We threw a surprise 50th anniversary party for Mom and Dad on Saturday -- and it worked! They really had no idea until they got there, and that's quite a feat in a teeny-tiny town like Bridgeport! One hundred six people came to congratulate them, and I can't tell you how special it was to see how moved they were.
I'm putting up a few pics here, but will put up more from the actual party later, as Gary (Fishin' Mission Commish) is sending me a disc with over 300 pics on it that he and fellow Missionaries took -- they're much better photogs than me! So, I'm mainly putting some shots up that they may not have taken.
The party was at the Bridgeport Barns and Terrace, an outside events venue built around a beautiful refurbished barn at the end of town. I'll put more info about that in the final entry, but this is what greeted everyone as they entered the main area. Who is that dashing young couple?
My oldest niece, Abbey, gave her grandma and grandpa fresh leis as they arrived since the theme was Hawaiian. Mom and Dad helped keep the flowers perky by crying.
Dad in his lei. Oh, and we got them there in Hawaiian clothes by telling them weeks ago that we wanted to take a family portrait in matching clothes -- Hawaiian -- to give them for their anniversary. They got a little more than they bargained for.
This pic does not do them justice, but these are the cakes that Arleen Mills (a friend I grew up with) made for the party. Note the heart-shaped tattoo on Dad's pot belly -- it says 'Lyn,' of course.
Sis-in-law Missy and her mom, Jean, made these fabulous centerpieces for the tables. They made 11x14 copies of family photos, mounted them on posterboard, cut them out, and then glued them around cardboard rings. They were a huge hit. And they're surrounded by sea glass, as well.
What's a Hawaiian party without surfers?!
I know this will surprise most of you, but after we had to leave the party location, some of us continued the party at Rhino's. Big brother Jim and Mark (married to good friend, Juli, who lives in Fresno) traded hats ... and shouldn't have.
After Juli had a few kamikazes, she was really, really friendly.
And the morning after, Mom and Dad were generous enough to invite the whole family, Juli and Mark, and the four Fishin' Mission dudes in attendance up to their house for breakfast. Took two griddles of bacon to feed everyone! Willard and Joanne (practically family, as they've known Mom and Pop for 49 years ever since Dad and Will went on the C.H.P. together; and they're the Fruita, CO folks who host me when I'm driving back and forth across country AND I lived with them when I went to Ventura College!) and youngest daughter, Sara, also came by, but after they'd eaten breakfast with brother Donald and his girlfriend, Ellen, down at the Hays Street. I don't think they trusted our bacon ...
Dad's still glowing from the night before. I'm not sure he knew just how loved he is!
Juli and Missy strike a pose in the living room while waiting to eat.
Toni, Jim, and Gary, some of the Fishin' Mission boys, eating and chatting it up on the deck with Missy.
And of course, the nieces had to practice their head-standing skills to pass time. It was Lacey's first time!
After breakfast, the Fishin' Mission boys joined us in cleaning up down at the Barns and Terrace -- Gary grabbed the centerpieces in one swoop.
And we put Toni on pot duty -- the kind of pot you cook beans in, that is.
And the last thing to come down was the sign outside the entry. Really ... it couldn't have been a better party!