As we say above, this is mainly for friends and family. Michael's blog on the Middle East can be found here. Most of our other links can be found below on the right, but be sure to keep up as well with our family website, here. We also have discussion groups for genealogy, links to genealogical information on us, and our (semi-private) Flickr and YouTube accounts for those who are invited. You can also get a quick-navigation guide here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The 10th Birthday Adventure

Beginning April 9 and ending earlier today we have been engaged in the week-plus-long celebration of Sarah's 10th birthday. (I know, the cake is short a couple of candles. She said not to put any more on.)

I've posted to Facebook a couple of times, to update folks, but I should record the fuller version here for posterity.

The actual birthday weekend began with Friday the 9th, the day before her birthday, since her school was closed for the week after Easter (and I work from home on Fridays). So it was an old-fashioned "Daddy day." She had asked for lunch at La Madeleine, which I had promised to accommodate, except our local branch was closed for technical reasons. (Oven or refrigeration I would assume.) So instead we at Moe's Mexican semi-fast food, and then went to a local music store because one of her requests was a keyboard. Though we were prepared to order online, in fact she found one she liked within our budget, so we bought it on the spot. We also visited Best Buy for a video game and a DVD, and Tam gave her clothes.

Friday evening was a standard evening at home, but Saturday was entirely her call. She wanted to go to the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD, one of her favorite museums on sea life. We did so (Sarah and Tam trying to see a snake swimming under the boardwalk in pic at right), had barbecue for First Lunch and crabcakes for Second Lunch (sort of high tea: when we're on the road and there's good food to be had, we do not limit stops). Sarah used to order chicken fingers at the crab place. Now she likes crabcakes. A sign of maturity, but of course it costs more.

We went on down to Point Lookout, where the Potomac flows into Chesapeake bay, and collected seashells along the bay (the final picture below), then returned to Virginia, stopped at Hard Times Cafe for carryout chili (another specific request), and headed home.

On Sunday it was quieter; we took the dog for a walk mostly, though we did get lunch at La Madeleine, which had reopened since Friday, thus crossing that request off the list. And then we did the big dinner she had requested: Peking Gourmet, a very upmarket Chinese place in our neighborhood. (In the link you can see the many pictures on the walls: this was a big hangout for the George H.W. Bush (Bush 41) Administration, but also draws lots of other celebrities. We knew we'd never get it on Saturday (the actual birthday), so we did it on Sunday. Mom and Dad splurged for Peking Duck, the specialty; Sarah had a Singapore noodle dish.

That was the actual birthday weekend. But she had also asked for a small sleepover with some of her best friends, and since one of them was in California on the actual birthday weekend, we put it on the following weekend, this one. Her friends — Elizabeth and Katerhine — got together at 6:30 yesterday and finally dispersed at noon today. They may have slept in there somewhere. Despite a TV, a laptop with Internet, and a Wii with three controllers and several games, we did get at least one "Mom, Dad, we don't have anything to do." All requested snacks and stuff were provided. Late at night they started on ghost stories. They were up long past Tam and a bit past me, but were still up by 9:30 or so on Sunday.

So there. You only turn ten once, and while this one has left the budget a bit thin till payday, I think we delivered in style. Every requested meal and venue, within reason and budget.

Ten years. In July we'll have been her parents for nine. And in only eight, she'll be going to college. A watershed has been passed. She's not a little kid anymore.

I feel old. But then, I'm 62, and most of my contemporaries were doing this in their early 30s. So I guess I am old.