the 10 o’clock show that we stayed for the midnight “adult” show, but it was kind of a letdown compared to the first show. I think they relied too much on crude humor, so it wasn’t actually that funny (to me), but still, we had fun.

We didn’t get to bed until almost 3am—YAWN—so Sunday was a sleepy day. I went to my running club’s summer family picnic, where I ate some yummy food, had a beer & just chatted with everyone about running, life & fun stuff for a couple hours. When I got home, I must have been tired, because I conked out on the couch for 45 minutes. Ha! I never nap, but this weekend was full of them.

We topped off the weekend with a cheese plate to much on in the early afternoon:

cheese plate

Dill Havarti, Sweet Smoked Swiss, Aged Vermont Cheddar (I forget the fourth kind, but it was tasty!). We paired the cheese with some whole grain crackers, honey (so good with the cheddar), and apple slices. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs!

We followed that up with Matt’s special lasagna a few hours later—complete with homemade family recipe sauce. Mmm. It is my favorite meal in the world. We finished out the night with two of our favorite TV shows right now: Breaking Bad and The Newsroom.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Did you do anything fun? What’s your favorite way to end the weekend? Any favorite TV shows?