Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best Birthday EVER!

OK... it happened. I hit the speed limit. I am 55.

I am alive, happy, not too many wrinkles and healthy. Those are all good things. You are going to have to indulge me here, as I am overflowing with joy at what I am about to share. Most of my posts are not about me, but this one is.

But this was the best birthday ever. It even tops my 8th birthday when I had my birthday party on TV on the Chucko The Birthday Clown Show! That morning we had to wake up at 4 am and take my 12 best friends (including my brother and two cousins) and their mothers to the studio for the early morning broadcast. I was caught yawning on camera. It was quite a day in my birthday history. My Chucko birthday topped the charts.... till now.

Now for the good stuff. I had been wanting to see the movie Julie and Julia, a movie about a food blogger who cooks every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering French Cooking in the space of a year. It was a great book and even a better movie because they also incorporated Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France into the movie, showing Julie and Julia going through their cooking experiences, three decades apart. Oh how I love food, Julia Child, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and of course BLOGGING! So, I told Wes, I was going to ask my girlfriends to go with me, thinking he would not care so much about seeing it. But he insisted he wanted to see it too. And he informed me that we would go see it on Friday the 14th of August, (4 days before my birthday) and then to dinner at the restaurant of my choice. He informed me that he made reservations for dinner and we were all set. Though, I thought it odd that we were going so much before my birthday.

When we arrived at the theater at 3:00 in the afternoon, I expected the usual empty theater (we normally go to art and independent films early in the day=not blockbuster material). Instead I saw a lot of people sitting there, but did not make eye contact with anyone... all of a sudden everyone stood up and said, "Happy Birthday!" And it was then that I realized that the "crowd" in the theater was a group of our dearest friends. Hugs and kisses abounded. I had never been surprised like that and it was a very sweet feeling that all of these couples took time to be part of my birthday. At least one of them had taken the day off of work to be there.

After the movie we all gathered to say good bye in the lobby and my friend Janet asked me what we were doing, I said we had made reservations at a local restaurant. She insisted that we did not want to go there, that we should come to her house for Chicken Curry. Wes immediately agreed, I attributed two reasons for this. # 1 He loves curry # 2 He would get out of paying for dinner! So Janet said she had to stop by her mom's and for us to come over at 7. We went home, walked the dog and then went to Janet and Dan's.

Here are some pictures showing what these friends of ours were up to. Photo Credits to Ricardo Zepeda and Ron Pusateri:

When we arrived it looked a bit dark inside and then as we came across the walkway to the house Dan and Janet were offering us champagne and welcoming us, then we walked in and everyone yelled, "Surprise!"

These wonderful friends of ours had created a birthday party based on Julia Child's recipes. The table on the lanai was set with crystal, silver, flowers and candles.

Janet had made little chairs from champagne cages to hold the place cards & napkins were exquisitely folded.

Keith created menus for us listing all of the courses for the dinner which were taken from Julia's Cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Here is the menu:
Kir Royale

Hors D’Oeuvres
La Tentation de Bramafam
La Brie Cuit au four avec noix de pecans
Les Entrees
Coquilles Saint Jacques la Parisienne
La Bourride
Piece de Resistance
Canard a l'Orange avec haricots verts
La Salade
Salad verte avec la sauce de vinegarette
La Fromage
Assiette de fromages
Le Dessert
Creme Brulee

Every course was served with "oohs and ahhs" and some with instantaneous applause. Each couple made one or two courses for the dinner and everything was served with panache by Ron and Keith. It was overwhelmingly exquisite. I just cannot say how precious everything was, created and delivered with such grace and love. I still get misty thinking of it. I am sure of one thing, there was no finer dinner served in Hawaii that night!
Until now, my birthday was just a day I shared with Robert Redford, Partick Swayze, Dennis Leary, Frankie Avalon and Jada Pinkett.
Here is to wonderful friends:


Del Chandler said...

What a fantastic day! Congrats and many more.

SherylR said...

What a great party and what wonderful friends. It was fun for me to recognize so many of them. Congratulations on your birthday and for having such a great husband and friends!

DaintyDoughnuts said...

You look absolutely radient at 55! What a lovely party - it looks more organized than my wedding! I love the "chair" place card holders, I may lift that idea...

Hau'oli la hanau!!!

Leslie said...

Happy Birthday, Devany! What a perfect day -- it looks like it was such a wonderful birthday. How totally great! May this be another great year for you...


Debinhawaii said...

Happy Birthday--it looks like a wonderful day even topping the one when you were little. ;-)

Lynda Lu said...

I'm so happy that you had an awesome birthday - I have a little Bell piece of trivia for you. Did you know that your baby cousin Doug cooked for Julia Child? Yes he did - before she passed away she lived at Casa Dorinda in Montecito and Doug is the sous cook there. They have theme parties and were doing a hawaiian luau once and he cooked the pig because no one else had ever done one and he had (with his brew club) and she loved it so much and had never cooked one so had him come over to ask him all about the process - he said she was very nice. My bro is ust too cool!

Happy Belated birthday sweet cousin Devany!

Love Lynda Lu

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome, two surprise parties in one day. I spent my
50th on the Big Island last March,this March the house goes on the market so we can spend the rest of our birthdays on the Big Island.