Saturday, June 27, 2009

You say it's your birthday!?

I treated my daughters and their boyfriends to dinner last night. Yesterday was Sarah's birthday, and Lauren's was 3 weeks ago. Dinner was in celebration of both birthdays. Sarah chose Doc Ford's a new restaurant just over the bridge on the mainland. (they also have a Sanibel location). I called to ask if we needed reservations, somewhat tongue in cheek, as it's dead summer, and most places are barely surviving. The hostess told me they accept reservations for parties of 6 or more - we are 5. She suggested I call a half hour before we plan to arrive, which I did.
I drove - the kids decided my car was the most luxurious (<>). You'd think I was a stranger to this area, as I drove over the bridge and turned right onto Main Street, only to realize that it's one-way. I turned around and was stopped at the light to cross San Carlos, while we made fun of the car that was pulled over by the sheriff. When the light changed, I started to turn left to go back up over the bridge - SOOO not paying attention! Sarah was quick to say, NO! Go straight! I'm sure the sheriff had his eye on my erratic driving, as well!
We walked in and were told it was a 25 minute wait. Seeing the puzzled look on my face, the hostess said that had we not called 30 minutes ago, the wait would have been 45 minutes. The pla
ce was jumpin'! As we tried to figure out where we could go to wait (inside bar, outside bar, upstairs bar or downstairs bar) we ran into several friends probably checking out the new place to dine. We decided to go downstairs to wait.
Downstairs was a boardwalk with two open air bars, several tables and chairs, a stage with a two-man band playing favorites all along Hurricane Pass, part of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.
We realized that there was food service at the outside bars, so I asked if it was the same menu as upstairs, and with an affirmative response, I asked why there was a wait upstairs, and not downstairs. "Some people just don't like to eat outside" was the response. We were all OK with dining 'al fresco', it was a beautiful evening, with a view of the bay and a gentle, balmy breeze.
Ice water all around, a martini for me, beers for the kids - all except Brent, who was drinking cherry cokes.

I picked up my ice water and before it got to my lips, managed to pour it down the front of me! Well, it was only water, and my shirt was cotton, and we were outdoors and , well, it'd dry. (When we began taking photos, however, I forgot about my water front wear, and ...alas! looks a bit tacky in the photos! )

We had appetizers of tosquitos with pesto, and black beans and purple corn chips. I ordered a half pound of peel and eat shrimp and a calamari salad, with extra lemon. It was a huge plate of awesome food, and the shrimp were large, perfectly steamed. Sarah ordered salmon, Lauren ordered fish tacos, Brent ordered a cheese steak and Kevin ordered parmesean chicken.

While we were eating, a woman approached me and asked, "Did I use to work with you at the News-Press?" (Good lord...I left the News-Press in 1995!) Her face was vaguely familiar, her eyes, mostly. "Yes, I said..." not sure if I knew her... she knew me, "Michelle, right?" Her name was Susan. Darned if I can place her. I was somewhat embarassed that I didn't remember her. Kevin said, "That must mean that you're a very memorable person" (is the boyfriend sucking up to the mom?!)

For desert, Sarah ordered a chocolate martini (she didn't know we had chocolate cake waiting back at the house!)

Brent snuck away and had the band play "Happy Birthday" to Sarah.

The kids danced to island faves.
We headed back to my place, fired up 22 candles, sang and ate cake and opened gifts.
Sarah's roommate was texting her, saying that there were people coming over for her "surprise" birthday party, and where was she?
Ah, tough being a birthday girl with all the demands!!
It was a good evening.

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