As most of you know, I've been planning my mom's 50th birthday party for several months now and we finally got to surprise her last weekend. Her birthday was Friday and we invited my aunt Cathy, cousin Michael, Grandpa and pal Jeff out to dinner at Vienni Vai. We sipped on sweet wine, laughed at Grandpa's new trick, and shared some Gelato. I gave my mom a birthday card with a massage coupon for the Avila Lighthouse Suites where they were staying for the next morning (to keep her in her room while we set up the party!) Jeff, Grandpa, Phil and my mom all went to Mothers and Mcarthy's afterwards, and I had to pick up the crazy kids later that night and endured teases from Jeff and Phil for being "the mom". :) I didn't go out with them because I had to wake up early to set up, but my mom thought I was just resting up for a full day of wine tasting.
The next morning my aunt Cathy and I went to start setting up and Susanne, Kaity, Philip, and Jeff met us there to help get things organized! We finished the flower centerpieces, banners, table setups, and Susanne's famous shrimp in less than an hour and I headed back to town to to pick up the food, drinks, and some other party-goers. Back at the party, everyone started to arrive and it was about time to pick up my mom in her room for "wine tasting". My aunt and I went up and told her that all the boys were down wandering around the hotel.
We walked down and headed towards to conference room where the party was pretending to look for the boys. Phil said he wanted some coffee and that there was some inside the room, so we opened the doors and told my mom to come on in. She walked in and looked stunned and confused for a second, and then everyone yelled, "SURPRISE!!" and she immediately burst into laughter and tears. She was genuinely surprised and it couldn't have been a better moment.
For the next four hours, we ate lunch, had some wine and beer, and Grandpa made us his special White Russians. We listened to mom's favorite music, enjoyed the sunshine and good conversation, and devoured a scrumptious pink champagne cake from Madonna Inn. But, by 4:00, the party was just getting started and we moved everyone to mom's suite, complete with a full kitchen, living room, fire place, patio, and easy access to the ping pong tables, life-size chess board, and the beach! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and others REALLY enjoyed their drinks! :) We made several wine and beer runs throughout the night, and BBQ'd up another feast of burgers, shrimp, and tri-tip.
By 11:00, everyone said their goodbye's and headed back to their hotels for some rest and mom and Phil enjoyed a quiet, relaxing moment on the patio.
Sunday morning a few of the stragglers met for breakfast at the Custom House and snapped a few family photos in front of the breathtaking ocean. The weekend was a success and it was incredible to have so many family and friends make it to my mom's special birthday. She is very lucky to have such loving people in her life and those who were able to come - THANK YOU for making it so memorable! She is the most deserving mom in the world because she does so much for everyone else. I hope she remembers that day for the rest of her life and if we're lucky, we'll be celebrating with her again in 50 years! :)