Every year Mike plans and plans and takes us on a marathon trip for my birthday. Usually about a weeks-worth of things packed into a day or two. Last year it was a bed and breakfast in Halfmoon Bay, the best artichoke omelet and pie I've ever had, and the opera. I never know where we're going, and it's fantastic. This year was no different, except we had to do it all in one day. Out of the house, packed, caffeinated and in the car by 6:30 am, Mike hands me a folder with two sets of color-coded envelopes and matching paperclips. Inside the small envelopes are maps and hints, and the large envelopes are what we're actually going to be doing.
Destination Un was breakfast at a fantastic greasy spoon in Vallejo, The Joy of Eating. Excellent diner decor and huge homemade french-toast-like toast.
Destination Deux was a bit of a puzzle. Some of the envelopes had instructions on the outside, and this one said "Open First Gift" which I dutifully did, and inside were bingo stampers. Cool, bingo! But not your ordinary bingo...
Bird Bingo! He had made bingo cards with pictures of the birds that were common at a wildlife refuge! So with binoculars in hand, we started the game.
In the end I was a Morning Dove away from bingo. So much fun.
Destination Trois was lunch at The Spinnaker. The dining room was over the water, and there were very cool views of the bay and boats.
Destination Quatre was a challenge. We took the ferry to Angel Island and rented bikes. Remember about me and bikes? Well I've since gotten myself a beast of a one-speed bike (Mike wouldn't let me get one of these) and have unsteadily toddled around the flat roads of Davis, and so was a bit nervous when we got our bikes and saw the mountain biking we had to do to get up to the bike trail. Once I got the hang of shifting gears, I made it up the hill! Well, some of it. But here's the important part - without falling! And we had a blast! (Weird, and totally not the same, but when I was actually making it up the hill, I kept thinking about Kelli and the way she talks about biking, and I thought, "ok, maybe she's not crazy, this is actually fun!".)
Destination Cinq was indeed an adventure. We went to Teatro Zinzanni. Five course dinner and a show. A crazy show. One in which people from the audience are pulled in to join the fun. As Mike was, three times. He will now, and forever be, my Herring King. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures, so I have no proof, but the image of Mike "swimming" around the room with a fish head and fins will stay with me forever. Luckily he had fun with it, and became a bit of an in-house celebrity. They even had a woman walking around doing face painting...
Destination Six: Amnesia for klezmer music. I love klezmer music, it's so optimistic, and the way it builds and builds, you just can't help but enjoy it. And who doesn't love an accordion? We we both taken aback when we walked into the dark, crowded, predictable dirty bar, to see a classical quintet on stage. They were young and cool with their ripped jeans and giddy smiles, but they could play like mad. And the clarinet player could have been my sister(and yours, Mary Ann!), it was eerie. At the end they said that they play pretty regularly at Revolution Cafe, so I think Mike and I will have to look them up.
By the time The Golden Melody Band came on, I was falling asleep in my chair. We unfortunately stayed only for two fabulous songs, and then we were off to Destination Maison, and work the next day.