This’ll be my Year

Birthday dinner at Sonoma Wine Garden

Wednesday is my birthday celebration (even though my actual birthday turned out to be a good one). Mike and I have off so we see an afternoon movie – Lawless. Both of us like it. He likes it a little more than me only because I hate blood and violence. Gary Oldman is the man and he has a very small part. I wish he had a bigger role.

Then we spend the rest of the day at the Third Street Promenade. First grabbing lunch at Stefano’s Pizzeria, and then splitting up: Mike to buy clothes for himself for the first time since we moved to California, and me to get a pedicure. Then I buy a couple of white shirts and shoes for for work. Those are easy – finding a dress for my cousin’s wedding this weekend is not.

There’s one in Express that I like but it’s $100 and I really don’t want to spend that much, so I try some other places. Nothing. Finally I walk into Guess. They’re usually expensive but sometimes you can get lucky with the sales. I do. $108 black dress on sale for $43. Score. I love getting a good deal.

Mike’s been done shopping for a while so I meet him at Yankee Doodles for happy hour. We have a beer and show each other our purchases. Shopping really makes me happy.

Kyle

At almost 7 we walk to the end of the promenade and up to the sky mall for reservations at Sonoma Wine Garden. Rich, Tara, Troy, Jason, and Kyle are meeting us here at 7:30. This is becoming my new favorite place. The hostess seats us in a comfortable outside area of somewhat couches surrounding three sides of a table. We each order a glass of delicious wine before Mike gets the text from Tara that she has to work late. Shortly after that, the text from Troy that Jason won’t be getting home from work until late.

Kyle strolls up and I hope he doesn’t mind being the third wheel. I tell our server that it will just be us. It sucks my friends couldn’t make it. That’s what I get for working weekends and planning a dinner in the middle of the week. Mike convinces me that this is fine and Kyle is equally unphased. They’ve never met, so I’m glad the three of us can hang out. Kyle only drinks one glass of wine because he has to drive to Long Beach. I drink four, along with sharing plates of cheese and mussels and braised something on skewers. Everything is really good. We take our time and enjoy the beautiful night, chatting about movies and writing and hopefully someday making money doing something we love.

Mike drives me home and even though I wasn’t surrounded by family and friends, it was a great birthday.

*Train

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