My dad took that brilliant photo of my sister posing on a rock at Nauset Beach in Cape Cod. All I can say is that she’s lucky that the wave hit her when it did, otherwise it would have been just another one of my dad’s fug mug shots. The thing about my dad’s pictures is that he makes you sit and wait for what seems like hours while he adjusts the focus and by the time he is ready, you’re about to shut your eyes, or sneeze, or have a facial tick. We all learned to pose stoney faced because of that. When they unearth our family photos from the landfill generations from now, we will be known as The Sad Family where everyone seems to have Bell’s Palsy and the baby (me) has Down’s Syndrome. It’s the element of shock and surprise that makes us question the photograph: Is she having fun? It turns out, no, she almost drowned right after. But she lived to tell the tale and she also lived to see another big surprise last Saturday night. No, it wasn’t a snake, it was a surprise birthday party arranged by our other sister, Sue and Sandy’s husband, Clifford. The how, where and when took some care to configure because Sandy likes fine dining and was hell-bent to go to Marben, organic restaurant on Wellington but try sneaking 20 other people in there at just the right time, it’s like preparing for the G-20. And by the way, this is why people should have cell phones. I don’t know how they did this kind of thing in the olden days.
It turned out they chose the perfect spot, The Chef Upstairs, 516 Mt Pleasant. It’s like being in your own house, if your house was a restaurant and you had your own chef and wait staff. Check out their website here. They do catering, cooking classes for adults and kids, private parties, and have Sunday brunch. They have guest chefs come in, including Jamie Oliver, am going back if they ever have Tyler Florence (call me! I would totally do his laundry). The venue is upstairs in one room where the entire kitchen is surrounded by bar seating and there is a dining area where we had set up a Sandy slide slow and bonus: washrooms on the same level. The food was fantastic and you could chat with the chef and the staff like they were part of the party. Why would you ever have a home party when you could do it there?