Yesterday I had a birthday that turned out to be one of the more excellent ones in recent memory… It didn't start out so good — I had to clean the kitchen from the night before and then clean out the catboxes not once but twice — what is it about cats always choosing to take a dump the minute you've finished scooping their poop? Ticks me off…
Anyway, once I got the house and myself cleaned up and took Monstro to the tire place and drove him home and then took him to the dentist and drove around the area running errands and getting my free birthday rose from Nuttelman's Florist and picking up Monstro from the dentist, we went home, got my mom, sprung Lex from preschool and drove to Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle, where I ordered my favorite entree: chicken parm from the kids' menu. We had an awesome lunch and BK sang “Happy Birthday” to me at least five times, which was so cute it melted the ice in my water glass.
Once we got home I opened a big pile of presents: some running accessories, a couple of books (“Booky Wook 2” and the last “Girl Who…” novel), some ukulele music including one with nothing but Christmas carols, and cards from far-away family members with generous checks therein. Mmmm.
I took the boys on a walk (my idea, not theirs) and then at 4:00 we all had some delicious black-forest cake. I made a wish and managed to blow out the candle. Everyone had cake for dinner. Then Monstro and I got spiffed up (you know, the clothes that used to be my skinny clothes now just fit regular, without the need for supportive or constricting undergarments) and left the rest of the family in the care of our across-the-street neighbor so we could go out and eat more food.
Not sure whether I've written about Bistro Les Gras in Northampton before but people, you have got to try this place. We were still pretty full from all the rich food of the past 6 hours, so instead of ordering entrees we got samplers of cheeses and charcuterie/pates and also a plate of salami that had been marinated in red wine. Speaking of wine, when I told our server it was my birthday, he brought half-glasses of sparkling wine to both me and Monstro. Then, it turns out that on Tuesdays, they offer flights of wine — three glasses for FIVE BUCKS. Yes, you read that right. Both Monstro and I ordered that, and recited lines from “Sideways” while waiting for the bevy to arrive. This evening, they featured Beaujolais, about which I know nothing except that it's a region in France, and I only learned that after asking our server. He brought a bonus fourth glass of wine, which was the Beaujolais Nouveau from the year before, to compare against the Nouveau that had just arrived the previous Thursday (“New new Nouveau, then,” I commented). So, for those of you keeping count, we had 10 wine glasses on the table, plus we each had a glass of water, plus there were three platters of rich French yummies and a bowl of sliced baguette. Monstro, the table, and I groaned with the volume of food and drink. Everything was delicious and the server was awesome; at the end of the night I told him he had been “attentive but not cloying.”
We took what few leftovers we had (hello, cheese!) to the van and then headed to East Heaven Hot Tubs, where I received a free half-hour tub for my birthday and Monstro had to pay $20. Note to the world: Beck's “Sea Change” is the world's best CD to accompany hot-tubbing. Monstro and I staggered out of the place all limp-noodlely. It was tremendous.
Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, a man who was waiting for his outdoor hot tub told me, “you don't look a day over 26.” Hell yeah, buddy. I'll take that to the bank!
We got home safely despite the buffeting wind, and I opened my last present, which turned out to be a much-coveted bottle of Maker's 46. I poured a fingerful over ice and sipped slowly, savoring the smoky sweetness.
All-in-all, it was a banner day, made all the better by the fact that I apparently look 14 years younger than I am. Thanks, universe.