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70th Birthday

October 24-25, 2015
Written October 24+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

Sunday the 25th is Marianne's 70th birthday and we went down to Gabby's to celebrate.  THAT much I could say, but the rest was a not-too-well-kept secret!

On Friday, we drove over and checked into the Toll House hotel in Los Gatos.  We normally stay at Gabby's house, but for some reason, it was not available.  Gabby and the kids did come over and we took a short walk from the hotel to Opa's restaurant (not really MY restaurant, but some other grandfather I guess).  Ava brought along "Tigee", the First Grade pet she has care of this weekend.  He didn't eat too much.

Afterwards, we enjoyed "s'mores" on the hotel patio.  Thanks Toll House people!

Then it was two books from Gigi and asleep by 8:30 (all of us!)

On Saturday morning I went to Starbucks, like usual, while the rest of the crew slept a bit more.  From there it was hotel breakfast, soccer practice, and some sort of evening party.

Soccer was the first picture-worthy event.  Ava, at six-years-old, has become very enthusiastic and gets in the action, while Sam, two years younger and playing with boys more Ava's age, is less aggressive, but says he enjoys the games anyway.
After the games, Gigi and I had babysitting duty while Gabby was busy with evening preparations.  We went with the kids to see "Monster Hotel 2", an animation movie that the kids enjoyed, but had Marianne and me wondering about nightmares!  Fun though, for sure.  From the theater, it was back to the hotel for Marianne and home for the kids.  Nothing left to do but clean up for the "surprise" party.

d151024_12_big7oh.jpg                      THE PARTY

Finally, after months of planning and secret-keeping, we arrived at Gabby's house and Marianne saw it was filled with friends from near and far.  It's hard to tell the story of all the delightful small surprises Marianne enjoyed: school chum Maureen, who looked great, despite the Muhammad Ali-like struggle with Parkinson's; Robin and Art from Texas and Chin and Peter from Virginia; Hidas cousins from LA and elsewhere; local friends; all the Rahimi family; and more. 

Gabby had arranged a wonderful setting and we all appreciated her work!

I was the duty photographer, so here is what I caught:


The partying continued at brunch Sunday morning, where some of the distant travelers and family came back for a final bit of pageantry. Gabby did more work and Mamal chipped in too.  Sam worked at sampling.  (Later, little Conner practiced shopping for the next party.)


We played greetings from more-distant friends, a real treat.

I will try to arrange a YouTube link to the 20 minute show.  Another new task for me!

And, with that, we collected up Chin and Peter and headed back to Fresno, another story.

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne


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