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Happy Birthday Mom
The Cover of Time Magazine (not real)
41st ANNIVERSARY of her 39th Birthday

Anna Bussell Lachance celebrated today accompanied by partner Joe Pault and son Larry Lachance. The celebration began on Friday afternoon, after Larry's arrival at about 3:30. ahhhhhh...Dom Perignon Hours of planning had taken place before with arrangements made to ensure a good time was had by all and the event would be one that was memorable. That, of course, requires a bottle of the finest champange, Dom Perignon. And what would a bottle of champagne be without some fresh fruit, cheese, water buscuits, and chocolate covered strawberries to go with it. The home made fruit and cheese tray with Chocolate Covered Strawberries  - CLICK for FULL Size (New Window) So with party favors in hand, the rest of the plans had to be made. This would involve making sure we had a way to get where we were going, that there was some pleasant music to listen to, napkins, glasses, cards, gifts to unwrap, and of course a dozen roses to commerate the event. Words of Wisdom here - (a son should never forget roses for his mother).
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Unsolicted Testimonial for Sallys Roses in Jacksonville There is more to this story. In Jacksonville, it is sometimes difficultGo to Top Of Page to "get what you want, when you want it". In my years here, I've learned that if you want flowers you go to Sally's II on Blanding Blvd. I am not affiliated with Sally's and I'm not getting anything out of this acknowldegement. I just belive it is important to recognize quality products and good services at reasonable prices. Sally's IS just that. If you need flowers in Jacksonville, call them, you won't be disappointed.
Ok, here I am, standing at the counter to pick up the arrangement of roses I had ordered for my mom. Bonnie, one of the proprietors of the shop, being not only the perfect flowers person but also the perfect salesperson, asks me if I would like a balloon to go with the flowers. "Here" she says, "take a look at this, it's my favorite". So she points to this large, rather gaudy, helium inflated balloon with a picture of a, not so pretty, Viking woman, horned cap included, that says Happy Birthday on it. Oh - and there is a sticker hanging from it that says "I sing". Well you just know that I, being the tacky one (I may have inherited this trait from my mother although her tackiness is a bit more refined with singing Santa Claus at Christmas or maybe a mechanical Easter bunny for the season) just had to have this balloon. Let me clarify the statement about Mom ... she does not have a singing fish on the wall!
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You see the picture on the right - this would be the "proverbial" balloon. I carefully pack up the roses in the back of my durango and even more carefully place the balloon where it won't move a lot. Bonnie warned me that it doesn't take much to make it sing. She had previously demonstrated the complete and utter ridiculous nature of this unnecessary waste of hard earned money and, after hearing it once, I knew good and well that I could not bear listening to this thing for 2 hours of driving. Needless to say, Interstate 95 is not the smoothest ride in a Durango so I did...listen...once every 5 or 10 minutes for the full 2-hours of driving. And then, Mom liked it so much I listened to it again 10 more times. I think if I never see a singing balloon again, it will be too soon. Go ahead, click on the balloon, join me in my misery, find out what it was like...and people ask me why I drink??? HA!
Go Ahead - Tap the Balloon by clicking with your mouse - hahahahaha
Go ahead - tap the balloon - click on it with your will only play once, thank goodness!Go To Top of Page
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I've made it to Cocoa with only minor trauma from the everpresent Viking lady and now it's time to get on with the "event". There were only a few pictures taken so there is no album to go look at. The pictures are simply viewed within this page, just click on them to open full size.

Nobody knew what I had in mind and nobody was prepared for what was about to happen. Mom and Joe only knew that we would go out to dinner this night. And, they both knew what we would be leaving the house at 4:00PM.

Before the time came to leave I had to find a way to stall so I set the gifts and flowers on the table on the porch and waited for Mom to come out.

The Adventure Begins
Checking out the balloon - CLICK for FULL Size (New Window)
Checking out the balloon
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Here's Mom looking over what I've done. Notice the "I Sing" tag on this most treasured of all gifts? Besides the flowers and the balloon, there is the card, two fairly recent (between June and August 2006) photos of Noah and Caleb (great-grandsons), two music CD's and the bottle of Dom. Also there is a linen towel with strawberries on it so that we would have something to use for the next part of the day. Checking out the pictures - CLICK for FULL Size (New Window)
Checking out the pictures
click to open full size
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I'm still stalling for time so I suggested that she open her card and her gifts. Once the Dom came out (you know mother) she wanted to have a glass - and I simply had to manuver my way around that subject as well, at least for the next 20 minutes. So I said, why don't you go get ready to go, were going to leave at 4 PM. With only minimal "third degree" Mom and Joe both went to freshen up for our big adventure. When they came back out to the porch, my surprise had not yet arrived and Mom was getting snacky. I go to my car and pull out the "snack tray" that I prepared and brought with me. Of course I get "that's too much food" ... "we won't eat our dinner" etc, etc.

Finally my cell phone rings and it's time to go. I tell them both (only I know what is going to happen next) let's go. So, out the door we go and as Mom is thinking she's getting in my Durango, up the road comes the White Mercedes Pullman Limousine to which she says..."you didn't" and to which I replied..."I did"... was wonderful!

The limo came from Sir Randolph's in Orlando, complete with uniformed, English, chauffeur. The very proper gentleman driving the car was Pinafore. I don't know if that was his first name or his last name but, no matter, he was most excellent. As he rolled out the red carpet for Mom to get in the car I grabbed the music, the snack tray and, lest we forget, the champagne and off we went down the road for part one of the evening out. A replcica of the limo we rode in.
We're Off Go to Top of Page
Hilton Melbourne Hotel

Out the gate, turn left, turn right on to Interstate 95 south and keep driving, all the time Mom saying "I know where we are going" then, "oh, maybe not" then again, "I know". And, all the while, sipping on Dom Perignon, and nibbling on grapes and cheese and crackers.

We drove down the road to the Melbourne exit and headed towards the ocean and once again, Mom believes she knows where we are headed. Alas, we miss the turn and go all the way to the ocean before we turn south and then into the front entry drive of the Hilton Melbourn Hotel.

Pinafore stops at the doors and comes around to let my mom out of the car, once again, laying the red carpet down before she steps out. We all go inside to the Seaside Atrium Lounge of the hotel for a bit of chat and some adult beverages. Mom had a champagne cocktail, Joe had a nice scotch on the rocks and I had, ummm, the usual (at this point, rum and coke)

We lounged for about 1 hour before calling for our transportation to meet us for the next leg of our journey, back north, via the senic Route 1, to Cocoa Village for birthday dinner.

Seaside Atrium Lounge inside the Hilton Hotel

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Ulysses' Prime Steakhouse Logo
Arriving at Ulysses' Prime - CLICK for FULL Size (New Window)
The Grand Arrival
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Clicking on the Ulysses' Prime Logo above will take you to the restaurants website. All three of us had never been here before but, we will most definetly go back again. Ulysses is a dining experience rivaling the likes of Mortons or Ruth's Chris, perhaps even better with the intimacy of the small, old town, setting and impeccable service.
We've made it, (after having passed it once, Mom gave the Chauffeur directions on how to get back) and she barely waits for Pinafore to open the door before getting out. We have arrived for our 6PM dinner reservation and what is soon to be a real treat - a fantastic dinner. Go to Top of Page
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View of the interior dining room at Ulysses' Prime Steakhouse
Cocoa Village, FL (2006)

From the Ulysses Website, a picture of the dining room
Ulysses Menu Item - Click to open full menu in PDF document (NEW Window)
Mom had the Filet Mignon- see it from the menu above. The restaurant has a PDF verion of their current menu on their website. I decided to save this one to this website for posterity. You may download the menu (PDF Document) by clicking on the image "House Speciality" above.

And so ends our birthday experience. All of us left the restaurant with (I really can't call them this but I will) doggie bags and extremely full stomachs. The food was superb, the service was impeccable, and the entire experience was fantastic.

After 2 hours of feasting we once again summoned our chariot for the short trip back to Mom and Joes place.

After we arrived (8:30PM) we chatted for a bit and then I returned to my own chariot, (comparatively just an ox drawn cart) and headed north back to Jacksonville.

Steak at Last
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Happy 80th birthday Mom - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed doing for you - Love you mom!
Today Is April 26, 2018 - This page was last reviewed or updated 4171 day(s), 2 hours ago.
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