Despite the weather, it was a damn good party. What lucky people we are to have such cool friends, co-workers and neighbors who can inter-mingle and bring such fun times to our home and garden. Children also add an extra energy that is vital to our BBQs. Since we have a number of toddler-guests now, I've realized how "adult-ized" our backyard is. Cement steps, uneven flagstone slabs, sloped paths, delicate grasses & low, step-on-able plants... Actually the challenge it poses could be tons more fun than a lawned yard with a fence and patio slab. But the younger kids enjoyed doing laps up the steps over the flagstones down the steps across the bricks, over and over again.
(Owen dashing past)
While the older ones seems to like the fire pit and the roasting of marshmallows for smores. But once fire was lit, all the running of laps by the toddlers had to stop. Kids and fire. They go together like a bottle of Bourbon and a fully charged cell phone...
Ken and I learn things every year in an effort to improve and refine our BBQ hosting skills. Just last week we carefully watched Suzanne and Sam (Sumeer) as they hosted a 20-25 person BBQ and grilled multiple meats. Unfortunately, a last minute illness kept them from receiving some BBQ reciprocation from us on Saturday but Ken and I kept referring to them by saying things like, "Sam, had a plate and served the cooked food from here." "Suzanne staged the condiments like this." It's not hard to BBQ--what's all the fuss right? Well, the good ones make it look easy. This year we also added the fire pit (big hit) and some 6' fold-up plastic tables from Home Depot that made a world of difference from last year's feeble attempt at using a card table and TV trays as a staging table. But this year I realized we don't have enough plastic servingware. Bowls for chips and such. So that will be among next year's improvements.
We also tried to blend two types of parties that maybe shouldn't go together: BBQ + Karaoke. In retrospect I think we'll stick to one or the other because it can really break up a party. But we had some stellar performances from Dan, Christina, Ken, Allen & Norma. But the highlight for me was witnessing Denise at 8 months pregnant belt out Def Leppard's Love Bites. I had also forgotten what a consumate hit that song was (check out Def Leppard's hair-iffic music video).