Anyway, our first full day in California was my birthiversary.
And it was a good one.
I can't, of course, say it was the best ever, because, obviously, the best ever would be the first one: July 19, 1996. My 23rd birthday, and the day I got married.
So go ahead and do the math. I'll wait. You can leave the 'no spring chicken/mind is going and memory fading/you are old enough to be a grandma if you and your daughter were both teen moms' jokes in the comments.
The day started with my official birthday cake: a delicious maple bar from Donuts #2 in Encinitas. And an apple fritter, if you are going to insist on full caloric disclosure.
I must say, every birthday should start with Donuts #2.
(I like to take every opportunity to say Donuts #2. Is like worst possible name for a donut shop. Donuts #1 nearly as bad, but Donuts #3 is not even funny, so possibly worse?)
Then, after I'd squeezed my sugar-bloated donut belly into my new skinny-lady jeans (that I bought at Hub in Scottsdale because I am getting skinny, or was getting skinny until I went on vacation and gained $%&@#! pounds), my Mom, Jen and I headed to Anthropologie, where we found some lovely tops (we knew we would. We always do). Jen said my birthday party had the best party favors ever (the tops), and she wants to be invited again next year. Yeah, me too. Thanks, Mom! Then we got some tasty green corn tamales at the Yellow Coyote. Pants were already stretched nearly to limit, but there was still more to come.
Meanwhile, Jake had taken all four children to the Swap Meet all the way down by Sea World. They came home with a trash bag full of Legos, some fancy in-line skates for Jake, some parasols, black market Pokemon cards, and flowers for me. They returned pretty exhausted by all dickering. (I never pass up any opportunity to use the word 'dickering'.) Then, they all went swimming while I arranged flowers and put on one of my new tops.
Mom came over to watch the kids, and Jake and I, (with Jen and Andrew) drove down the coast a few miles to Jake's Del Mar for an anniversary dinner. Jake had wrangled us a table overlooking the water, and as the sun set, we could see dozens of dolphins diving in and out of the waves, alongside the surfers. (At first, I thought they were sharks, became very agitated, and nearly called 911, but then I didn't.)Here's the crew at Jake's. No, those are not bits of Stonehenge peeking out from behind Andrew's head (yes, they are). This is 100% kosher photo (is our actual table, is actually us, is actual dolphin, is digital creation). Maybe I should learn to take pictures at the scene of the crime? Is an interesting idea. Will mull it over.
I ordered artichoke fritters and calamari, apple and walnut salad, and some pecan-crusted halibut. Jen accused me of having a crush on the curly-headed waiter, and even when I pretended to a small one, Jake did not have the good manners to act the jealous cuckold. I forgot his rudeness when dessert arrived: a giant slice of hula pie. I keep coming back to Jake's Del Mar for this perfect confection of macadamia nut ice cream, chocolate cookie crust, fudge sauce and more macadamia nuts. Is a party on a plate.
Every day should end with a giant slice of hula pie.
Finally, as I unzipped my jeans and rode back to Carlsbad with the seat reclined, listening to Coldplay, I realized I had barely set eyes on my kids all the day whole day long. Not since the Donuts #2.
I've got to say, it was the second best birthiversary ever.