Florida, Family and Happy Birthday to Me!

Dateline: Sarasota, FL where the sun is shining on a beautiful day for niece Laura’s wedding!

Early Thursday morning we packed our bags and gathered up Phyllis, who, at 91, is still jet-setting across the country.

I almost had a stowaway in my suitcase. Shooey!

I almost had a stowaway in my suitcase. Shooey!

It was a bit hard to leave home after these gorgeous birthday flowers arrived from Daniel.

It was a bit hard to leave home after these gorgeous birthday flowers arrived from Daniel.

We met Gail, fresh in from Montana, at the Tampa airport and we arrived Sarasota in time to share a late dinner with a surprisingly relaxed father of the bride.

It's a reunion: Mark, Gail, Phyllis and the CE

It’s a reunion: Mark, Gail, Phyllis and the CE

Mark, Gail and the CE

Mark, Gail and the CE

I thought we would skip my birthday this year (if you don’t celebrate does that mean you don’t age?) but the ever-thoughtful CE filled his suitcase with presents for me and even brought along the birthday cards I’d received.

Lucky me! Thanks, dear CE!

Lucky me! Thanks, dear CE!

Gail and Phyllis also showed up laden with amazing gifts for me and we went over to St. Armand’s Circle yesterday for the most lovely and memorable birthday lunch ever at Cafe L’Europe. We sat on the shaded terrace – a perfect spot to celebrate!

Behatted: The CE, Phyllis and Gail at St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota

Behatted: The CE, Phyllis and Gail at St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota

Cafe L'Europe serves a lovely signature salad

Cafe L’Europe serves a lovely signature salad

The Potato-Crusted Grouper is a deservedly popular entree at Cafe L'Europe.

The Potato-Crusted Grouper is a deservedly popular entree at Cafe L’Europe.

Gail ordered the Ahi - good choice!

Gail ordered the Ahi – good choice!

Our charming waitress noticed that we were celebrating a birthday and surprised us with a dense and decadent slice of flourless chocolate cake. So much for that diet…

Yum!

Yum!

Last night we headed way out Fruitville Road to the rehearsal dinner barbecue at the groom’s family’s country spread where we felt right at home – cats and chickens! It was so much fun to meet up with sister-in-law Jean’s family, most of whom we hadn’t seen since Mark and Jean’s wedding 30+ years ago.

The beautiful bride and her Granny.

The beautiful bride and her Granny.

Display of affection: Mark and the CE - see a little family resemblance there?

Display of affection: Mark and the CE – see a little family resemblance there?

It felt just like home with this Dodger stand-in.

It felt just like home with this Dodger stand-in.

The only thing better than one cat is two cats.

The only thing better than one cat is two cats.

And the only thing better than cats are CHICKENS!

And the only thing better than cats are CHICKENS!

Laura hadn't seen her Aunt Gail since she was twelve. They had fun catching up.

Laura hadn’t seen her Aunt Gail since she was twelve. They had fun catching up.

Both of Laura's grandmothers are here for the wedding: Phyllis and Jean's mom, Anna.

Both of Laura’s grandmothers are here for the wedding: Phyllis and Jean’s mom, Anna.

I didn't get a shot of Laura and fiancé Colton together, but here's a glimpse of him. Hopefully I will have pix of them to share from the wedding.

I didn’t get a shot of Laura and fiancé Colton together, but here’s a glimpse of him. Hopefully I will have pix of them to share from the wedding.

Proud parents of the bride: Mark and Jean, all ready for the big day!

Proud parents of the bride: Mark and Jean, all ready for the big day!

Late last night my best birthday present arrived: Taylor and Daniel flew in from NYC to be here for the wedding. We’re headed off to breakfast with them and then the wedding this afternoon. Such an exciting weekend for our family!

Daniel, Gail and Taylor on the way to the beach this morning to work on their tans for the wedding.

Daniel, Gail and Taylor on the way to the beach this morning to work on their tans for the wedding.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Family, Big Fun, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Florida, Family and Happy Birthday to Me!

  1. Ang says:

    Enjoy the time together! Many congrats!!!

  2. tdevir says:

    Fun pics! Glad you got a birthday celebration in FL (I see a few chickens & dogs on those cards!) Food pics are amazing as usual, Laura looks beautiful, M & J look surprisingly relaxed, and I am jealous of Gail, T & D going to beach together! Wish I was there!!
    Enjoy the weekend and happy happy birthday! Xo

  3. Katherine says:

    Holy cow – your whole family makes beautiful children. Wishing the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness! xoxo

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