It’s not everyone who gets to have a birthday party on the side of the road. Isn’t my boyfriend lucky he has me to organize these celebrations? If someone hadn’t told me (thanks, Michele!) that it was 45 minutes to Niagara-on-the-Lake I would have allotted more time for the cake component of the b-day celebration. As it was, I factored in 1 hour for a bike ride, 1 hour for a delightful break with cake and wine possibly in a beautiful park-like setting then late afternoon spa treatments at the Pillar and Post. And yes, I know you can’t drink in public, but I thought we could at least look at the bottle of gorgeous Amarone della Valpolicella I splashed out on … or possibly steal a thimble or two (ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone) then pack it back up and get to the spa.
However, I did not count on Niagara-on-the-Lake being so far away (can you believe I’ve never been there?) or Mark being late to pick me up, or me being even later because of forgetting bathing suit, trying to fit gorgeous raspberry chocolate cake from Pusateri’s into bag, and other feeble excuses meant to cover the sad fact that I am always late.
And then, once we got to Niagara, who knew it would be so lovely and spring-ish with a fresh breeze and sunshine? What a cute place! Maybe all that cuteness would drive me crazy if I lived there, but it’s ideal for a weekend. Only we didn’t have a weekend. We had an afternoon, and once we found the riverside trail, it was so scenic we couldn’t turn back.
So then I realized that we had 10 minutes to squeeze in Mark’s birthday party celebration. So, with few options available, while Mark was packing the bikes in the car, I put candles on the cake, brought out my battery-aided flashing martini glasses and the wine and laid out a blanket right next to the car. Of course, it was a mere three blocks from a gorgeous park, but to drive there would have taken an extra two minutes and then we would have had only an 8-minute birthday party.
“Happy Birthday!” said two couples as they walked by our blanket.
“Of all the places …..” said the next man who passed.
“Hey!” I said, somewhat defensively. “It’s romantic.” Okay, so it wasn’t a romantic setting at all. Not like a park bench by a river.
Although the couple on the horse and carriage that passed us had just got engaged (the driver told us), so at least it was beside a romantic-horse-and-carriage location.
I mean, why is one place anymore romantic than another? Why can’t you just plunk down and have a party wherever you want? Isn’t spontaneity what a good party is all about? Guest lists, cutlery and actual wine glasses – it’s all so passe. So next time you can’t think of how to top the last party you threw, at say, Canoe in Toronto or the Four Seasons, think outside the box and outside the car. Think curbside birthday party! It’s um, the new black.