petitefores.jpg Today I wore a brand new blue shirt to work. It was a present from Jon. And while I am one of those lucky girls who receives occasional gifts-at-random from her hubby, this time he had a reason. You see, today I turned 23.

This is the twenty-third birthday I've celebrated (though only the 19th that I can remember). Unfortunately, I did have to go into work today. Still, my mother, the woman who gave birth to me, is my boss. I suppose I'm lucky she likes to celebrate this day... when it remains to be a fairly painful memory for her. Hehe.

To celebrate, she took me to lunch in downtown Pleasanton. We had lots of options, but on a whim we headed for The English Rose . It looked like an antique store from the outside, and we were very surprised at what we found within. A delightful, cozy dining room with antique furnishings and soft music playing. It was a real tea room!

Our afternoon tea was delicious! We opted for the Queen's menu: finger sandwiches, "a variety of savories," scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, and tiny desserts (including petite fores!). The hostess offered a very, very wide variety of teas. I'm no daredevil, so I chose the house specialty, an English Rose blend. Mom went the British Colonial India route. Yummy!

So, that was a sweet way to spend the first afternoon of my twenty-third year on earth. We went back to finish out a long day at the office.

At home I curled up with Jonathan on the couch. Together we sat very still. I could hear his heart beating, the cat purring. All was right with my world. (Yesterday I received my final grades from last quarter... A-,A,A-... OH YEAH!) Then, after we'd unwound enough to be witty and cute again, Jon and I shared about our respective days. His was productive, too.

But the night wasn't over. We got all spruced up and headed to Santana Row in San Jose for dinner. Jon got us reservations at Left Bank , a French restaurant that sounded sufficiently romantic and memorable. As we strolled down the pretty street, arm in arm, the misting rain settling on our hair and eyelashes, I had to sigh.

Left Bank was all it was cracked up to be. The waitstaff was friendly and quick to get us seated and fed. The menu included everything from duck to lamb to sausages and apples (Jon's pick). I ordered the special, airline chicken cordon bleu. Scrumptious! The portions were just small enough to leave us wanting dessert. Chocolate fondue for two. We skewered homemade marshmallows and slices of strawberry, dunked them in the succulent melted chocolate... and decided we'd wandered right into heaven. Fondue and true love? Can it get any better than this?

(I submit that it cannot!)

We're home now. Jon is stretched out in the recliner, dreaming about binary numbers and the superiority of Windows to the other lame operating systems (i.e. Linux... I just like the penguin). Our cats are happy we're home; it means that they get dinner soon! And I have my favorite German raspberry candies, another treat from Jonathan, to enjoy before bed time.

Hooray for turning twenty-three!