Saturday, May 8, 2021

MANSIONS, CASTLES, KITES, AND MORE.....

 

 I am trying to think of the words to describe my recent birthday this past Monday May 3rd.

 The best one that comes to mind is INCREDIBLE! I am so happy and feel extra blessed this year.

Lawn at Castle Hill

Last year, due to the pandemic, I spent my birthday alone (with the exception of a walk with a close friend and a brief family zoom call), and oh yes, a great big sky blue birthday cake!

 This year, I knew I really wanted to celebrate. Luckily my awesome sister Pam threw me a little family party. After a year of social distancing, I was going to be with the people I love and my favorite songs too.

It was a celebration of staying young with a song in my heart!!! Many songs.

I gave Pam my playlist of 140 of my favorite songs with things like This must be the place (Talking Heads) In the Bottle (Gil Scott Heron) to Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin and so many more. There were some obscure songs like Sexy Coffee Pot (I still don’t know the artist) and  Take me Back to Tulsa (Bob Wills).


I was excited to see that Quest Love used some of the songs I had on my list when he hosted the Oscars last Sunday! I may change my name to Renee LOVE.

 Right before the party, on Saturday, I received a box full of gifts from two Facebook Friends (and friends from my youth)!!!! Yes, I did. Jo and Richie God Bless you and THANK YOU!

I got two awesome pair of MO Sunglasses and all kinds of fabulous incense and beauty products. Even a little heart pin that says KIND! They are exceptionally kind.


I was so delighted. What a treat!!! Then I received a card from Ming’s brother with all these great photos of Ming and I. It was precious and appreciated.

 At my party we drank Casamigos Tequila with organic watermelon juice and it was TOO GOOD. I called it the Funky Nassau (another great song we played).

We danced and sang along all night and I was in my glee!!!! My baby sister Lauren made me a homemade cake (the best kind) and I got some groovy gifts.

I was happy that my sister Val kept saying she loved every song that played. I think everyone did. It was a super fab play list! There were the Funky Meters to Tommy Dorsey and a dose of Dave Matthews and Steve Miller! We even had some Duke and the Drivers and can’t forget Paul Simon!

With each song I got a natural high. Later we sat around the fire and the music continued while the tequila poured…Shattered by the Stones, Sweet Jane, Lou Reed, and the Band, Baby Don’t you do it!!! They never sounded better. Looks like I will never lose my affinity for Classic Rock.


 The next morning I had brunch with my family since several of us slept over my sisters. The very best part was we are all fully vaccinated (expect my mother). I could be close to them again.

With a birthday crown on my head (my mother always gets me a little crown on my big day) I opened more gifts surrounded by my sisters, oodles of balloons, and a dozen roses from a friend. The most beautiful roses I have ever received.


 That day, Sunday, I rested later and got ready for my actual birthday on the third. The next morning, Monday May 3rd, I received so many phone calls (texts are great but there is nothing like a phone call on your birthday)! I was really pleased. My sister Juliann called from LA and even my old college roommate called! Later, I even got a text from my old boyfriend.

 My friends picked me up and three of us headed to Newport Rhode Island. Many of you know Newport is one of my favorite places.  We went directly to the Breakers Mansion (Summer home of the Vanderbilt’s). Wow!!!! That is the best word to describe that mega mansion. 

One area in that home that I particularly am drawn to is the (semi-outdoor sitting area) they called the Upper Loggia. I was swooning. You can see what looked like the entire Atlantic Ocean with the cliff walk running along the edge of the property. Its staggeringly stunning and way beyond over the top. My kind of place.

                                                 

 From there we drove down Bellevue Avenue and Ocean Drive over to Castle Hill (another favorite place of mine). That property is swanky and first-class. We had lunch and just took our sweet time taking it all in. The view is the Atlantic Ocean and many boats sailing by.

The enormous green lawn is immaculate with white Adirondack chairs perfectly placed. One can sit and sip while watching the ships sail. Ahh…..While we were sitting there I didn’t think the day could get any better and just then I got a little video sent to me of three little children that I adore and am close with. I could see and feel their love for me as they were singing happy birthday. It was so sweet and touching. Then right after that, a loving call from Ming’s family. I was just so touched yet again. I truly was. 

For dessert my friend snuck in a pretty cake filled with sparkles and candy hidden inside. My other friend made me a handmade book of Friendship Quotes.  One saying: Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief. Indeed it does. I would be lost without my friends.

 After the luncheon and prancing around Castle Hill, one of my favorite things ever is….Flying a Kite!!!! I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve done this. But, right next to Castle Hill is a well-known kite-flying area, Brenton Point. Another WOW! My kite was super cool…it had a big red heart and an extra-long tail. I loved watching it soaring high overhead. What a great way to keep feeling young. Just fly a freaking kite! It was exhilarating. And flying one on your birthday in such a posh area was even better (lol).

 Driving home I received a text with a picture of Aunty’s great great granddaughter Rosie. I was glad to be remembered. I can’t wait to see her in person.


And throughout the day I got Face Book messages and texts saying Happy Birthday Renee! It made me feel really good. 


 I share all this because like many of you, I had a rough year. It’s particularly tough when you live alone and don’t have children of your own. Staying connected with friends and family means the world to me! And to celebrate in this way, out and about again, was simply wonderful. That is why I share this LONG OVER DUE Joy in my heart. It felt good to feel good again.

 When I arrived home….well, I got teary eyed…not because the day was over, but because four different neighbors left great gifts by my door! And one was the most gorgeous bouquet from Winston Flowers (my ultra-favorite florist). I had to make a few trips to carry everything in….books, jewelry and gadgets and more cards.

And when I got inside I sat down to admire all my cards and those gorgeous pink perfectly blooming roses. I feel like a flower in bloom. It’s amazing what love can do. I feel the love from all the cards, gifts, texts, presents, calls that I received. And well, I just feel so blessed. I am grateful. And a special thanks to my sister Pam who made much of this possible and to my mom who always shows up with lots of presents!!!! She is the ultimate gift-giver! And to everyone who was part of my ageless birthday celebration. With birthday celebrations and friends and family like you…well, This Renee Gold will not ever get old! I love you and I Thank you one and all….

 


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