Yes, it is over and I survived until #80 and beyond. What a wonderful celebration with my three children and 5 or my 6 grandchildren. My daughter Karen and my granddaughter Lucie were able to come from Florida to join the celebration with my son Scott and his family from Manhattan Beach and my daughter Anne and her family from Irvine, CA. I cannot say enough to thank my daughter Anne and her husband John Burns for footing the entire bill for the several days of celebration based at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Although I was familiar with the Shade, I had never stayed there before. When I entered my room I was greeted with a colorful Happy Birthday balloon to start off the celebration on January 3rd, even though my birthday was on January 4th but it was a very nice gesture and a complete and very pleasant surprise. That afternoon all of the ladies, including my daughter-in-law Nancy, my daughters Anne and Karen and my four granddaughters Kelsey, Lucie, Sydney, and Bella had lunch at the Ivy Restaurant in Hollywood, one of the iconic Los Angeles restaurants where I had dined only once and that about 35 years ago!! The ladies thoroughly enjoyed their lunch there followed by some shopping along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood! That evening was a convening of the “Young clan” at my son Scott and daughter-in-law Nancy’s home in Manhattan Beach. What a great way to celebrate the eve of Number 80.
Well, Number 80 did dawn cool and clear the next morning and after a leisurely breakfast at the Shade the ladies and I drove to Venice, CA so that I could experience MedMen! Now if that sounds familiar, it is indeed a take-off on the TV series Mad Men but MedMen is all about Cannabis which is quite legal now in California and MedMen is one of the prominent retail Cannabis Merchants. You may wonder about my interest in Cannabis but I have become a bit of an expert on Cannabis as I transition from the life of a neurosurgeon to a life as a free-lance journalist. I have now written four articles on various aspects of Cannabis, mainly Cannabidiol or CBD which seems all the rage now with articles almost daily in the LA Times and NY Times papers. In any event, MedMed was certainly an experience from their fire engine red storefront to the need to provide one’s proof of age (you must be 21) to enter to the neatly packaged formulations of Cannabis products to the ever helpful salespeople available to help the uninformed. Yes, we did make some purchases for me to try but as of this writing, I have not tried them yet! More on that in the future.
My birthday evening was spent with my entire family at Poncho’s Mexican Restaurant a rather classical and iconic Mexican restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Notice the photos to give you an idea of the frivolity! What a memorable birthday with my family all together and in fine spirits and in good health. There is not much more for this 80-year-old to desire in life.
Saturday, January 5th was the scene of a delightful lunch “en famille” at The Strand House, one of the few restaurants along the entire 26 mile Santa Monica Bay coastline with an actual ocean view. Fine cuisine, nice wine, good fellowship and a fitting post-birthday lunch for all of us.
Sunday, January 6th was the reluctant end to a fantastic birthday celebration for me. We wound it up with a family breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Nothing left then but to pack up and say good-bye to final wishes of “Happy Birthday” and “see you soon” and “I love you.” No one could be happier or luckier than I am to have this marvelous family for their support, understanding and good fellowship. Thank you one and all!!