Well, I guess it will happen to most of us. That birthday that used to sound SO old when you were 60, extremely old when you were 40 and positively ancient when you were 20. Richard/Rick/Dadley/Daddrick/Grandfather turned 70 on October 28th!
We had celebrated together while all the kids and grandkids were here for the wedding but I decided that since we were already in CA, we should stay an extra couple of days to enjoy his actual birthday. Monday morning, the 27th we got in our rental car and traveled to Napa Valley. I had gone there last year and had absolutely loved being in the beauty of the vineyards in the fall.
I found a great deal for what looked like a cozy little Bed and Breakfast right in the middle of the vineyards. I had saved the birthday letters to him from all his children and their spouses, our siblings and our Bulgarian “daughter” and Ukrainian “son’ in a folder, which were not to be opened until October 28th. He knew that and was much more excited about that than a kid on Christmas morning.
We ate divine pasta in an Italian Restaurant in Napa. His face says it all!
And then we went on to the famous Bouchon Bakery where we had a brownie to die for….and bought him an extraordinary birthday CUP-Cake: It’s probably the first and last time I’ll be paying $9.50 for a cupcake but honestly, how often can you find a pumpkin cupcake on someone’s 70th birthday?
That evening he gloried in the gorgeous vineyard what was literally in our backyard:
The season was over but there were a few leftover clusters withering on the vines.
And then went to The Backstreet Kitchen for a scrumptious dinner.
On the BIG DAY, we were treated to eggs benedict at the farmhouse where we were staying and Richard walked into the vineyard again armed with his precious package of letters:
He actually sat down in the dirt and read every word with delight!
He spent an hour reading and re-reading and relished every word. Some were poems. Most were memories of the keep influence he had on their lives for good. He relished every word.
Since his birthday tradition has always been jumping in the leaves, we raked up a few leaves with our hands and he tossed a few over his head and made a video to send to the fam.
Diving into the birthday “cake” was next. Fun and delicious!
Last year when I was there with some of our girls, one of the highlights was riding through the vineyards on bikes so I envisioned doing the same ride in glory with my new seventy-year-old. As with many things in life, it didn’t turn out quite as planned. The bikes had excruciatingly uncomfortable seats and there was so much traffic that we felt we were taking our lives in our hands for most of the twenty mile ride. It was so painful that we were thrilled when it ended! Ah life!
The end of the day was perfect, however, as we met Charity and Ian near the San Jose airport where we would be taking off for home shortly. A park nearby the restaurant where we had the official birthday dinner was perfect for a second jump in the leaves. It’s lots more fun when you have someone to jump in the leaves with.
Dinner was at one of Charity’s favorite restaurants in the world. We enjoyed talking about “old times” with our favorite newly married couple and they even PAID for the dinner! That was such a nice gift!
So we’re on to the eighth decade of an astonishing life! How could I be so lucky to get to live my life with this wild and wonderful, creative and crazy guy? My contribution to his collection of tributes was 70 memories of amazing things we’ve experienced together, but I won’t bore you with all that! I just have to say….“I am THE LUCKIEST!”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST 70 YEAR OLD IN THE WORLD. Sorry you other people .
To see a terrific video packed with fun slides of his life, lovingly prepared by Saren, check it out here!