Helen’s Birthday Dinner

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Before I begin, I want to give a shout out to my daughter Susie. She is an elementary school teacher (I bow down to her!), an avid yogi and runner. Yet she has still found time to write her own blog. She writes about her travel adventures (learn all about how Costco is one of the keys to making Hawaii affordable) as well as other helpful topics. You can find her blog at Check it out.

We meet up with Chris and Helen.


In case you are wondering, this is a Rent the Runway dress.


We walk to the bar, where we are going to meet Ricky and Mary. I explain how we got dinner reservations and about having to move. I am still pretty hot about it. Spoiler alert: I stay pretty hot about it for the whole trip.

I have gotten Helen a birthday present. I am so excited about giving it to her that I ditch my plan to wait until dinner. I don’t even wait until Ricky and Mary get there. I give it to her as soon as we sit down in the bar. I may not have even waited until we were all seated. I looked long and hard for this present.


She had bought herself a blue topaz ring not too long ago, and I bought her earrings to match it. I am SO proud of myself!

Ricky and Mary arrive. We ask our waitress to take a group picture.


I take a picture of my pretty drink.


We all walk to the French restaurant. They indeed do have a table reserved for us. They even have a private room set aside for us, which is very nicely decorated with rose petals.


The food is good and the service is good.

We order some wine. They never do bring the promised bottle of house sparkling wine.

Obligatory food pictures.

I can’t remember everything we ate, but this was paté with some kind of foam. I’ll be glad when the foam trend is over. I can’t say that I think it adds much to food. In fact, I think it is about over. Probably because it doesn’t add much to food.



I think this was a filet.


Probably crepes suzette. That is definitely a blast from the past. The Grand has these also at their French restaurant.


During dinner the customer service guy I spoke with on the phone comes in with  balloons for Helen. You can see them in the mirror behind her. They also bring her a special birthday cake.


They had the harp player come in and play a song for her. It was the Happy Birthday song, and another song that was very nice. I love harp music. The song that was not Happy Birthday sounded so familiar. It was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t think of it. Finally we asked and it was A Thousand Years. Love that song.

So, back to the customer service guy. He is cute as a button. But he has more annoying news. He says he isn’t sure they will get the almond milk before ten, tomorrow morning. Which is a problem because I would be eating breakfast before that. And while they have made Helen’s birthday dinner very special, which was very nice for her, Zung and I are the ones being inconvenienced. I show my disappointment, and he says he will see what he can do.


After dinner we go back to the bar for a bit. We go back to our room early so that we can pack. Again. We pack almost everything and then go to sleep. I can’t say our first full day has made any better impression on us than our day of arrival. If anything, it’s worse.

They have one more day to make up for it.


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