Birthdays as a kid were easy: summer birthday summer + grandparents pool = pool parties. Messes of other kids, swimming, playing Shark and Marco Polo, a barbeque, running around like lunatics, cake, and presents. So easy.
As an adult, things somehow got more complicated, and they turned out to be less fun.1 This year was certainly an exception.2
Saturday, July 4th
Saturday and Sunday my neighbourhood held3 held its annual do, the Corso Italia Festival on St Claire West.
The street was blocked off from Landsdowne to Dufferin, filled with music and entertainers of many varieties, though largely Italian, of course. There were inflatable things for children to jump on, slides, food, shoes, food, more shoes, and the usual variety of things you’d see at any street festival or faire. Friends of ours joined us for the day, and we browsed and checked things out.
I picked up a cute necklace,4 we ate pizza from Frank’s Pizza House, and dined on the infamous La Paloma‘s exquisite gelato. Also donated two bucks to the wishing well, for obvious reasons.
For dinner, we had reservations at the Lakehouse, which is a lovely restaurant in Vineland, just outside Niagara on the Lake. Drew has deemed that we return there again for his birthday as well, and our friends’. It seems to be becoming a thing. Suits me!
Jo made a fabulous Bailey’s cheesecake: gorgeous and delicious (pictured above). There was so much we gave a piece to our waitress, who shared it with a co-worker who went out of her way to come over to our table to compliment Jo on it. If only she had business cards! (Shop at Jo’s!)
After dinner we headed over to the movie theatre and saw Public Enemies. Johnny Depp was gorgeous, as always, and Christian Bale was typically irritating. It wasn’t a bad film, but it wasn’t a great one either. Even so, it was something I wanted to watch, and I’m glad to have seen it.
Monday, July 6th
No fuss at work, but I was pleasantly surprised that a lunch I thought would only consist of my sister and self turned out to be a huge family luncheon at an Irish pub on the lake called Watermark.
The plan was for Drew and I to go out for dinner somewhere close to home, but this proved a bit of a challenge initially.
Eventually we found a great place, the Eden Trattoria on St Clair West. With so many Italian restaurants around us all the time, it seems a bit strange we don’t eat out close to home more often, and this place reminded us we should.
Birthday cakes have been troublesome for Drew in the past, but this year was a huge success. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as jamocha almond fudge ice cream cake. But there is. And it’s awesome.
Jo and Andrew gave me The Monster Squad, which I almost wore out the VHS for as a kid, watching endlessly. It’s maintained its hold on me as one of the formative films from my childhood.
My loving husband, in addition to the necklace5 and Sims 3, bought me the utterly incredible Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, with its delightful sing-along commentary in which I learned I’m a fucking nerd.6
So, now I’m older. Ageing a year in a single day. I think I need a cooler superpower.
- Indeed, every other day the week leading up to my birthday I seemed to find a new grey hair. Quite accidentally. I’d notice something sticking up, and it’d be this coarse grey thing. It was rather disturbing. [↩]
- Except for the grey hair thing. That sucked. [↩]
- For those not in the know, Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods – more than 200 – each with their own distinct personality. [↩]
- Necklace pictured below. [↩]
- Pictured above in the second picture of us. [↩]
- Nathan Fillion’s “I’m Better than Neil” may be my favourite. Or possibly “Steve’s Song” [↩]