Birthday Wrap

I think I must have had about 5 birthday events this year. It was a big one, but I would never have expected all this hoopla. It started with the Flashback! party at the O Street Mansion (see previous post) and then continued through Sunday, July 12th, my actual date of birth.

Birthday Boy and Girl

FLASHBACK! Birthday Boy and Girl, Randy and Marianne at O Street Mansion

In the middle of the week I received a package of hugs and kisses, wrapped in 60 $1 bills from my mom and dad (see previous post). It still chokes me up…

Hugs and Kisses

Hugs and Kisses

On Friday Yolanda bought tickets to Pink Martini at Wolf Trap and we were joined by our buddies, Marianne and Jeff, who brought along a picnic. I was thrilled that Gavin Bondy, the long-time, bad-ass trumpet player in the band, was able to meet us before the show and catch up about old times. We played together with the MIchael Kissinger Band in Vancouver, WA in the late 1990s.

Marianne and Jeff, Gavin and Randy

Marianne and Jeff, Gavin and Randy at Wolf Trap

Who is that goofy-looking guy?

Birthday Cupcakes at Wolf Trap

Birthday Cupcakes at Wolf Trap

The band was HOT, as usual – a real crowd-pleaser. They played music from around the globe and audience members were encouraged to come up to dance on stage. There was a special guest appearance of Ari Shapiro, the new host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” who is a crooner in his own right.

Pink Martini

Pink Martini

That evening Yolanda gave me an envelope with an itinerary for my birthday weekend. We packed a bag and drove West to the countryside to stay at the White Moose Inn in Washington, Virginia, home of the famous restaurant, the Inn at LIttle Washington.

The White Moose Inn in Washington, VA

The White Moose Inn in Washington, VA

The Inn is beautiful; it’s a mix of sleek, modern taste within a well-kept historic building.

Ready for DInner!

Ready for DInner!

The highlight was dinner at the Inn at Little Washington. It’s really a complex of buildings with a restaurant, gift shop, flower and vegetable gardens, farm yards (chickens, sheep, llamas) and guest rooms, all within a tiny village of about 5 blocks.

The Inn at LIttle Washington

The Inn at LIttle Washington

We had some awesome food that seemed to go on for hours (actually, it did), with one exotic dish after another.

Tempura Soft Shell Crab

Tempura Soft Shell Crab

In the midst of this serious food, you can find a sense of humor, as presented by the cheese cow, wheeled around by the “Cheese Wiz” who has a pin on his jacket noting his certifiable expertise in the cheese subject. Moooooo!

Cheese Cow

Cheese Cow

On Sunday, my birthday, we took a walk around town, visited the barnyard, and then headed over the hills to Sperryville. In Sperryville we stopped into Haley Fine Art, which turned out to be a first-rate art gallery which included two works by our friend, Craig McPherson.

Mezzotints by Craig McPherson at Haley Fine Art

Mezzotints by Craig McPherson at Haley Fine Art

Moving from sublime to kitsch, we drove over the mountain across Skyline Drive to Luray Caverns. You have all been to these kinds of places, a product of the 1960s. While the place is an amazing example of mother nature doing her thing, her children can’t help but turn it into a tourist trap, complete with gift shops full of useless trinkets.

Lauray Caverns

Luray Caverns

Pretty crazy and quite beautiful, if you can separate yourself from the crowds. And then there’s the cavern organ. Yep, that’s right. Some guy long ago figured out how to tap the stalactites (hanging down) and stalagmites (piling up) with little hammers to produce notes that can be played on the keyboard of an organ. Crazy.

Cavern Organ

Cavern Organ

Upon returning home, Yolanda added a new patch to this very cool NASA flight jacket she gave to me. Our orchestra friend, Cassie, is the Chief Planetary Protection Officer at NASA and she gave me a GRAIL patch (gravity recovery and interior laboratory). Grail is a lunar orbiter that maps gravitation fields of the moon to determine its interior structure. Got that?

To Infinity and Beyond

To Infinity and Beyond

I now come back to the hugs and kisses. While all of this attention was truly wonderful, what is most wonderful are all of my great friends, my loving family and and the love of my life – all of whom make every day special. 60 is truly sweet.

60 is sweet!

60 is sweet!

Live long and prosper!

Live long and prosper!

Live long and prosper!

About randyjmueller

Sr. Instrument Repair technician
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s