Through the 4th

I was home in the city just long enough to unpack my bags before heading to Connecticut on Saturday morning to celebrate my favorite ginger's 25th birthday! 

Allison pushed off her birthday celebration from the beginning of May all the way until the last weekend in June since it was the first time I was home for a weekend...because she's the best. 

It was an awesome day where we rented a van that drove us to two different CT wineries before dropping us back off at Allison's apartment. 

I made my way back to Long Island that night hoping to make my cousin's high school graduation party, but that didn't end up happening.

I DID get to see Morgan, home for a rare break from med school before her new year in Denver. She BETTER get her butt to a November Project workout soon! Morgan and I always pick up right where we left off, which is the best feeling. 

Monday and Tuesday I took personal days otherwise they would have expired. Tuesday I leisurely headed back into the city for a date with Peter at MEOW PARLOUR! It was really clean inside, the kitties were super cute, the cookies that you can buy from the cafe around the corner were delicious, and we stayed for an hour since Doodle was thoroughly entertaining us. If you're looking to adopt a cat - go here! Or, if you just want to play with kitties. 

After Meow Parlour we watched some women's world cup soccer from The Loreley

I only had 1.5 days of work that week because we got out of work early on Thursday and had off on Friday for Fourth of July weekend. 

As soon as work was over on Thursday I booked it to Penn Station and boarded the train for Montauk. Dear lord, it was craziness. I've never seen so many people on the LIRR in my entire life. 

The ride was loooong. My parents picked me up and drove Jess and Kevin to their house, where I would be staying Friday and Saturday nights! But Thursday night was bonding time with modge and podge, who were also staying in Montauk for the weekend. 

We went to eat at a new restaurant called The Muse. The decor was awesome - open, airy, beachy, with really awesome floors that looked like old worn wood panels but totally weren't. The bar lit up cool colors, too.  

First, we split the Tuna "Menage a Trois" 

1) Ahi Tuna Tartar atop Vegetable Tabouli - For the Tabouli, they used Israeli Couscous which added a unique texture
2) Blackened Tuna Lollipop topped with Candied Wasabi Crust on Whipped Avocado - I'm not a huge fan of wasabi flavored things, so this wasn't my favorite
3) Hot Stone Seared Tuna Carpaccio with Seaweed Salad - This was probably my favorite, because I love seaweed salad, and because it came with a spicy mayo sauce. 

Next, we split the Mussels a la Muse. 

Oh. My. God.
These was by far the most amazing mussel dish I've ever had. When it comes to mussels, it's not really the mussel that's the impressive part, but what surrounds the little guys.  This dish came with a Prosecco Butter Sauce (uh, yes), Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Cured Tomatoes, Giganta Beans and grilled Italian bread. 

The combination of artichoke hearts and beans (with some Parmigiano-Reggiano on top for good measure) was so hearty and filling and the Prosecco Butter Sauce was addictive. 

I've been to Flex Mussels in the city, which specializes in bowls of different themed mussels, but The Muse had them beat! 

For dinner I ordered the "Bacon N Eggs Breakfast Salad" which, I'll just cut to the chase, was a disappointment. 

I should have listened to the waitress when she said she preferred the Summer Apple Salad. Or, realistically, just stopped trying to be good by ordering a salad and ordered something from the real menu. Oh well! Luckily, I was stuffed from the appetizers already and my parents obviously let me eat as much as I wanted from their plates! 

The salad came with grilled pork belly and a poached egg over frissee tossed in a maple cider vinaigrette with French toast croutons. 

The pork belly was fatty and I really didn't like it. Other than that, the rest of the salad was great! Yolk from the egg mixed with the maple cider vinaigrette was delicious and the French taste croutons were like little bites of dessert mixed into my salad. 

I honestly can't remember which of the fish entrees my mom ordered, and looking at the menu I can't even match it up to this picture. It's driving me slightly crazy. 

I want to say it was the Cajun Spiced Atlantic Cod served on Charred L.I. Corn & Saffron Hummus with House Grown Micro Greens, Honey, Black Vinegar Gastrique, Avocado Aioli, Chili Oil, and Fried Hominy.

My dad ordered what I peer-pressured him into ordering - "Muse's World Famous Sausage." 

The pinwheel pork sausage had roast tomato, artichoke & feta-cheese inside of it and was served with sweet potato green apple chutney and a honey mustard barbecue sauce. 

We didn't do dessert, but I did walk next door for some froyo afterwards and my dad, who isn't usually a sweets person, was totally blown away by it. Maybe now he'll be a little more understanding when my froyo comes to $9. 

My drink was tasty too - I think some kind of watermelon drink but I can't remember exactly. 

Overall, I don't think any of us were absolutely BLOWN AWAY by our entrees, but we WERE obsessed with those mussels, and the general feel of the restaurant was really nice. 

After dinner we headed to the Sloppy Tuna for a drink at the bar and to meet up with my parents friends before heading to bed. 

(My best friend, for real.)

In the morning, we woke up and DAMN was the view nice. We were right. on. the. ocean. Beautiful. 

I struggled to run two miles (we'll get to all of that at some other time...) and went for a yoga class! 

(My mom was standing IN the hotel room when she took this picture!)

When I got back, my parents and I headed to the hotel's restaurant for a free breakfast and I got some egg whites with home fries, toast and fruit. 

Then, BEACH!

It was perfect out, and I felt no need to jump in the water. 

Peter and my friends were all on their way out to Montauk from the city and I was waiting to head over to Jess and Kevin's until they arrived. Unfortunately, the LIRR was even more of a mess on Friday than it had been on Thursday night, and they had had to get on a bus since there were thousands of people and hundreds that couldn't fit on the train. 

Eventually, I knew they were close so I said goodbye to my parents and they dropped me off at the house. Once everyone arrived we ate some lunch and went to the beach for some late afternoon sun and relaxation. That night, we pigged out on pizza, drank a LOT of alcohol, played some games, attempted to go to Sloppy Tuna, and generally just had a great time. 

Fun story - the line for Sloppy Tuna was SO LONG and when we got there with a group of 20 of us, we knew there was no way we were all getting in. But my parents had been waiting in there for me for about an hour and I felt awful! Well, as usual, my dad had made some friends, and I was able to go up to the bouncer and get in! I saw my parents for a little bit before heading out to meet back up with the group. 

True Life: My parents are so much cooler than me! 

Surprisingly, everyone was up and out at a decent hour the next morning for a Fourth of July spent on the beach. I wasn't feeling so hot, but eventually, felt good enough to eat some ice cream at John's Drive In. I also went with Peter to John's Pancakes where he had a CANNOLI PANCAKE! It was literally rolled up and stuffed with cannoli cream and it was probably the best pancake I've ever had (aside from my mom's banana pancakes, DON'T WORRY MOM!) 

Later that afternoon we went to a bar before heading back to the house for pulled pork sandwiches and more games and drinks. 

Not ready to give up the sun and sand, Sunday morning we again got up bright and early and headed to the beach for a few hours before we had to head home on the good old LIRR. It was a long day of travel, but totally work it for the tan I got that weekend! 

Finally bronzed!