We arrived in the morning, had some pancakes, and went for a walk with Isabel before getting ready for the party.
It started in the woods, by an irrigation ditch that went a good long ways, and then we left it to walk through a very expensive neighborhood, filled with new, big houses, all custom made. Some of them had solar panels on the roof, one had a cleaning crew cleaning off the outside, including scrubbing the front porch with soap and water. One beautiful, huge house, had nothing but wild flowers for a yard. I was impressed with that one.
The walk went through the neighborhood and then back into Jan and Paul's neighborhood, and we ended up there. John went and got the car, while we started grazing a little on leftovers for our "lunch", though we really didn't need the food. Then we started helping out with getting ready for the party. There was a ton of stuff that Jan and Paul had gotten together for the party, including some catered food. John, Bernd, Paul, and I went to get the catered food and to fill some growlers at the Growler Guys. They had dozens of beer on tap, and on the side they also had kombucha and other fermented beverages, including a White Rose that I was really intrigued by.
The food included two big salads, and two trays of spanakopita that had to be finished by baking in their oven. So I made sure that I was part of the baking crew. They came out crisp, brown, and stuffed with cheese and spinach and soooo very good.
One guy came over and offered to do my job, and when I refused, politely, he crowed and said, "You're just anti-social like I am!" I cheerfully agreed, and we talked for a while, and I sent him with the sausages into the kitchen. He got to do the running for a while, so had his excuse.
That was funny.
Jet and I both escaped to the Eurovan, when they really didn't need us, but he did ask me to get him when the party was going to wind down and they needed help with the cleanup. He and I knit out there, and I played my little ukulele, practicing for my performance on the 11th. We also watched a few videos, and I helped him with his sock. When Marina left for another friend's party, we hopped back into the house to say farewell to her. We weren't exactly sure when we were leaving in the morning, but it might have been before she got up. But it was good to see her being so celebrated during the party and getting to see her so happy as she left.
There were lot of special desserts, including lemon and strawberry rhubarb tarts, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, and Jan's insanely rich brownies. I made sure to start with a few of the desserts, as I'd never had tarts like that before. And I did my duties and talked with some people I'd never met before and a few people that I'd last seen quite some time before Jet was even born. Lots of people were amazed at Jet's height and age. *laughs*
And as the party wound down, folks gathered by the fire, and just finished some things off and talked. Jet went back into the van, and when the after party started winding down, and people started cleaning up, I went to get him. He had gone walking with a group of people for a while and had just gotten back, and when Emma came out to talk, he gamely went back into the house to help with the clean up. Emma and I got a good long talk.
John came out eventually and talked with me about our schedule for the next day, and we decided that we could stay for brunch with the family at 9 am. We'd have to be up by 8, but that would work. By the time we were all done talking all of that through, it was 11, and Jet was ready for bed, so we headed back out to the cottage, set our alarms, and we'll be ready to get up in time for our farewells.
It was an amazing party. And I'm glad that we could celebrate with them.