The K-Man has long believed that birthdays should be celebrated for longer than just a day. He's long been thinking the party should go on at least a week....and frankly, why the hell not? Milestone birthday celebrations can be a horse of a different color, though. Some folks, like my Mom, refuse to acknowledge them...from my ninth birthday through to my second year of college, my mother was resolutely 49 years old. Only when she, in reality, stood on the precipice of 60 did she finally admit to being 50 years old. Only today, at nearly 88, does she proudly tell her age, as she finally recognizes it as the achievement that it is. We celebrated a milestone birthday with our dear friend Kiko this past Saturday and our girl is of a similar mindset with Keith; although she believes birthday celebrations should go on for a month. We didn't make the entire month-long celebration, but we packed as much as could in one day, for certain. A day that kicked off in charming Weston....
The day began in a vaguely ladies-who-lunch fashion at Avalon Cafe. One large table of mostly women, sipping mimosas and in many cases, eating soup and salad. Its a scenario that once gave me heartburn as a former server, but this ain't a demanding, high-maintenance group....the check was all together and the tip was fat, thank you very much. The conversation highlight didn't involve tittering over local gossip but instead involved the myriad minutiae of strip joints (one of our party owns one). Also, that soup and salad was supremely tasty...I had the Weston Salad; the Avalon's homemade chicken salad with julienned veggies and roasted almonds and the creamy roasted red pepper soup with goat cheese. The whole table split the Baked Brie appetizer with roasted garlic. Freshly fortified, we were off for some shopping.
We strolled through many a fine store and as we moved through and meticulously selected our merchandise, the day took on a bit of a theme...sipping while shopping. Celtic Ranch, for instance, had a cowboy in the back room mixing up some stout Irish coffees served with some decadent Guinness brownies. A seemingly innocent visit to the downtown retail locale for McCormick Distilling turned into a hooch-hailing hootenanny as we tasted flavored tequilas and a stirring drink called a Warm and Fuzzy, consisting of Mccormick's Irish Cream liqueur and 360 Double Chocolate vodka mixed with hot cocoa mix. We swooned over this drink so much that we decided to recreate the drink that night at Jim's. The day ended fittingly at Pirtle Winery, the local winery located in an old church where tasted samples of everything from hot mulled apple wine to their award-winning mead. Or so we thought it had ended...K and I left but the rest of the gang landed at O'Malleys Pub. I must say...I am a very reluctant shopper probably due to my working in retail but if more shopping trips were like this one; we would be all over it. While it was finally time for a restful visit to our respective homes before heading out to the birthday dinner at Jim's, we relished our big fun afternoon in ever-charming historic downtown Weston.
After a visit with Carolyn and a drive through the growing Lane of Lights display in Excelsior Springs, we rejoined the group and many other of Kiko's friends for dinner at Jim's. Cocktails were abundant again: the recreated Warm and Fuzzy, Jim's well-known margaritas and a punchbowl of eggnog with shaved nutmeg. Jim whipped up a sumptuous spaghetti carbonara, served with that amazing foccacia bread and Caesar salad. Kathleen and Kevin supplied some of Ventana Cafe's famous bread pudding for dessert. We moved to the makeshift English pub downstairs to dine and watch Kiko open her gifts. She squealed in surprise over her spankin' new iPad.
We left as karaoke was being set up. Kiko enjoyed her big day out as did we all. Happy milestone, sugar...we love ya!