Oh, my, it was that time again. Randy’s birthday was looming and what to do? Usually we give each other beautiful cards and go out for dinner to a favorite restaurant either by ourselves or with friends. This year I wanted to do something a little different. I asked Randy what he would like to do and he said, “Let’s go get cheese fries and beer at Outback”.
Now don’t laugh but that is exactly what we did for every celebration last year. We went to Outback on our birthdays, anniversary, and for many holidays too. It was silly, but fun. So I thought okay that was fine for dinner but what else to do?
I finally came up with a plan to whisk Randy away to the Waterfront Inn hotel in Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages Florida. I wanted it to be a surprise and was happy that his birthday fell on a Saturday because he rides with his motorcycle group on Saturday mornings for breakfast and that would give me time to pack the car, buy his birthday cake, etc.
Well, the morning of his birthday it was raining so no motorcycle ride. So plan B. I told him that since it was his birthday I would take him out to breakfast any restaurant he chose. He thought about it for a while and said he would like to go to Alfie’s. Alfie’s is a small, country restaurant just a few miles down the road that has great prime rib. What I like about Alfie’s is the wonderful country charm of the wait staff and the food is always good. Randy had their scrambled eggs, sausage patty, hash browns and wheat toast and loved it all saying, “Everything was cooked just the way I like it”.
Thinking that I was only taking him out for dinner I was worried that Randy would find something to do away from the house so said casually, “Whatever you plan to do with your day please just know that I need you to be here at the house at 2:00pm. I can’t tell you why just be here”. As it turned out he planned on being in his office fixing a computer for the rest of the morning. Now that posed another problem. I had to go pick up these wonderfully eye appealing birthday cupcakes from the Publix bakery for his celebration. I needed to pack a suitcase and cooler and somehow get them into the trunk of the car. At one point he swiveled in his chair and asked, “What are you doing? I keep seeing you running back and forth”. He laughed and said, “Slow down”.
Finally 2pm rolled around and Randy and I got in the car and headed out. He was amused that I was driving. (Well I didn’t want to tell him where we were going.) When we arrived at the hotel I just told Randy that I had to run into the hotel for a moment on an errand and would be right out. When I got back into the car he asked, “Are we staying here?” He smiled when I said that we were.
The room was lovely with pale green walls and draperies, Tommy Bahama style furnishings, prints of tropical Florida birds on the walls and the best feature a balcony overlooking Cherry Lake. We put everything down and went immediately to the balcony where these large white rocking chairs were just waiting for us to relax.
We had a late breakfast and would be going to dinner early so no lunch. I bought two celebratory cupcakes that morning at Publix. One was a vanilla cupcake with an inch of whipped cream icing and decorated with tiny multicolored candy dots, a happy birthday greeting and two candles. The other was a red velvet cupcake decorated
with this wonderfully decadent butter cream icing coming to at least a two inch height. If eyes could eat they would have disappeared long before I lit the candles. Randy chose the red velvet. To make the celebration even better I opened two cans of ice cold beer, we returned to the balcony and just enjoyed the afternoon.
I chose the Waterfront Inn because it was within walking distance of so many shops, restaurants, a movie theatre and a town square with live music and dancing 7 days a week. We left the Inn around 5pm to eat an early dinner. After walking around the square for a while Randy decided he wanted to go to City Fire for dinner. What we both like about this restaurant is their flat bread pizzas. Randy chose the Turkey, pear and brie flat finished with a honey mustard drizzle and garnished with fresh chives. He liked the flat but felt the honey mustard drizzle was a little overpowering.
As we left the restaurant we noticed that a storm was brewing but went over to the square to listen to some music and perhaps dance a little. But within three songs the thunder was growing louder and lightning was filling the sky. The decision was made to shut down the entertainment so we made our way to the Old Mill Playhouse theatre to see Taken2 with Liam Neeson. We had seen the first Taken movie and loved it. This movie did not disappoint it was truly an edge of your seat movie.
By the time the movie was over the storm had passed and we headed back to our room at the inn and enjoying the night sky from our balcony. After a good night’s rest we woke to another beautiful day in central Florida and back to the balcony for morning coffee to enjoy the view. I told Randy his birthday was not over until after breakfast. We strolled down the boardwalk along the lake and found a wonderful table on the patio at Panera Bread and enjoyed coffee, cinnamon bagels and cheese danish. Everything was yummy!
Well, it turned out not to be a ‘cheese fries and beer birthday’ but Randy had a wonderful time saying, “This has been one of the best birthdays I have every had”.