Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Save the Date

Confession: I love checking my mail.  Although it is usually the same boring mix of junk mail and bills, each day I have renewed hope that when I open the box, something new and exciting will be awaiting me.  The other day, I was excited to find a small purple envelope in my box.  The return address was a family friend in Michigan who I knew to be getting married.  We're not particularly close--the bride is the best friend of one of my sisters--so I wasn't expecting an invitation.  However, I opened it up and was delighted to find out that the wedding will be in late July, the usual time I take my long vacation to visit the fam. 

The bride, Katie, is one of the sweetest, funniest people, and she's marrying a very nice guy from our hometown.  His family is Greek and the wedding will be in the Greek Orthodox Church.  Naturally, my mind immediately cues all of the best scenes from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."  Will there be plate smashing, copious amounts of ouzo, and the constant shouting of "Opa!"???  I'm guessing not, but, like checking the mailbox, I'll hope for something exciting.  In the meantime, I leave with two of my favorite clips from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Searching for the Shamrock

Up until a few years ago, St.Patrick's Day meant one, and only one, thing to me: McDonald's Shamrock Shakes.  Seriously.  I knew that St. Patrick was from Ireland, and all the Catholic kids would wear green.  Part of me wanted to stand out and wear orange in honor of my Protestant ancestors, but I didn't know anything about religion, nor did I care.  Why?  Because it was all about Shamrock Shakes.  Because, when combined with a chocolate shake, you have one tasty, liquified Thin Mint in a cup.  And mostly because, one can only get them once a year.  I had all year to learn about religion, Protestants, and the color orange.

Finding Shamrock Shakes as a young girl in Michigan was easy; it seemed like everyone was waiting in anticipation for that random day after Valentine's when someone would go to Mickey D's and come home to say, "We asked, but they don't have them yet."  Finally, the sign behind the register would go up and word would spread: Shamrock Shakes are here!

Like Cadbury Eggs at Easter, Shamrock Shakes are a seasonal delicacy.  Also like Cadbury Eggs, I allow myself one per year--the calorie, fat, and sugar content in a small cup of minty green goo is daunting.  However, I plan it out and go in search of the stuff each year.  When I moved to DC seven years ago, it really did become a search.  I went to four or five different McDonald's last year before I could find the annual treat.  More than one cashier looked at me like I was nuts--one even took my order, then handed me a chocolate shake.  After searching at Union Station, Metro Center, Pentagon City, and perhaps Friendship Heights, I finally found Shamrock goodness at the McDonald's in Chinatown.  This year, that will be my first stop.  If that proves unsuccessful, I've discovered this Find the Shake website where people are posting where they have found the Shamrock Shake...brilliant!  And, yes, it made me feel like less of a freak, going from one McDonald's to another, inquiring about a menu item no one knew.  There are others.  :)  So, it looks like the search for the shamrock will be infinitely easier this year.  Hooray!  Now it's time to start thinking about going to the gym everyday this weekend...