The Secret Life of Melanie O.
 
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Dan's 50th
Dan has his 50th birthday on Wednesday, but we celebrated last night. It's a truism that birthdays were meant to be celebrated on the weekend, unless you can manage to take time off from work. Dan hasn't had a birthday party since he turned 30, so this had to be a little bit special. 50 is one of those milestone birthdays that I, at least, can't let slip by, unnoticed.

The preparations were made several months in advance. I booked the local Italian restaurant, well known in the area. You can't get a table in there unless you book well in advance. And then I invited 10 of Dan's closest friends to come to dinner with us. At the last minute, there were 11, but the restaurant was accommodating.

Two of the dinner guests were a bit of a surprise for Dan. They live a good two and a half hour drive away down the highway, in Canberra. I wasn't sure they'd be able to come, so I kept it a secret from Dan. By the time they said they'd be able to make it, we decided to still keep it a secret. These are friends we haven't seen in months, so, I made sure that Dan was convinced that they would not be able to attend. Other guests had just gotten back from a trip overseas and were a little jet-lagged, but they came anyway. It's lovely to know you have such good friends.

Dan and his parents

The restaurant, Esco Pazzo lived up to its reputation. A gas fire burned in the fireplace and kept the dining area cozy. The weathered brick building with its heavy wood beams lent the perfect atmosphere for a winter meal. We all sat down and began our orders, and I was concerned that maybe our Canberra friends would not show up - but they did, and surprised Dan. He was so tickled that they drove all that way just to have dinner with us. I think, as we get older, this is what makes birthdays special - not gifts of "things," but gifts of time and good friends, food, and atmosphere.

Although it sounds cheesy, a good time was had by all. We all agreed that we would go back and have dinner at the restaurant again, and we wouldn't need a special occasion to have to go. Every time friends get together and go out and have a good time, it's a special occasion. And the food? It was fabulous. I had duck ravioli - a peppery concoction with a tomato infused bechamel sauce that was out of this world! I can still taste it in my memory and I will be going back for more at some point.

Of course, we finished up with cake, ice cream, and sparkling wine at our house, and by 10pm, people were fading. That's what happens when you have a great time, good wine and lots of laughs (and in some cases, jet lag.) The smile never left Dan's face.

Happy birthday, Dan.
posted by Melanie O. at 9:34 AM -
7 Comments:
  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger chimera said…

    happy birthday to Dan ! sounds like you organized a lovely celebration for him.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    It was really, really nice. Too bad milestone birthdays don't happen very often - but I guess that's what makes them special.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Ann said…

    Happy birthday Dan! Enjoy the next 50.

     
  • At 12:53 PM, Blogger David said…

    Happy birthday Dan!

     
  • At 12:26 AM, Blogger Anthony said…

    Happy birthday, Dan! I'm glad that you had a good time.

     
  • At 3:52 PM, Blogger Kanani said…

    That's wonderful. How nice to have a birthday party on his fiftieth --and by the way, it's hard to believe time has flown by like this!
    He looks great --but then, love will do that for you!

     
  • At 12:05 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Kanani - I know, tell me about it! Where the heck has the time gone? It's been too long and I'd love to catch up in person...

     
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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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