We summer-ed to the max this weekend, spending lots of time soaking in the afternoon rays and eating nearly all of our meals outdoors.  The highlights:

We spent Saturday evening out on Vashon Island, eating ourselves silly at Jack and La Verne’s garden dinner party, hosted by Michelle’s grandparents.  I could not have picked a better spot to enjoy a meal on one of the warmest days of the season – island living is so, so good.

The boys played on the lawn, chasing each other in circles and making me question our ‘urban dream’ – these wide open spaces are feelin’ pretty, pretty dreamy…

And seriously, is there anything that screams summertime more than an adorable dirt-caked face?

And the food, oooooohhhh, the food.  We always know we’re in for a treat when Jack and LaV are planning the menu, and they brought their A+ game to the table that night.  We started with perfect little cups of spicy gazpacho, and then feasted on prosciutto-wrapped figs, corn fresh from the garden, grilled steaks topped with fig-bacon marmalade, and rich chocolate cake for dessert (notice there are no photos of food after the gazpacho rolled out, since I was too busy stuffing my face with all that summery goodness to pick up my camera…).

We sat around the table in the middle of the yard and ate, and laughed, and drank wine, and soaked in the bliss that is a summer evening with good friends.  La Verne made the comment as we were driving home that evening that no matter how much time we all spend together, she never seems to get sick of any of us.  Ditto, girl…

Far too soon, it was time to catch our ferry back to Seattle.  As sad as I was to bid farewell to the island, I still left with a smile on my face, knowing that meal would go down in the books as the ultimate summer-time feast of 2011.

We were up early on Sunday morning to cheer on Jack, Jason, and Ben at the Mercer Island triathlon.  Again, more sunshine, more lounging on the grass, and, as a post-race treat, brunch out on the patio at Bennett’s (if I keep eating like this, I’m going to have to actually sign up for one of these races…).

(photo from la verne)

I set up camp on our back porch on Sunday afternoon with my book, knowing I won’t have many more chances to keep up the slight tan I’ve worked so hard for.  I suspect that in the not-too-distant future, I will already have forgotten what it feels like to actually be hot.  So when I do forget, I can look back and remind myself:  it feels dang good.

I tagged along with Shane and Jason as they played a round of frisbee golf later in the afternoon and then, determined to maximize our outdoor-hours, Shane and I grabbed dinner on the patio of a little Mexican restaurant in West Seattle.  Jumbo margaritas, anyone?

And with that, our weekend summer-fest came to a close.  Today I awoke to gray skies and didn’t once reach for my sunglasses or even think about taking off my long-sleeved cardigan.  Ah, well, it was a heck of a ride while it lasted…