Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mom's Birthday Weekend Extravaganza

Last weekend I went to Bellingham, Washington to be with my family as we celebrated my mother's 70th birthday. It became a whirlwind non-stop activity filled weekend the likes of which I will need much time from which to recover . But I wanted to get a little something up here so I will just hit the highlights of the birthday weekend.

I arrived on Wednesday the actual day of my mother's birthday and we went out for dinner at Black Angus. This is my mother wearing her birthday tiara while receiving her birthday dessert. I know, that tiara is so small... I offered to bring her a crown that would announce to the whole world that she had just won Miss Universe, but she politely declined my offer saying she wanted people to talk about her and not the size of her crown. I swear, sometimes its like we're not even related.

On Friday I checked in to our hotel, The Chrysalis Inn & Spa. It is situated on the water, right above the railroad tracks. They even provide you with complimentary ear plugs ("my you have attractive ear canals!"). With the window closed, I didn't even notice the trains go by. As I told my mother, "they're quieter than the helicopters that fly over our house in LA."

The Alaska Ferry launches from Bellingham, on Friday evenings about 6:30 pm. There it goes right in the middle of the picture. This pic was taken from our hotel room window. I wish I could have stayed in my room more.

On Saturday morning I met up with my nieces and sister in law for a walk along the waterfront. This is my "athletic look" of dark denims and dress shoes, I did not plan on having any physical activity on this trip. I knew I had to be up by 9 am to be on schedule and I started waking up at 4:30 am in a panic that I had overslept. I woke up every half hour until I finally got up at 7:30 am. I am not a morning person. The photo above is us pretending to run like we are in Baywatch.

I change into my first official outfit of the day which was my "working" look of grey flannel pants and a pink button up shirt. I had to wear buttons so as to not mess up my hair when I change for the photo outfit. After the room is all set up and the decor is done, I change into a blue shirt with a blue, red and white Polo tie for photos.

Just before the launch of the Birthday Extravaganza at the Elk's club, I pose my mother in front of this mountain painting. She tells me that it was painted by her uncle Marvin. I tell her I am giving her picture my own personal title:

There is a strict schedule we have mapped out and we begin promptly at noon with a photographer brought in for family portraits. Lyle and I organize this section of the day because let's face it, that's what we do for part of our living. Everything stays on schedule and at 12:45 we are finished with photos. I change into my party outfit of jeans, a pressed white French cuff shirt and plaid blazer with black patent leather shoes because I want people to talk about my shoes and not notice me. People begin to arrive early for the 1 pm party start time. The next 3 and half hours are a blur of people, people, people. I am tested time and again as to whether or not I remember people's names or how I may know them. I only fail once (sorry Rose) but in my defence my sister says it wasn't a fair test because Rose looks too good (and now you're welcome).

I also avoid having any cake or punch to avoid a crazy sugar rush. But finally it is 3 pm and the party starts to wind down. I have my piece of cake. The next thing you know I have tied balloons to my niece and am encouraging her to run up and down the ball room.
Madness ensues with me as it's main director.

From the party I run to the hotel and change into my dinner and bowling outfit. For this I put on my orange belt and navy Polo shirt with over sized pony logo also in orange. At dinner I somehow mange to shower myself in margarita when I flip my straw out of my glass. Ice even finds its way down the back of my neck. As we leave the restaurant, Lyle begins recruiting extras for bowling.
Me and my sister, Debbie, with a ball that just happens to be marked as, "Debbie".

Gwenda & Jaymi took the bait and joined us for bowling. That was their first mistake.

Robb, Lyle & Mickey show us what bowling is really all about. Beer.

After bowling we went back to the hotel where most everyone slowed down and went to bed. I changed one last time and Robb, Scott and I went out. That made for a total of 5 wardrobe changes for the day. And you wonder why I take so much luggage when I travel?

The next day was Mother's Day. We checked out of the hotel and made our way to the Bayside Cafe for brunch.
This is the electronics haul from my two nieces and one nephew. The boring old man looking phone in silver in the middle is mine. Those kids would never use something so plain. If only I'd have had more time I could have completed that last Super Mario level for my nephew on his Game Boy. He did give me my props by telling me that I was "really good".

Our final shot of the whole crew.

And then it was time to go home.


Sherri said...

I'm thinking "more mix-n-match with accessories, less luggage", but maybe that's where you got those big manly muscles :)

I'm now approaching hauling the last of my wardrobe -- all my "work/dress" clothes -- up the stairs to the bedroom. I wonder if I can make ratty oversized T shirts de rigueur for the office this year...?

Carolyn said...

Okay, in the last photo, who is the woman wearing those fabulous green shoes? If they are Bernie Mev shoes, then I have the exact same pair in orange! If she is someone that you don't like, Jim, then I don't have those shoes in orange...
Five wardrobe changes in one day? I'm lucky if I can come up with one decent outfit a week. Shall I tell Mr. DeMille you are ready for your close-up??

Jim said...

That last photo is my family. I like them all. Though to be fair my niece Madeleine is striking an all too familiar "jim" pose and I love her for that.

The green shoes are on my sister. Perhaps she'll read this and let us know who makes those shoes.

And Sherri, trust me, I only took two belts and three pairs of shoes. One pair of my shoes weigh more than three shirts so I focus on where I can maximize my options.

Michael Guy said...

What an awesome get-together! It looks a good time was had by all. Lurve the outfit changes. What? No 'cake cutting' quick-change?!

Now you can relax a wee bit.

Got extra cake?

The T-Dude said...

Holy crap...I don't change my clothes that often in three days, let alone one! Looks like a great time.

And don't feel bad, mine is black.

"Just David!" said...

that looks like a fun weekend!! happy birthday to your mom!!!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had so much fun.
Happy Birthday Jim's Mom :-)

Rachel said...

Oooohhh! Who had the pink shuffle paper clip! Tell'em I got one too and I love it!

Lewis said...

Honey, please be careful what you say about "Little Old Ladies"...we'll all be one sooner or later. Some sooner. Some later.

TheHMC said...

Ummm... at least you Have a cell. Even though I should probably have one, I don't.
My cousins daughter, at my last baby shower in Dec, was talking about how her dad said she could have a Juke if she made the dean's list. I said "what's that"(meaning a Juke) and she goes "Uhhhhh [rolling her eyes-she's all of 11] the Dean's list? It's like the honor roll." and looked at me like I was the biggest idiot she'd ever happened upon. I told her "I KNOW what the dean's list is! I don't know what a flippin' JUKE Is".

I was stupid for not know that too, apparently.

Looks like a great time. Happy late birthday to 'yo momma!