Since we were going to be gone anyway, Connie offered James (our semi son), our "daughter in law" Cheryl and "grand daughter" Emily, the use of our lake house while we were gone. James was ending his current job that Friday and a weekend away sounded great to them.
Last Monday, Connie told me she had talked to James and they wanted us to come to Raleigh Friday night to celebrate my birthday with them. He said Emily was really excited.
Now I LOVE seeing all them- and am always hoping for a visit, but since it was the night before we were going to the beach, it just seemed like too much to try and work in. Connie "called" them back, but they said Emily was really disappointed, and she thought we should go anyway . . . so, I agreed.
Connie and I spent two days cleaning up the lakehouse. Now . . . truth is it NEEDED a good cleaning and Connie did most of the work anyway! Friday I was freaking out doing the final things and Connie called and asked if I could pick her up at 1:30 as she needed to go by Great Outdoor Provision Company and look for a jacket, and our daughter Laurie was going to actually get it in Vail where she gets a discount. So . . . I finished up as best as I could and went to pick her up. On the way to Raleigh, Laurie called to apologize for not sending me a birthday card in time.
Connie and I got to Great Outdoor and started trying on coat after coat. Probably 5 or 6. I was hanging up the most recent coat she didn't like, and a guy behind me asked if we needed any help. I said, "No thanks! We're just looking . . . " and turned to look at him. It was my son Michael, who was supposed to be in San Antonio, TX, after spending the week in DC for his job! Turns out he had planned to finish in DC , and took the train down to Rocky Mount the night before! Wow! What an awesome surprise! So great seeing him!! Guess Connie's and my weekend was going to include him too! His new wife Aly is a volleyball coach for Trinity University and she couldn't come since they had their conference tournament this weekend (and yes . . . they won their conference and now it's on to the regionals!)
Michael said Cheryl and Emily were waiting for us at the Village Draft House, and James would meet us later. Since I'm having trouble walking very much right now, Michael said he would drive me, but Connie said she would walk.
Michael let me out in front of the restaurant and Connie came walking up about the same time. But she walked up to one of the outside tables where a young lady was sitting by herself with her back to me. I walked up and the lady turned around and said "Hi Dad!"
That's right . . . my daughter Laurie was there! She had flown in from Vail, Colorado for the weekend!
|Laurie, Emily and the weekend's rock star . . . Connie!|
|Emily and Laurie at breakfast Sunday.|
And Connie had Allen Hinnant, a good running buddy of mine and professional photographer to come take every one's picture Saturday morning. After the photo session was over, they had a boat trip planned to go have lunch at our family's favorite waterside restaurant, so we piled the blankets on and away we went for a great time. All Emily asked was that we go "REALLY, REALLY FAST!!" . . . and so we did!
Saturday night they planned a big dinner of beef and chicken teriyaki and birthday cake! But this wasn't going to be just ANY birthday cake. This was going to be a super Rainbow Cake . . . a family tradition in Connie's family . . . and now ours! Normally each layer of the cake is a bright color and the cake is iced with a creamy, super sweet pastel green, yellow or blue icing!!
But this cake was totally unique. Connie had baked 65 little colored rectangular cakes, which she, Laurie, Cheryl and Emily put together with green, blue and yellow icing to make a HUGE cake! It took 2 hours to finish the masterpiece after many hours of baking the days before.
|Cheryl. Emily and Connie hard at work!|
|Laurie, Emily and Cheryl putting the beast together!!|
|Chief Engineer Connie and assistant Laurie|
|Cheryl, Michael and James trying to set fire to our house!!|
|Of course "Bubba Teeth" had to play a key role!|
|Every slice was different and had multiple colors! So cool!|
|Cheryl and Emily. . . could they be more awesome?|
|Michael and Emily . . . these two are just about inseparable!!|
|Have a "slice" of Rainbow Cake!|
|So beautiful . . . and it tastes damn good!!|
|65 and counting!|