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Eight Years!

Location: Rivoli, Berkeley, CA

Yesterday was our eighth wedding anniversary, and to celebrate, we went out to one of our favorite Berkeley restaurants: Rivoli. Steve takes credit for discovering it last year for my birthday, and in this case, he definitely gets kudos. 

We started by sharing the handmade gnocchi stuffed with some kind of semi-sweet yumminess, and the portobello mushroom fritters covered in slices of parmesan cheese. Wow. Steve had the Pot Roast... he started sharing bits of it before I could even taste my food. Spinach like I've never tasted before, some kind of smooth mushroom tart. It took me a while to realize he hadn't let me taste the pot roast itself, which is a dead giveaway that it was even better than the rest of the sides. I had the spicy Moroccan plate, consisting of grilled lamb, merguez sausage and some kind of shredded duck stuffed in phylo, all over couscous with traditional cucumber yogurt sauce. I had been hoping for a seriously spicy dish like I used to get in France at authentic Moroccan restaurants, which it wasn't... but it was incredibly flavorful and delicious all the same. I decimated it before Steve even had a chance to ask if it was good. For dessert, we went with the chocolate boudin, which is apparently short for warm-gooey-amazing-goodness, topped with vanilla ice cream and just the perfect hint of orange peel sauce to give it that little extra something. Of course, the Chateauneuf-du-pape didn't go amiss, either. All in all, it was yet another phenomenal meal from our favorite upscale hole in the wall. 

Beyond the amazing food, I loved taking a moment out of our crazy life transition to appreciate how much we've been through together, and how good life is.

Earlier in the week we got to celebrate another milestone: Apollo's first birthday. Well, it was actually a couple weeks late, but it was perfect because we got to celebrate with all the rest of his litter. So we headed down to Hap Magee dog park in Danville for a "mellow" picnic with 12 labs. All of Apollo's four brothers, their mom, grandmom, uncle (who is a bruising 100+ lbs!), one sister and several other somehow related labs frolicked together for a couple hours. It was so funny to compare stories, and see all the similarities. Of course, I had always thought Apollo was a big guy at 70 lbs, but it turns out he's a bit of the runt - several of his brothers were 80-85 lbs!

In the end, Apollo distinguished himself as the best at "keep away." So proud. He is also the only one who doesn't yet lift his leg to pee... hmm. We had brought a pan of cinnamon rolls to the picnic, only half of which were eaten. At the time I was glad Apollo hadn't been picnic surfing quite as bad as some of his siblings... but apparently he was saving up. When we got home, he managed to retrieve the rest of the rolls from the counter and finish them off. The Vet had a good laugh when I called; luckily cinnamon is not as poisonous as chocolate, though the sugar rush made him a right pain in the butt. 

In the meantime, Steve and I are getting closer and closer to forging our new direction in life. We may yet decide to leverage our past experience and start ourselves a little company, but this time together, and just us. It involves moving to the Caribbean. It may even involve this blog. We've licensed a domain name, and come up with a code name - L Squared - because, well, every good company starts with a code name. To find out what it is... stay tuned!!

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