I actually was surprised on Friday night. Now I don't want to be cynical or anything, but I am not surprised very often, not by bad behavior, people who steal my wallet, traffic, weather changes, or poopy diapers as we are walking out the door. I have learned to anticipate almost every single one of life's little disasters because they all happen to our family, every single time they can. So, you know, I am not surprised.
I am however, completely taken off guard when people a) like me b) do nice things for me without me being in complete crisis c) take care of me without me knowing what is going to happen next.
My sister Demanda managed to gather up some of my favorite women, and make a plan to go out on Friday night they all kept the secret! We picked them all up on Friday night in our AdventureVan and went to three of my favorite places.. all to celebrate my birthday!
I was supposed to have Demanda and Jaster and her boys for the night because I thought they were headed down to the OC and stopping on their way through. When she got here I kept asking her, probably more than 5 times if she was kidding; if perhaps there weren't actually three boys hidden in her suitcase or something. But no! She came all on her own, and said she had a surprise for me.. and [gasp!] I should go take a shower and look beautiful. I started to cry because I feel like I plan every single thing ever, and here was something fun that was going to happen and I was not responsible! I had already had a day filled with snotty noses and crying children and earaches and trying to work while my precious little Lucy climbs all over me and reminds me that I never play with her because I am always working. It had really been a fun day.
Then Descartes came home from work early, with champagne, my favorite thing in the world besides my family and friends. He popped the cork, poured me a glass and I ran downstairs and got gussied up. I even put on my new boots. I know they are so ridiculous aren't they? I love them. I had already secured a babysitter, thinking that we would just go to dinner downtown with my sister.
The three of us scooted on down to Savvy Cellar where we devoured some charcuterie and some [more] champagne. Then zipped back up the hill to get the first gal on the list. Yay!
Sage was waiting in her front window, and I immediately understood why she had tried to convince me earlier in the day to stop cleaning up for my sister and take a nap. Next, we went around the bend and picked up Strecks, which is really lovely, since she's a new friend to me this year. Her daughter was the very first person Lucy played with on the very first day of preschool. Those girls are total BFFs and I think Strecks is very cool. She's also a good liar because she asked if I wanted to go to Bingo night, when she knew that we would both be drinking up delicious wines instead.
Then we went all the way up the next hill, because apparently everyone I am friends with or related to lives off the side of a hill or a mountain... and picked up Squid and Jenijen. Squid of course is also a sweet deceiver because she tried to make all of these elaborate plans to maybe meet up for a drink, but you know "maybe she wouldn't see me" because she and Jenijen were going to be seeing Avatar (and here is where I stopped and spent about 20 minutes trying to turn a beautiful picture of Squid into an Avatar. Here is a tutorial if you are thinking about it yourself. I am not that cool, nor do I have that kind of time.)
We also scooped up Pollyanna (from up on her hill) who brought along with her a
We took over a few tables outside at The Refuge, one of my favorite places to go. Jaster, Demanda, Squid, Seymour, Descartes and I have all put a dent in this place before both together and separately, so it was sad that Jaster couldn't be there because hey... Seymour joined us too! We were kind of crunched into the table, so much that I couldn't even get up to kiss anyone goodbye (sorry Seymour), but it was a nice kind of cozy, and the beer is just so good. They no longer carry my favorite Allagash Curieux so I had to switch to a new one Koningshoeven Quadrupel, which was also heavy and delicious. We had all sorts of ales and eats. It was lovely and lively and there were cupcakes from Vanilla Moon which were really decadent and with so many flavors to choose from, made me feel like I was tasting wedding cakes all over again.
We wrapped it up and headed down the street to Cask. We lost Seymour and MaryMoore, but settled down with some red, white and champagne. It wasn't very crowded so we got a real chance to talk and laugh, and take a few photos. We closed the place, and our trusty driver, Descartes shipped our tired bodies around town, dropping ladies off on doorsteps.
It really was a lovely evening with great people and wonderful food and drink.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
(All pictures by jenijen, unless she was in it, in which case I probably took it. There are more pictures coming...)