Birthdays (of the Spousal and National Persuasion)

What a wonderfully busy weekend! Between Mr. Cleaver and the country - we spent our whole weekend in celebration. Not that I'm complaining :)

After a leisurely morning on the 3rd, involving the farmer's market and the bakery and a new fishing pole for Mr. Cleaver, we lazed away the afternoon ( I finished my dress) and headed out to eat around 4. We grabbed a meal and some bird watching at The Good Table (our favorite) and then drove down Highway 77 to Prout's Neck for a trek around the Cliff Walk.


The cliff walk is one of those hidden gems that I'm sure everyone knows about, but I didn't until about two weeks ago and Mr. Cleaver didn't know about it until I took him there this weekend, so maybe it is secret. In any case, to take the cliff walk find the house above, right next to the Black Point Inn,  and find the small stone path that cuts across the grass. This will take you out to the Cliff Walk.


The Cliff Walk is stunning.  There are rocky crags, pink sand beaches, and a beach entirely of smooth round rocks that rattle when the waves recede.




The walk takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Afterward we stopped at the Black Point Inn for cocktails. The bar was busy so they sent us down to the Adirondack chairs on the front lawn (too bad, right? :) ), where we sat and sipped and watched the sun set.


Mr. Cleaver declared the birthday a success. On the way back to town we stopped by the side of the road to snap a few more shots of the sunset.



For the Fourth, I spent the morning baking a belated birthday cake for the Mister, which we had delayed because we knew it would take a while to make this much cake! Though it did mean I had our tiny oven running for a few hours on the hottest day of year thus far!


After all the baking I finally got to put on my new dress!

IMGP8033.JPG[Dress: Vogue 8184; Modifications: made band from contrasting color, skipped boning, added in-seam pockets, added horsehair band to hem]

All snazzed up, we headed our to my Mother-In-Law's for a cookout with the family. Mr. Cleaver's older brother offered some hints and tackle for the new pole.

Once we were stuffed to the gills, Mr. Cleaver and I joined half of Portland for the Portland Symphony Orchestra pops concert/fireworks show. The addition of PSO to the festivities was a great touch!





I hope every one else had an enjoyable weekend too!

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4th of July

The City of Chicago, traditionally schedules their Independence Day fireworks for 3rd of July, and this year I found out why - they couldn't compete on the 4th. It was as though every father on the North Side of Chicago was competing for the Cool Dad of the Year award - and Mr. Cleaver and I seemed to be only people along the Illinois side of Lake Michigan without a personal arsenal of fireworks. On the Forth, as we grilled burgers and sweet corn, we were treated to the cacophony of whizzes bangs and pops of hundreds of firecrackers and small fireworks. As the evening grew darker, the serious displays began. We saw at least three separate private displays of large-scale fireworks, more or less, continually shot off for an hour and half, and that was before the big show started just behind our backs. 

As it turns out, a golf club located on the block adjacent to our apartment building sends off Fireworks on the 4th, as well as the first and last days of summer - and their display was a real treat. Mr. Cleaver and I agreed that these were on par or better than the Portland or Napa fireworks (our respective hometowns). 

There were in a couple fireflies joining the fray and adding a twinkle or two of their own.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect fourth.

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