Saturday, April 2, 2011

You Say It's My Birthday!

Yes, it is my birthday today. I received many gracious wishes from my friends, colleagues, former colleagues, relatives... the list goes on. I also was congratulated by the place I bought my last pair of shoes, a local FM station and a Mazda forum I visited last year. The electronic age of Facebook and email greetings does make one feel important--although I think those last three weren't very sincere.

I spent the bulk of the day in Palo Alto (California). I had heard about a French Fair there, and I was lured at the prospect of the possibly seeing some French cars and the zero admission price. Well, it turns out there were no cars there, but some beautiful artwork, jewelry, clothing, fascinating people, and a special deal. We purchased a $20 food coupon for just $10 for a meal at Bistro Maxine, in downtown Palo Alto.

We had to wait a while for a seat at the tiny little place (we actually ended up at one of three outside tables--perfect). We enjoyed delicious French fare, a couple of tiny bottles of sparkling wine, and a very leisurely time (see photo). Then, we visited shops along University Avenue, and got into a time warp of amusement at a very fully stocked Borders bookstore that used to be a theater. All the glorious old moldings were intact in what appears to be a survivor of the chain.

My wife suggested a particular excellent bakery for my cake--Dianda's Italian American Bakery. We thought it would be easy to find in "downtown San Mateo" but it turned out to be way out on the edge of town. The navigation system in my Dodge Charger was beautifully displayed but unhelpful in this case, so with a couple of phone calls we barely made it at the last second to pick up the luscious cake that I'll be sampling shortly.

We went out for a Mexican dinner at our local spot--Don Jose's--and it was fine as well. So--French lunch, Mexican dinner, Italian cake. An international birthday. And, as my grandmother would say after a day of overeating--"Tomorrow--one cornflake!"

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