My geezer birthday was an extended week of fun, thanks in large part to My Beloved, who gathered my friends into three big surprises.
The first was a pizza lunch at Rosso where seven friends surprised me with silly gifts and funny cards to usher me into geezerhood. We shared their swoon-worthy Dungeness crab pizza. Even the staff at Rosso all signed a birthday card for me and our waiter showered me, literally, with hard candies in lieu of a birthday cake!
The second was lunch at Homeroom where my pals from my years at Hastings College of the Law met us for mac and cheese and more silly gifts and funny cards. Because most of them are attorneys, you'd expect a tad more decorum, but a big part of the reason I love these folks is that they aren't at all typical. They teased me unmercifully when I ordered the "Trailer Mac," mac and cheese with hot dogs cut up in it and topped with potato chips. Irene's dish, however, mac and cheese with just a hint of jalapeño, was even better. And their homemade Oreo cookies... we had to take them home as we were too full to finish even one.
The third was opening our hotel room door in Santa Barbara, where My Beloved took me the following weekend to continue the celebration, to find my Fairy Godson and his mother Wendy, my oldest and dearest friend on Earth, standing there. Wendy lives in Michigan, so you know how very complete was my surprise. I just hugged her and wept for joy.
We had a splendid weekend together, visiting the Santa Barbara mission, the wonderfully decorated Court House, the delightful carousel (yes, they allow geezers to ride as well as children), the endless beach, the East Beach Grill (a must on a sunny morning), and a day trip to Ojai.
I had heard about the Ojai Valley from an art student many years ago when I worked at the San Francisco Art Institute. He extolled the beauties of the valley and the quaintness of the town in such glowing terms that I made a mental note to get there some day. Now, I can check that one off my bucket list. I might even go again.
Ojai is, indeed, very quaint and delightful, not only the main shopping street, which clearly caters to the weekend getaway, but also the shaded streets and pretty parks where water splashes into a fountain in which dogs are allowed to wade and where men form a drum circle that sends lively reverberations throughout the town. On a mission to find an elusive yarn shop, we instead found some little girls selling lemonade and cookies. That should give you a feel for life in Ojai.
What has all this to do with Leap Year? It's my understanding that on Leap Years, women can ask the men of their dreams to marry them. I'm going ask My Beloved to remarry me. Anyone who makes such a fine birthday celebration is a keeper.