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Trigo! Family! Birthday Cake!

Apropos of nothing...to quote John Lennon - I'm so tired.
I can't begin to describe how tired I am right now. :( I'm going to take a nap.
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(I wrote this a work today during a break - it's a description of last weekend)
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First of all, if you live in or near Panama City, Florida – go to Trigo Café. It’s on Harrison Street, and the food is outstanding and reasonably priced. If you do eat there, before you leave you must buy a loaf of his Bleu Cheese Pecan bread. It’s unbelievable.
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Ten months after I was born, friends of my parents gave birth to their own baby girl. To this day I tell Janey that after a month of playing with me they wanted one of their own. Yeah, I’m humble.
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I say “friends of my parents” but really they are family, and they always will be. I think of her parents as my spare set of parents and her brothers as my brothers. So last weekend I helped out with her dad’s 70th birthday party held at Janey’s brother’s restaurant, Trigo. It was a huge affair! Three of his sisters and his brother came, along with many of their children. Also attending, of course, were Janey and her two brothers, their spouses, all of their children, my parents, and my husband – so I’m guessing there were about forty of us in all. It was a surprise party and there is a really funny story about that which I cannot publish but would be glad to tell you in person… Jay and husband and son came over the Friday before, so we made a birthday banner, played Quiddler, and generally just enjoyed being together. We live in different cities and although we email almost daily, we don’t actually *see* each other that often, so it was sooooooo good to have her over. The next day, after yet another pancake breakfast, we kidnapped my parents and drove to Panama City. It was a gorgeous day – it couldn’t have been prettier, and the drive involves passing loads of beaches so the scenery was lovely. We got there early enough to hit some shops and check into the hotel where Jay and nearly her entire family were spending the night. Mom got in a *great* slam on one of her brothers. (Janey’s family is Catholic and her brother, who is truly crazy, was trying to put a claim on my converting because he said it would give him seven years. I asked, “Off purgatory?” and his wife snickered. Then Jimmy started quizzing me and telling me how I needed to go to daily mass because he goes to daily mass. Mom asked him “And what good has that done *you*?” which triggered applause. Ha!)
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We left them by the pool to decorate the restaurant while Johnny and one of his employees cooked dinner. Slowly, family began to arrive and mill about catching up with everyone. Some live in Tampa, some in Panama City, some in Tallahassee, some in Pennsylvania, etc. so it was great having everyone in one room. Someone finally spotted the birthday boy’s car – lured over to help with “an electrical problem Johnny seemed to be having with the restaurant” – and suddenly 35 people ran down a hallway and into a storeroom noisily trying to hide. How they couldn’t been seen and heard from the street I don’t know. Anyway, some of the smarter people hid behind the counter instead, and they jumped out and yelled a weak surprise while the bulk of the crown was still stuck in the storeroom, which was pretty funny. Then everyone else had to file out of the storeroom one by one because of space constraints, so from my vantage point it looked like the Marx Brothers (Night at the Opera?) where people kept falling out of the tiny ship cabin. It worked out great as a receiving line; however, because as each person filed by John he gave them a hug and thanked them for coming.
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The rest of the evening was awesome because it was filled with everyone talking. I had an absolute blast. Many people in their family ought to be comedians because they can be hysterically funny. Jimmy, who is the craziest one and who used to tie me to furniture when he was six and I was one because he wanted to play with me and I wouldn’t stop crawling, is full of outrageous and questionable stories from being a bail bondsman. He used to be a private investigator before that, so he lives a wild and occasionally dangerous lifestyle. Nearly everyone is easy to talk to, so conversation flowed nonstop. And the majority of the people there I knew since birth (theirs or mine!) so, it was just really comfortable and familiar.
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Unfortunately, I can’t share many of the stories told (even with names changed to protect the innocent).
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We left around nine and made the two hour trek home. I can’t begin to imagine what happened after we left… The hotel is still standing, however, so that’s a good sign.

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