Fridge working. Ramada near completion. String lights in place and Lila sadly put to bed (no stepping out in fancy dress after all). Most delicious lemon poundcake in the world happily baked and glazed. Chicken tikkas and salmon-chickpea salad plated and/or bowled. Asparagus expertly blanched (by Julie). Olives marinated; cranberry juice mixed; and nuts toasted, spiced, and mixed with butter.
And thus the cocktail party commenced.
We invited some of our oldest and closest friends over, forced them to dress up and act classy dammit, and let them have at it at the well-stocked-and-Mexican-paper-flower-bedecked bar.
Eugene was an excellent bartender. He made a mean espresso martini. Stacy and Mike brought fresh mint from their garden for the mojitos. Jen and Joe arrived with sleepy baby Sam. Grant provided the vodka that saved the evening from certain disaster. Art brought genteel humor and reisling. Good looks and sophistication were generously provided by Jen and Tyler. Joe brought the questionable jokes. Sara, Tom, and Christine brought the embarassing Pecos conference stories (causing Jonathan to bring out the raised eyebrows and scandalized expression). And Raphael was happily reunited with Sidney, the surprise guest of the evening, fresh from Sudan, who had smuggled in stories of kidnapping attempts and archaeology gone wild. Everyone brought something.
Our guests were invited to take a tip from the tip jar.
The bartender was outstanding and swankily dressed.
Tom and Christine, probably reminiscing about Pecos
Eugene and Joe broke into the secret Dos Equis stash
Alicia (who brought great new job news) and I (worried that Joe was about to break the camera)
Mike, one of our Mint Friends
Alicia (still celebrating)
Me, Julie, and Jackalope
Tyler and Sid, suave as evah, hiding out on the front porch with sexy ladies Kim and Clariza
Tyler, still suave, and Jen, both Evil and tall
Raphael and Grant (a successful party always needs some Troublemakers)