Birthday at Fujisan

The only bad thing about skipping traditional Thanksgiving is you can't unbutton your pants and lay around on the couch immediately after stuffing your face. Instead, you have to package up your leftovers, pick the rice out of your kid's hair, get everyone's coats on and them to the car without losing anyone or anything.

But that was the only downside to our amazing dinner at Fujisan last night. It ended a really great birthday. Billy and Javi made pancakes and served me breakfast in bed after letting me sleep in. Then Javi and I snuggled in and watched the "Untold Story of the Mayflower" on the History channel. Then it was naptime and doodling around the computer until I realized it was 3 pm and time to start getting ready.

Around 4:30 pm, Billy, Javi, Bella, my mom and I all packed into our Vibe and made the 50+ minute drive to the restaurant. Bella and Javi began to get surly about 30 minutes in, especially after they finished off the only snack we had - a half-box of raisins that had been in the car for at least a week. We tried singing songs and telling jokes, but about 15 minutes before we were slated to arrive, the adults just had to hunker down and hope to outlast the kids. My sister Ashley met us and we all agreed it was past time to get our eat on.

Luckily, we were immediately ushered to a table at the restaurant, which had a nice sized crowd despite the holiday. The soup and salad cheered everyone up and got us in the mood for a good show. Our chef was a little on the quiet side, but he still found a place in Javi's heart. Actually, Javi thought he was going to be too cool to clap or cheer, but after the first trick, he was totally besotted and the clapping totally got away with him. It was very cute!

Meanwhile, Bella was not a fan. She doesn't like loud noises or strange people, so a strange man setting things on fire and banging stuff around not less than 2 feet from her face? Enough to cause a heart attack. So, she spent most of the show trying to climb up into her dad's arm pocket or behind my back. She loved the food though. My girl who won't eat anything except cheese and fruit chowed down on onions, zucchini, shrimp, rice, noodles and even a little beef! It was great to see her eat so well. And she had a ball with the chopsticks.

Then came the birthday surprise. My mother had mentioned a few times that it was my birthday and the staff didn't disappoint. They came out with a balloon and a small cake and told me, "We sing you happy song!" Everyone in the restaurant clapped along and the Javi and Bella helped me blow out the candle. After finding room for the yummy sweet, we all decided it was time to roll out to the car and hurry back to our respective couches.

At the end of the day, I had two new books, a couple pairs of fuzzy socks, a gift card for a full hour of quiet time (which Javi and I decided we'd use in 5 minute increments because, as he admitted, he "can't be quiet that long!!!"), a book on recycling and living greenly, another canvas tote for shopping, and a Garmin GPS for the car (!!!!!).

We're heading over to a friend's for 2nd day Thanksgiving dinner tonight and, yes, I'll be plotting the route on the Garmin despite my friend living only 5 minutes away. I mean, it's all mine - I have to break it in!

Thanks to everyone for a lovely 32nd birthday. I took a picture of myself for posterity. :) I look so much like my father in this photo!


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