Throwing a party

I haven’t posted anything lately because I’m still recovering from this past weekend. You see, we threw a big party.

This is the year both of my parents are turning 60, so myself and my two brothers decided earlier in the year that we were going to invite all their oldest friends and throw a surprise party for them. Somehow, we pulled it off; even with the unexpected weather, we had a lot of the guests show up (some were coming over the mountain passes and couldn’t make it), and everything went off without a hitch.

We rented the Parish House at the Old St. Francis School, and that turned out to be the perfect place for a party—not only were we able to accomodate everyone that showed up, but my parents, my brother and his wife, and two old friends were able to stay the night. McMenamins was really accomodating, too, even though we didn’t have them cater the party; we used Costco for all the food and drink.

So, my brother and sister-in-law got to town Thursday afternoon (from San Diego), keeping a low profile so as not to ruin the surprise (we don’t see them very often, obviously). Friday I left work at noon and we ran around getting ready for the party, and then Saturday was the big day. Getting the food, decorating the cottage, setting everything up, and then getting my parents down there without telling them what was up. (They knew something was up—we’d cryptically told them to clear the calendar for the weekend and to meet us at our house Saturday late afternoon.)

They never saw it coming.

It was awesome. Tell the truth, I’m a little surprised we were able to pull something like this off. We’d been planning for months, plenty of opportunity for it to get out, but it didn’t. I’d never tried to organize a big party like that before, but all went well.

And renting the cottage at McMenamins turned out to be a great move; it was cheaper that many of the other spaces we looked at (conference/banquet rooms in hotels, for example), and it was perfect for anyone needing to spend the night—we weren’t on a time schedule to get out of there. There’s enough of a kitchen to be useful (no stove or microwave though), and if you wanted to get out for a smoke, or a drink, or fresh air, you can just step out the back and step into O’Kane’s or stay by the outdoor fire they had going. I’d recommend it for anyone looking to do something similar.

Sunday we cleaned up and went out to my parents’ house with all the leftover food and alcohol and got together with the family again before my brother and his wife had to leave Monday. By that night, winding down, I could feel it creeping up on me: this weekend kicked my ass. Yesterday I was feeling really run down and dragging at work, today is the same but not so bad.

But don’t get me wrong—it was totally worth it and I’d do it again, in a heartbeat. One of the best weekends, ever.

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