So, my birthday weekend. A quick note before I start: Click on any of the pictures in these entries and you’ll be taken to the full set on my Flickr site.
Now, on to the festivities!
Since we were spreading my birthday over several days, Ken spread my presents over several days. Friday morning I awoke to a promo photo of Lawrence circa 1985 (Strange Animal era)—rock that mullet!
We went down the coast (gorgeous, with the sun sparkling on the water, but no dolphins—did they not get the memo that it was my birthday weekend?) to Santa Monica. I’d had a light tea at The Tudor House before, and I’m happy to say that their full afternoon tea was also excellent: finger sandwiches (natch), salad, scones with proper Devon cream (heaven!) and jam, and petit fours. We opted for a Yorkshire tea blend that was just lovely.
We took a picture in front of the British mailbox in the store, but you can’t see it…
We also browsed in the store, but didn’t buy anything—I like to patronize our local British shop in Ventura whenever I can.
After that, we strolled around Santa Monica hand-in-hand in the sunshine. We needed new cover screens for our iPhones, so we went to the Apple store, where the Most! Enthusiastic! Employee! Ever! checked us out. (He high-fived me when I said it was my birthday weekend.)
We hit some traffic heading further south, but got to the Queen Mary with no problem. I’d been on her once before, about four and a half years ago, for a cocktail party, so I hadn’t really seen much of her. Our room was surprisingly spacious, and they did a great job upgrading while keeping most of the Art Deco décor. Can’t say I was impressed by the obviously modern bedspread and curtains, though—not only were they completely and utterly wrong, they clashed with each other.
For example, they kept the original bathtub knobs, which include options for hot and cold sea water. Sadly, they no longer work. Why would someone want to bathe in hot sea water? Wouldn’t one just then be sticky?
After a shower and fluff-and-buff, we were back on the road to Pancho’s, where Styx’s drummer Todd Sucherman would be playing with local band Day After Daze. We met up with Sheri, Karin, Nanci, Lenny, Monk (Nanci and Lenny’s child, a little stuffed monkey), Cindi, Todd, and Angie, and later Fran and Thom. (I’m terrified that I’m forgetting someone…) We ate yummy Mexican food in the bar (I had a shrimp and crab quesadilla) while waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) for the band. (We got there early to get tables up front, but the band didn’t go on ‘til 10 p.m.)
Between sets I had the chance to say hello to Taylor Mills, Todd’s wife, and get her CD signed. Alas, although I took a picture of her and Sheri with Sheri’s camera, I didn’t get a picture of Taylor and myself! Next time…. She’s a sweetheart and we had a great time chatting.
Amusingly, when I popped on to Facebook to update my status, I saw that my newest “friend” was The Fabulous Koko Powell, Day After Daze’s bassist! I told him that later and he high-fived me. (It was a high-five kind of weekend.)
The band finished up around 2 a.m. and we scooted back to the Queen Mary and crashed hard, because we had a busy day ahead of us…