Tag Archives: birthday party

Nancy’s 5th Anniversary of her 29th Birthday

It’s not often that Nancy’s birthday falls on a Friday and the following Monday is MLK day meaning a long weekend to celebrate Nancy’s birthday.  I had been trying for weeks to get Nancy to commit to something for her birthday but she really didn’t want to.  She would have been content to sit at home but Pat was able to wrangle her into going out to celebrate with the family.

We started the night off in Round Hill, about 45 minutes the way our drunk crow flew.  We  started at a winery and slowly work our way back home traveling down route 7.  We took the country roads to Bogati Bodega & Vineyard for a couple bottles of wine.  We settle on Fat Ass which was pretty good.  While not to far for us, everyone was able to make it in a reasonable amount of time.  I believe Pat mentioned she left at 10:30am to make it on time.

After that we headed to Leesburg for a very nice dinner at Tuscarora Mills.  Nancy had been here once before for a baby shower and raved about the food.  Everyone was excited about this place and I must say it didn’t disappoint.  Greg meet an old co-worker who bought two bottle of wine for the table.  Besides the table being to small for 6 people, the food was excellent.  We got the full spread with apps, main course, desserts and coffee.  All of which were very good and while a little expensive, was worth the price.

After a nice dinner we headed across the street to MacDowell Brew Kitchen for a night cap.  The place was a little busy so we headed up stairs and found there was  free comedy show going on.  We got a round and enjoyed the show.  I don’t remember the name of the guy, he was ok.  He had his moments but it was certainly worth the price of admission.

By the end of the show everyone bailed.  It was pretty late and everyone else had a long drive ahead of them.  Nancy and I decided to head to Clyde’s Willow Creek for one last set of drinks since it didn’t close till 2am.  Nancy has tried to get me out there to see her happy hour crew and I was happy to oblige.  I don’t know if we meet any of the regulars but I did meet one of the happy hour bartenders, Jeff.  Definitely not my scene but the people watching was pretty good.

Eventually we made it home after a long night out, close to 2:00 in the morning I believe.  It was an eventful evening with lots of stops.  I wonder what we will do next year, Nancy’s birthday should fall on a Saturday so that is a full day of activities.  We packed four things into eight ours, can’t imagine what we will do with a full 24 hours.

Cuatro’s First Birthday

2013-03-09 16.38.43The newest member of the Clouston Clan had his first birthday this past Saturday.  He is technically the William Clouston IV but we have nicknamed him Cuatro.  I have always thought of first birthdays as a milestone and in many cultures they still are.  I remember my niece Ellie’s first birthday, that was a freaking huge production.  Her father is Filipino and they went all out on her first birthday.  She was the first grandchild and it was her first birthday, they had an entire smoked pig and close to 100 people showed up.

For Cuatro, a similar effort was made by the parents.  We got word to hold March 9th open months in advance.  Like I said, first birthdays are import so we made the 4 hour drive from our house to Pikeville just for the party.  We didn’t even plan to spend the night, just leave, enjoy the party, and head back the same day.  There were balloons everywhere, tons of tables and chairs for everyone to sit, games, a moon bounce and TONS of food.  I felt bad because we ate on the way down and I didn’t get to enjoy much of the cooking.  Thankfully Nancy and I stayed really late so I got my dinner meal in by eating leftovers.

Get it killer!
Get it killer!

It was great seeing them, we don’t meet up often because of the distance between us so when we do meet there is lots to talk about.  I think the last time we saw them was the family vacation in Nags Head which was awesome.  Today Greg, Maggie, Yolanda and the kids split early, around 5.  I think the kids where getting bored and they wanted to get home before it was too late.  Nancy and I stayed and shut the party down at 9pm.  Cuatro was in bed and the parents where obviously tired as well.  At the end of the party we got to really catch up with them and enjoy some peace and quite.

By 9:30 we said our good buys, grabbed our goodie bag, took a picture and I started driving back.  As soon as we got onto 95 Nancy was passed out and slept the entire trip home.  I was tired but managed to get us some safely by 1am.  I would normally stay up for a while but I went right to sleep when we got home.

Labor Day Weekend 2013

This weekend we usually go to the beach house but half the family bailed because of a wedding and Bobby and Tracy are in the process of moving to Washington. We couldn’t rally the troops so we scrapped the plan this year. Just because we didn’t go to the beach doesn’t mean it wasn’t a weekend packed with events.

tasting room at La Grange
tasting room at La Grange

This was the last weekend to spend with Bobby, Tracy and the kids before they all leave for Washington so we headed to Winery at La Grange for one last tasting. Saturday the winery was throwing a big Labor Day weekend party with BBQ, live music, and specials on wine. We scored a table and sat outside enjoying the decent weather. Pat had complimentary wine tastings that we used and we plowed through a few bottles just relaxing.

Saturday was also Nancy’s mother’s birthday so we head up the road from La Grange to Greg and Maggie’s house for dinner. Greg smoked several whole chicken that came out really well along with all the trimmings. That evening we relaxed in his tiki bar, drinking and smoking like usually, and hatched a plan for Sunday. The beach was out so we planned to play a round of golf at the Osprey’s at Belmont Bay in Woodbridge. It has been several years since I played golf. Maggie is getting into it because of work, Nancy has always played, and Greg was playing because it was something to do with our wives.

10th hole at Osprey's
10th hole at Osprey’s

We got a late tee time for Sunday but started the day off with a bang. The temperature was not bad at 10:30am but it was going to get hot and humid as the day went on. It took 4:30 hours to complete our round and I must say that by the end, I was ready for the 19th hole. It was a long day of drinking beer in the hot sun. The course was pretty banged up this late in the season but it was a challenge. Lots of elevation change throughout the course, several blind greens, and narrow fairways most of the time.

Monday was celebrated at my Dad’s house. Matt was cooking some ribs and it was the last family dinner before everyone left for Washington. Bobby already started his journey to Washington in his truck. He was driving the entire way, 48 hours according to Google and needed an early start. Tracy, the kids, and Marley where flying out on Tuesday. It was a last supper of sorts. Over the weekend we all agreed it would be a while before we got together as a family but that plan is already in the works.

It was a long weekend filled with activities. For a holiday that is meant to celebrate the working man, I sure didn’t do much relaxing. I thankfully got to spend a ton of time with both sides of my family which was nice. Will have to see what happens next year.

Birthday Weekend at Kelly’s Ford

Wednesday was Nancy’s birthday and during our celebrations that night we formulated a plan over the weekend to visit the Inn at Kelly’s Ford for a family get together.  My dad and Pat have been their twice before and said it is a great bed and breakfast in Remington, VA.  We gather the troops and headed out on Saturday for a short weekend escape.

pre-game at Morais Vineyards
pre-game at Morais Vineyards

The day started off with a trip to Morais Vineyards in Bealeton.  It has only been open for a year and the place is pretty impressive.  Nichole came to our house and we drove out to meet Greg and Maggie who already had wine poured for everyone and another bottle breathing.  In typical Greg style, the table was decorated and a spread of food out.  Pat, Matt and my Dad showed up here for a quick drink before heading to the inn.  We stayed here for a couple hours to drink some really good wines and smoke some cigars before heading to Kelly’s Ford.

My dad and Pat rented an entire house for the family to gather at for the night and a campsite for Matt and I.  We didn’t spend much time here other than eating dinner.  Most of the time we spent down at the camp site around a fire.  Bobby and Tracy couldn’t stay the night but did join us for most of the evening.  If the weather was not going to be so cold they would have camped out with Matt and I.  We spent a few hours around a small camp fire before heading back to the house for a family meal.

sunrise at the campsite
sunrise at the campsite

With bellies full everyone headed to the Inn while Bobby, Matt and I headed to the camp site.  The plan was to have a few drinks and enjoy some live music then everyone would join us at the campfire.  The three of us just started to get the fire going when all of a sudden, I see headlights coming through the forest.  The bar was a bust as it was beyond capacity with little hope of anyone getting a drink.  Instead of fighting the crowds everyone headed to the campsite for free drinks and conversation.

We must have spent 4 hours sitting around that camp fire in near freezing weather having a great time.  I know it doesn’t sound exciting but it was really great just sitting around the fire with the family.  We laughed and told stories all night, cooked a crap load of hotdogs and marshmallows too.  By midnight Nichole was already asleep with everyone else getting drowse.  Everyone headed back to the house while Matt and I settled in for a great nights sleep outside.  By 4am it was a little below freezing but in my nice 15 degree North Face sleeping bag, I was toasty warm.  I need to get a new sleeping matte but other than that I was fine.

I woke up the next more a little after dawn to see the sun rise across the field we were sleeping in, it was pretty cool.  Greg and Maggie came down to take us to breakfast at the Inn.  The breakfast was unimpressive but the view from the house across the field was spectacular.

inn_at_kellys_ford_2013-04Once the house was picked up and Matt and I broke down our campsite and everyone parted ways.  Bobby and Tracy left the night before and Greg and Maggie boogied just after breakfast. The rest of us went to Marterella Winery for a tasting.  We got there as they opened and the ladies did a tasting of red wines.  Nancy, Nichole and I continued the wine tour and headed across the street to Mediterranean Cellars for another tasting and to sit back and enjoy a glass.  It was not until 3pm that afternoon before we got home and I could finally take a shower.

It was a great weekend spent with the family to celebrate Nancy’s birthday.  Gifts are always appreciated but I have found in my old age that just getting together with family and friends beats getting a nice gift any day.  I hope in the future to back to the Inn at Kelly’s Ford for some more camping with the family or just to get away for a romantic weekend with Nancy.  Maybe next year we will come back to relieve the glory days of this trip.

moe. 9:30 Club November 12th 2011

My annual birthday show. This time around Medeski, Martin and Wood came early so I needed to find another show to attend.  Fortunately moe. stepped in and provided a wonderful night of music two days before my birthday for a Saturday performance.

Capitol City Brewing - Shirlington
copyright: Capitol City Brewing

Nancy and I started the evening off at Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington for a few drinks and dinner. If I can help it I always eat dinner before seeing a show in DC. It is not often I get up there so I like to eat at a local place when possible.  We picked this place because I love beer and they brew there own onsite.  We arrived about 5:30 for a quick drink before rest the family arrived to help celebrate.  I wanted to try their Oktoberfest but it was out, very disappointing.

The Amber Waves was the best, my only repeat of the night. Their Kolsch was pretty good, light in color but some decent favors going on.  Their Pale Rider was a knock off of, fill in any domestic beer.  No flavor, clear as water, not worth your time.  Nancy got the other seasonal offering, Pumpkinator.  Surprisingly there is no pumpkin in this one, all you can taste is the variety of spices they use to make this one, not a fan of this one either.  If only they had Oktoberfest I would have been a happy man.

We stayed at the restaurant till almost 9 before leaving for the show.  Fortunately it is not far from Shirlington to the 9:30 Club, even with crazy city traffic.  At dinner Nancy convinced Matt to come along which was cool.  His first moe. show and first time at the 9:30 Club.  I knew parking was going to be difficult at best, but we lucked out and got a spot close to the club.

Right when we walked in the lights went out and the band stepped on stage.  It was after the official start time of 9, but within the requisite delayed start time many jam bands adhere to.  We headed to the upstairs bar while they played Blue Jeans Pizza. The show was not sold out, in fact neither night was, but the place was packed regardless.  I quickly got a beer and joined Nancy and Matt at the far end of the bar, from here we had a good view of the stage.

All night they played some good tunes.  I don’t know what the energy level was on Friday but tonight it was high. They jammed out. Like I predicted, the first set was an hour long, ending by 10:30. Nancy by this point was getting a little bored and her feet were killing here.  She was a trooper and stuck it out for most of the second set.  When I spoke to Matt he was enjoying himself, having never heard the band and spending $25 to get in, he liked what he heard.  I spoke to him again on Sunday about his impression, it was not the “fucking kick ass experience” I had, but he had fun.  One thing he didn’t like was the jams.

The second set started just after 11pm, just like I thought. I tell you I could have written the play bill that night. I later nailed the house lights at 1am. I didn’t predict the amazing 20 minute Recreational Chemistry encore, stuff like that is out of my league.  The house lights came up and we joined Nancy who was already in the car. She bugged out late during the second set. I don’t like leaving her alone in the city, she is a stubborn woman, at least the club is next to Howard University so the cops are always patrolling, keeping the peace.

We headed home, dropped Matt off and continued south, stopping to get some burgers before heading home.  There is something about eating greasy burgers after drinking and a late night show that I love.  We finally made it to bed

around three in the morning.

moe. from Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ 07/15/2011
Asbury Park, NJ copyright: Chris Paul

Set 1 (9:20pm start)
01. Blue Jeans Pizza
02. Skrunk >
03. The Bones Of Lazarus
04. Happy Hour Hero
05. Kyle’s Song >
06. Kids
set ends at 10:26pm

Set 2 (11:03 start)
01. Dr. Graffenberg
02. Wind It Up >
03. Understand
04. Chromatic Nightmare
05. Blue Eyed Son (1)
06. Gone (2) >
07. Faker >
08. Moth
set ends at 12:22am

encore: (12:26am start)
09. Recreational Chemistry
show over at 12:51am

Notes:
(1) with al on mandolin
(2) with al on ’74 Gibson Double-neck guitar