Monday, August 25, 2008

Alex's Big Do

We had a one-of-a-kind Saturday, which involved hiring a car for the weekend and driving 75 minutes up north to Whale Beach, and then partying for 10 hours in a really cool, industrial-minimalist, 2001 Architecture award-winning beach house.

It was a 40th birthday bash which was really celebrated in STYLE. The birthday boy, Alex had everything down to a T, especially with the different types of hor d'oeuvre (yummy miniature snapper pies, skewers of fat, juicy shrimps, bruschetta in wraps instead of grilled bread, Vietnamese rice rolls and a slew of delicious little nubs) that were continuously circulated by the 2 waiters. There was champagne and wine flowing and I was probably the only person there who did not drink at all: (1) I am alcohol-intolerant although usually would succumb to a glass of white wine with not too much ill effects, and (2) I am the designated driver home that night. The other guests had thoughtfully arranged for car services to pick them up and some others had scored a bunk in the gorgeous house for the night and would be treated to massages the following morning (to help them recuperate from the excesses of the day before, no doubt) and a BBQ brunch.

Alex's friend, Vanessa, who is a soprano at the Melbourne Opera Company, entertained us with a few well-known arias in her powerful and beautiful voice, with the perfect setting of the sunset behind her through the glass. It was rather surreal while everyone basked in the reverberation of the opera in this unusual venue.

The brave sat on the balcony, puffing away in an intimate circle with the surf pounding below while the more warm-blooded humans sat indoors and admired the beauty of the scenery through the protective glass doors. The weather was actually not too bad for what was forecast to be a rainy day. It was clear for most of the day, and the wind was not too chilly. I had moments of standing on the balcony (for photos and short chats) without my overcoat, and could not refrain from my perennial boast, "And I'm from the Equator as well!" to drive home my point.

Our ages were pretty much given away with the choice of dance music, "retro" 80s and 90s. But we are what we are, and with 40 years under Alex's belt, this was a really wonderful celebration that he so generously shared with some 20 of his special friends.

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