Tuesday is actually my birthday, but I’ve been celebrating it (along with Stephanie) all weekend.
Friday night Conrad was DJing at a furniture store in Hayes Valley. Dawn, Mark, and Marcia came down from Sonoma County to see him, so Stephanie and I came over from our various works and we all stumbled upon some sort of pre-Holiday shopping, food, and music street fair. Met up later Stephanie’s boss Peter and friend Jake and found food at the Algerian Cafe Grillades. Had merguez sausage kabobs. We all wished Stephanie a very happy birthday. Made a mental note to come back to Hayes during the daylight hours, for some shopping and hopefully some Belgian Frjtz.
Saturday was the lazy day I’d been dreaming about for weeks. I slept in. We had lunch out at 2. Came back and showered. Lazed around some more. It was that kind of day. Packed for our weekend out of town, but didn’t actually leave the city until a little after 7. Stopped off in Petaluma for Matt’s cocktail party. While there I got to catch up with Ben Bangert (of Pylons fame) who joined O’Reilly shortly before I left. Saw Marcia—for the second night in a row—and Chris. Experienced my first martini fountain, drank mostly beer. Took off towards Santa Rosa to spend the next two nights at Hotel La Rose, in historic Railroad Square, just a stone’s throw from my old apartment.
Sunday Stephanie and I organized an impromptu birthday lunch with friends at the Russian River Brewery. Got to see Joy and Kyle for the first time in a while, Marcia came out, as well as Adam and Eveline, and Nailah and baby Dacian. Stephanie got her beer bites (pizza cheese sticks) that she’d been dreaming about, and we all shared some excellent pizza, including one with Gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts that I plan to replicate in the near future. Sat outside in the warm winter sun. In December!
After we’d all had enough pizza and beer, we went over to Snoopy’s Home Ice for an hour and a half of iceskating. They had a giant Christmas tree in the center of the rink and dozens of children. I think there were 5 or 6 birthday parties happening at once. We were in good company.
Come Sunday night, we met up with Jean Claude and Sabine to see the last performance of an extended run of the Chorus Line put on by the Santa Rosa Players. The cast included several friends, Monica, and her brother Alex, as well as others that Stephanie had either performed with or choreographed in the past. The show itself, which is an audition for a musical, (and which I’ve never seen before) was captivating. Completely believable and so much fun.
We ended the night at Aleworks (completing our tour of Santa Rosa’s breweries) before heading off to bed in anticipation the weekend’s final chapter: dinner Monday night at the French Laundry.