It was my birthday mid-week just past, so we began celebrating on the preceding Saturday evening, with cupcakes and champagne with Andrea at our place. Of course, Nick and boy-cat Eddie were there too!
Andrea gave me such a thoughtful gift -- it is a very pretty frame with a picture of the two of us in it. Her idea is that the frame always be used for a picture of us together, updated as life goes on. If all goes as hoped for, one day this frame will contain a shot of two elderly friends.
I'm going to make sure to keep the previous pictures safe in the frame, behind the current one, so I'll always have them all to look at. The picture that she put in was one taken at the end of the summer in 2014. We had made a recipe from a Jamie Oliver cookbook, which I wrote about in this post.
The bow she used to decorate the present (which was wrapped in lime green tissue inside that pretty bag) was one that I make her for her birthday, seen in this post. I'm saving it to give back to her next year.
Andrea also brought over some of her awesome home baking, Dark Chocolate Banana Cupcakes! They were delicious. (More on those at the end.)
I love this lady and my response to her note in the birthday card ... "So lucky to have you as an honourary sister", is "Same here."
Then we headed out for drinks, joined by her friend Anna who is now my friend too.
We had planned to go to a new place to the west of us, in Parkdale, called The Shameful Tiki Room. She had been before and knew that I'd love it. Unfortunately, they don't take reservations and it is very popular, so when we arrived it was jam packed with a line-up that we were told would take at least 45 minutes. I got a look inside though, and Andrea is right, it really looks like a place I'll enjoy. So we will have to go again another time during the week when it's bound to be less busy.
Since we'd taken a streetcar to get there, we decided to stay in the neighbourhood. After checking out a couple of other places that were also full to capacity, we found a good table at a very casual bar called The Rhino.
While it wasn't our first choice for places to go for a birthday celebration, we had a fun time there. The drinks were good (beer for me and Anna ... they have lots of choices, and gin and tonics for Nick and Andrea), as were the tunes that was being chosen by our fellow partiers from an excellent jukebox. There was also some nice art on the walls but I didn't get who the artist was and the website's not updated.
↑ I first met Anna on this night in January. By coincidence, during that outing she and I chatted about David Bowie for quite some time, as we were both big fans. Given the time difference, that conversation happened to have taken place pretty well during his unexpected passing.
All in all, it didn't matter if we got our first choice of venues or not, as the night was all about the fine people we were with!
Oh, and about those cupcakes! Andrea followed this recipe from a blog called "Love From the Oven", with the only modification being the addition of some Jamaican Rum Cream Liqueur to the frosting. The combination of banana and dark chocolate was very nice indeed. (Note, the recipe is at the bottom of that link.)
Here's a picture she took just after she made them.
Thanks very much for taking a look,
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