A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...

I had a birth-weekend this year. As is appropriate considering I have now reached the grand age of 57! (No wisecracks, Chiloe!) Other than the creaky knees (which I blame on obesity rather than age) I don't feel any older than I did at 47, 37, or even 27. I'll share about our 4th of July celebration in Utah in another post, but I will mention here that someone in the crowd asked if I had a grandchild in the parade we were watching and it was the first time I've ever truly felt my age. And you know what's sad? I don't even have any grandchildren!

So, enough bemoaning the mathematics of the day and on to the spoilage of this ancient soul.

As is the custom in my family, we "clustered" the celebration of everyone in the family who needed to be honored in June. That included my BIL, my father (for Father's Day) and then we pulled in my oldest son who turned 30 (t-h-i-r-t-y, yes Chiloe, you can make a wisecrack NOW) on July 2.

I had already given my dad his gift, a Thursday, June 19 trip to Disneyland to enjoy the All American College Band. We had a great time. We actually talked - probably the most we've ever talked - all the way there (about 1.5 hour drive from his house). When we got to the park we were early enough that we parked in the outside lot. Normally I don't like that, but because Dad consented to let me push him in the wheelchair it was a lot easier to get to the restrooms and tram area from the outside lot than from inside the Mickey and Friends lot. The first thing we had to do was pay for the day ticket. Dad has an annual passport, but the day we chose was a block-out day which means I had to pay an additional $40 to get him in. Disneyland is celebrating the second year of their "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion and we got a dream come true when they upgraded Dad's passport to the next level up for no extra charge beyond my $40. This means that for the rest of his passport year (into late March) he will have some Sundays that he can join the rest of the family at the park, something he will love!

Once we had the ticket business taken care of we headed into Disneyland for breakfast at Cafe Orleans. We finished in time to go back out to the gate area for the first set of the Disneyland Band. They did an awesome set, a combination of jazz, marches and Disney music.)

From there we headed over to California Adventure for a ride on my Dad's favorite ever ride, Soarin' Over California, and back again to catch a set of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. By this time it was finally time for the first set of the All American College Band - whoooo hoooo!

This group plays in corps style which means the sound penetrates right through your soul. We managed to catch five different performances in different areas of the park. Before the last set (my favorite, right in front of the Main Street RR Station) Dad treated me to dinner in the air-conditioned Plaza Inn restaurant (it was a very warm day so the cool was much appreciated.) After the last set at 7:00 PM we headed out.

Because we were leaving fairly early (before fireworks and Fantasmic!) there wasn't much of a wait for a tram to the parking area. Usually I take the wheelchair up onto the wheelchair ramp (which is some distance behind where everyone else waits for the tram pick-up) where an incoming tram will stop and pick us up. Then, usually, the tram moves forward to where the other riders are waiting and will fill up. When the tram is full, it moves on to the parking area. So, this evening we went to the wheelchair ramp and were picked up as we expected. The tram in front of us was not quite full so, after waiting for a couple of minutes, our tram driver pulled a u-turn and brought us back in an otherwise empty tram. When we got back to the parking area I asked the pilot, "Is a privately chauffered tram ride one of the Year of a Million Dreams prizes?" He cracked up, then said he just decided to bring us back by ourselves. What a hoot! I appreciated not having to deal with the stroller people.

Friday was a day to pack for our Utah vacation and get my own gifts ready for Saturday's bash. I did a pretty good job of getting everything together, if I do say so myself. The bash started at 3:00. It was originally planned for my sister's house, but SoCA had been having an amazing heat wave (afternoon temps of 120 degrees and she doesn't have air conditioning) so she shifted the venue to my parents' house (they have air in the large family room so at least we could stay cool as long as we stayed in that room.)

I had asked my kids and husband not to give me anything for my birthday. I have "stuff" everywhere and not an inch for anything more. I told them that going with me to Disneyland on Sunday (my actual birthday) was enough for me. DH knew he would be paying for everyone's meals and my younger son is pretty much totally broke so they complied. There was no way, however, to convince the rest of the family to follow suit so - at their urging - I had created a birthday gift wish list and they really spoiled me! My brother and sister-in-law and her daughter gave me five yummy fabrics from Mary Kathryn's online shop.

Aren't they just yummy? And my SIL said that Mary Kathryn's shop is super easy to use. When I emailed the list to everyone, I had included a direct link to the fabrics on my wish list and SIL said that helped her navigate the shop (since she doesn't stitch and had no idea what I was asking for.) And, as if that wasn't enough (and it was), SIL also gave me this fantastic pot full of flowers.

The sweet little birds were my gift from my older son and DIL. The two little birds (representing diversity, I think, since they are not of the same specie) sit on a little sign that says, "Love Lives Here."

My sis and her family gave me my very favorite WebKinz animal, the black and white cheeky dog (now retired) and some trading cards.

As always, my folks went way overboard but I'm not complaining. My presents started on Thursday when Dad and I got to their house after our Disneyland trip. Mom let me unwrap a kit by McKenna Ryan

and then pointed to a large self-healing cutting mat sitting on the dining table. "You have to take this, too, 'cause I'm sick of smelling it and I don't want to wrap it." My mom is one of the sweetest people you'd ever want to meet, so this just made me laugh it was so out of character. I took my mat with gratitude since my old mat - after twenty five years of use - is just flat worn out.

My folks also gave me a dvd set from Walt Disney Treasury called Disneyland: Secrets, Stories & Magic (which I'm watching right now) and a copy of National Treasure (a boo-boo because I had asked for the second movie but I still appreciated it.) And my mom must have spent an hour on the phone ordering a set of floss for a BAP that I'm looking forward to stitching after I retire.

The very next day (my REAL birthday) DH, both sons and my DIL joined me for a terrific (although hot) day at Disneyland. I got a "Happy Birthday" sticker and really enjoyed being wished "Happy Birthday" all day. We started at Disneyland by watching a few minutes of Michael Pollock's Ragtime piano. We had planned to come back for a full set (I'm a huge fan of Ragtime Michael) but didn't make it back that day. I think one of the highlights of our day was taking my DIL onto Splash Mountain for the first time. My brat son (her husband) told the castmember that it was her first time and asked if she could ride in the front.

While we waited in the line and rode Splash Mountain, my husband made one of his dreams come true by having his picture taken with his favorite character.

DH treated us all to lunch (really, why do people love the Monte Cristo? I love fatty foods but this is a mouthful of grease that even I can't handle) and then we headed over to California Adventure for a ride on Soarin'. Then my family let me step away from them (they didn't mind 'cause they stayed in the shade while I went into the sun) to watch the new parade in DCA (I love the Disney parades!)

Our happy day ended with shared ice cream sundaes for dinner and then leaving for home. It was a pretty early ending of the day (for me, anyway) but since DH and I were leaving the next day for the first part of our vacation trip I didn't mind.

What a great birthday!

1 comment:

Chiloe said...

If you were my mom you already had 5 grand kids: no, I didn't say anything !!! lol Do you know if your son and DIl have some baby projects in the near future?

I'm jealous of your DMC threads : so yummy !!! ;-) You got great gifts but you deserve it.

Now I need to check this new online store I didn't know !!!