16 hours ago
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Mom's 60th Birthday
Someone's 60th birthday only comes along...well...once in a lifetime. Ya, I know pretty much every birthday only comes along once in a lifetime...I was being dramatic. Anyway, the big 60 is a pretty big marker and since she was NOT looking forward to turning the big 6 - 0, we knew exactly what we had to do. My sister, my brother and I knew that we had to throw her a surprise party...and not just any surprise party, either. It had to be BIG.
We began our devious planning during the Thanksgiving holidays. We did research online--okay, pretty much my sister and I did the research and my brother sent money when we told him to--but, whatever.
I did an online query for large party accommodations near Bass Lake (a really pretty lake near where my mom lives) and The Gaines Burrow is the first thing that popped up. If you get the chance check out their site and take a look at all the gorgeous pictures. I can tell you, though, that the pictures don't do the cabin justice. It was so beautiful and roomy and cozy at the same time. I am trying to get some pictures from my grandmother and my daughter of our weekend (can you believe I forgot my camera??? I know, I should be expelled from Blogland.)
We had the best time and my mom was completely and totally surprised. She had absolutely no idea what we were planning. My little sister lives on the ranch but both myself and my younger brother lives hours away in different directions. We both made up excuses for not being able to make it over for the weekend and since neither of us were able to come for Christmas either, she was feeling a little bit...ahem...sorry for herself, I'm thinking. Pretty down in the dumps. And my little sister was just kind of playing the whole birthday thing down like it wasn't really anything special.
I made the 2-1/2 hour drive early Friday morning and arrived at the ranch at about 10 am. Mom was already at work so my sister and I did our best to pack a weekend bag for both her and Jim and some other stuff we knew we would need for the weekend then we headed up to the cabin to get everything put away and put up all the birthday decorations.
My grandmother had been cooking for three days so we were well supplied with food. She had made dinner for Friday night beforehand and I was going to make Lasagna for Saturday night. She also had us very stocked up on desserts. It was a very high calorie weekend, I'm afraid, but it was soooo worth it.
So, the plan was this: my aunt was flying in from Washington State in the early afternoon and would be picked up in San Francisco by my brother and his partner, Ken, who live there. They would then start the drive over to the cabin. This got kind of messed up when her plane was delayed due to fog in San Fran but it worked out.
Some friends of my mom and Jim's picked them up from work at 6 pm under the guise of taking my mom to dinner for her birthday. When they arrived at the cabin my grandmother, my sister & her boyfriend, my niece, myself, my daughter, my son and another couple that are friends of my mom's were all hiding inside. Their friends told them they had some business to take care of inside and they all needed to go in (ya, my mom was kind of freaking out at this point, LOL (just what kind of business did they have in there and who were these people anyway!) They led her in and we all jumped out from behind a door and about gave her a heart attack.
At this point she knew nothing about my brother or my aunt coming. We told her he had wanted to be there but he had had to work.
We had a wonderful dinner of chile reyanos (did I spell that right?) The margaritas and SoCo was delightful and everyone was having a great time. My mom was beaming she was so happy. She just said that she wished my brother could have been there. Well, around 10pm who should come walking in but himself and kind of hiding behind him, my aunt (my aunt and my mom are really close and had not seen eachother for about a year). It was so awesome! Getting everything together beforehand was a bit nerve wracking but everything came together just perfect. My husband drove over the next day to spend the night and we even had my mom's best friend drive over and have dinner with us (she lives near where I do). Mom started crying at this point and said that this was the best birthday she had ever had. And that's all we wanted.
Anyway, hopefully I will have some pictures soon and if you are ever looking for a place to stay in the Bass Lake, CA area I highly recommend The Gaines Burrow home. It was very reasonably priced and the atmosphere was warm and homey and just perfect. And the owners of the home couldn't be nicer and a pleasure to deal with.