Rick had a birthday this past week. It wasn't one of the BIG ones -- Fives or Zeros -- but the older we get the bigger they seem! Worthy of a celebration.
We'll actually be doing our celebration "event" near Cleveland at the Blossom Festival enjoying a concert of Elgar and others (I know -- to some of you that's a BIG ICK! But to Rick, a big "Ahhh!") And he didn't want to go out to a restaurant; his main present we're waiting to go on sale. So instead, a little picnic!
We headed over to Michigan State's arboretum and found a picnic in the "vineyard." Although we never dined in a vineyard in France, it the evening sort of reminded me of what that experience might be.
I'm not sure I'd like Moo U wine (if they even make it) but I admire their garden!
Our menu -- I had memories of enjoying wonderful "sub-like" sandwiches from the boulangerie when we were in Paris in 2012, enjoying lunch on the lawn at Place des Vosges.
I wish I could remember the name -- I'm relying on some of you to tell me! Look familiar?
So I made my version -- a baguette with several meats, cheese, olive tapenade, dijon, pappadew peppers, artichoke hearts, basil. So good! That was served up with cornichons, sweet black cherries, and yellow peppers.
And yes, wine. A nice Malbec because I couldn't find a good French at the store I was getting the rest of the ingredients!
For dessert, a chocolate lava cake from the Chapelleure bakery. Which, of course, I didn't photograph! But I did see a lovely bird! Is this a finch? When it flew, I thought it a cardinal but looking closer at the head on the photo, it's not the right shape!
Others were in the garden too -- they thought we had the right idea! Some were doing photo shoots of the grapes!
We enjoyed lots of good talk, memory and reflections of years gone by and ahead. As twilight moved in, the cloud formations were really beautiful. It was the perfect evening -- not too hot or cool or humid. Mama Bear weather. Just right.
We didn't want to end there and to keep the French theme going (even though we never really called it that!), we headed downtown for a celebratory class of champagne.
The only one on the menu was called "California Champagne," which I think might not be "legal" -- or at least of great offense to the French!
But no matter! It was bubbly and fun and tasted good!
And it's safe to say...
A good time had by both -- especially the birthday boy!
Here's to another year of good luck, love, fun and joy!
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