Three years ago The Wife’s birthday fell on a Saturday so we thought it would be fun to spend the day with some friends at one of the area’s many lovely wineries. Last year her birthday was on a Sunday so we did it again and more friends turned out.
This year her birthday fell in the middle of selling her mother’s house and her niece’s wedding. It was a hectic and stressful time so we decided to push back the winery outing until the dust had settled and the path was clear. The date we agreed upon was Oct. 1. Invitations were sent out, RSVPs were returned. Everyone likes to celebrate The Wife’s birthday. Or everyone likes wine. Maybe both.
Despite being an unlikely long-shot, I invited Christine. You remember Christine. She was one of the stars of Ronnie, Laurie, John and Christine’s New York Adventure, among other things. She’s The Wife’s best friend since sixth grade. They have a special bond, you see.
Christine had been living in Texas but recently relocated to Illinois, a mere 2-hour drive away. As luck would have it, she would be in St. Louis on the weekend in question and was happy to hook up at the winery. Ohmigod. If I can spring Christine on The Wife as a surprise at her birthday party, I will earn so many points. King Lear-size points.
The past two years we went to Balducci Winery, but this year The Wife wanted something different and she picked Sugar Creek Winery. Most people weren’t going to make it until 2-3 p.m. and we feared it would be impossible to find a table then, so we packed up the picnic basket, two coolers and The Son’s bag of stuff, picked up Stevie and arrived at Sugar Creek a little after noon.
It was impossible to find a table.
OK, not impossible but the place was crazy crowded. We were expecting around 15 people which made the task even more challenging. We found two tables close together and Stevie and I took one and The Wife and Son commandeered the other. The first to arrive were The Wife’s longtime friends Ann and Gena. Did you know that if you mix dry-roasted peanuts with candy corn it tastes like a PayDay candy bar? Genius.
Next to arrive was Melissa, who brought a friend. You may be more familiar with Melissa by her nickname Erica. I learned after half-a-bottle of wine that Erica hates that nickname so it’s being retired. We had a nice visit while eating too much and drinking and listening to some guy sing “Piano Man” on acoustic guitar (and lots of Paul Simon tunes) while waiting on the others to arrive. Ann and Gena left around 3 p.m., minutes before Christine showed up. The Wife was suitably shocked and happy. Score!
Rachie, Melfy and Greg arrived shortly thereafter. Thanks to the ebb and flow of people throughout the day we were able to find chairs for everyone. Last to arrive were Yellow, Tim and baby Sophia. Babies slow up everything. The baby was asleep when they arrived so no one got to hold her which I’m sure broke several hearts.
We chatted and imbibed until they finally kicked us out around 6 p.m. Greg and Melfy invited us over to their house where Greg cooked a variety of chicken wings for our dinner. Very tasty.
All in all, a fine day for celebrating someone who really deserves celebrating.