change date is at the bottom of each page.
NEWS - Cocoa, FL
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
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.
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).
||There is more to this story.
In Jacksonville, it is sometimes difficult
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!
|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???
- tap the balloon - click on it with your mouse...it will
only play once, thank goodness!
|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.
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.
Checking out the balloon
click to open full size
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 to open full size
|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"
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"... haha...it was wonderful!
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.
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
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
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.
|View of the interior dining room at Ulysses' Prime Steakhouse
Cocoa Village, FL (2006)
| 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
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
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
click to open full size
80th birthday Mom - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I
enjoyed doing for you - Love you mom!