Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Party

I was very happy to spend the day of my 60th birthday on a rooftop overlooking the ocean, dipping in the pool and playing cards, looking forward to strolling next door at sunset to join a group of friends for a celebratory dinner at one of my favorite beach restaurants. It would have been quite satisfying. I just didn’t expect too much, having made it clear that low-key was the operative word for this year’s commemoration.
My good friend Candace picked me up shortly before noon and with a bit of frustration, explained the errands she had to run before we could get to our first destination: the pool and card table. I told her it was fine with me, we had the whole day ahead of us. We drove out the coast highway and came to a lovely cliff-side villa, where she encouraged me to follow her while she conducted her business. My first inclination was to feel like an intruder, when we ran into a couple who were purportedly guests of whom we were disturbing. They nodded curtly as they gave us their permission to enter, then disappeared. We wandered down a grand staircase into the foyer and living room, with a sweeping view of the ocean and famous volcanic rocks Los Arcos.

There was a woman in the pool; her back turned, taking in the scenery. She looked vaguely familiar but then at my age, many people do.

We wandered into the kitchen area and dining room, me following Candace obediently. She had requested margaritas, which I thought was a little cheeky and even cheekier still for me to ask if maybe we could get them to go. Candace was the one complaining that all this running around was cutting into our card playing time. As we waited for our margaritas to be mixed, we wandered in the direction of the pool.

The woman who I had glanced at moments before seemed much more familiar to me and I stared at her, trying to understand what my good friend Shawn was doing there. She stared up at me and I stared back at her. Candace pulled her dress over her head to reveal a swimsuit and dove into the water.

Maybe my eyes popped out, perhaps my jaw dropped; I don’t recall but just then Shawn said Surprise! Happy Birthday!
What are
you doing here? I asked.

I still wasn’t totally getting it.
It took me a while to get my bearings. I didn’t really understand at first until it dawned on me what my friends had done.

The guests, Patti and Gary, who we’d disturbed on our way in, turned out to be Shawn’s friends, visiting from California. They were great actors, playing up the disgruntled vacationers. I wasn’t expecting Shawn to attend my birthday at all, since it was her husband Greg’s birthday as well and he was flying in that day. The foursome had planned to spend that night in Yelapa, down the coast and only attainable by boat. Or so I thought. Greg was not privy to the plans, either, so there were more surprises in store for the day.

At some point, I watched tables being set and nosily counted the place settings. Twenty-four people would be joining us for dinner.
We swam. Played cards. Moved everything inside when the skies opened up. Relaxed. Read. I never really got over my astonishment. In our well appointed rooms, we freshened up and dressed for the arrival of others.

At the appointed hour, they began to drift in. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends. We ate and drank for what seemed like hours. The food was divine. The company was delightful. When the evening ended long past the midnight hour, I retired to my room in this lovely villa and slept like a lamb, only to be awakened in the morning by a knock at the door and a breakfast tray. We didn’t leave Villa Luna Creciente until past 7 p.m., the whole day spent in absolute bliss. I cannot thank my friends and family enough for making this possible. Like a dream come true.

And reflections on turning 60?
It was more than I could have realized. More on that later. I promise.
Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic day, night, day. I will never forget it, and that is REALLY saying something these days. Thanks for turning 60, and with such grace. xoxo