Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Surprise Party!

This past weekend the family and I drove down to Washington DC for my father-in-law’s surprise 75th birthday party. His real birthday was two weeks ago; he came over our house the previous weekend for a “real” birthday party with my little ones. Little did he know the surprise awaiting him.

His three daughters conspired over the past six months to make this a special night for him. A room at a fancy DC restaurant was set aside for the fourteen of us. My wife and her sisters decorated it with two dozen framed pictures of Bill from birth on to this Christmas past. A “75” banner was cutout and decorated with snapshots. They did up personalized napkins, coasters, and chocolate bars (that was my errand to run). 50s music played all night. Bill’s lady friend did one of those Ancestry.com genealogies for him and made copies for all the daughters. Those who could not attend wrote down memories that my sister-in-law compiled for us all. Finally, all the grandchildren wrote down “words to describe Grandpa,” and the whole thing was made into a framed “75 Reasons Why We Love You.”

The party went down Saturday night. We arrived at the restaurant a full hour before my father-in-law, and when the maître d showed him in, his look of puzzlement turned to joyful shock. It was a success. My girls did the toast, which involved reading a two-page “A Day with Grandpa” testimonial that had everyone laughing. Later in the evening I did a short funny speech describing how I first met Bill eighteen years ago – the day in March 1998 he took me, my girlfriend-later-wife, her two sisters age 11 and 14 – to Hooters! At the conclusion, I handed him his own XXXL Hooters t-shirt.

The food was delicious. I had a cheese pierogi appetizer, trout for the main course (I’m not a foodie so I can’t really describe it in details, ’cept that it tasted good), and the best butterscotch pudding I ever had for dessert. Patch had the tomato soup appetizer, which she loudly exclaimed to the group to be the best tomato soup she ever had. This prompted my brother-in-law, friends with the chef/owner of the restaurant, to take my little one to meet her. The chef gave Patch a quart of tomato soup to bring home, the same quart container that spilled on Exit 8 of the New Jersey Turnpike on the ride home Sunday.

Happy 75th Bill! Many more!

Tomorrow I will write about the awesome thing I did before the party, complete with pictures …

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