I am stuffed to the gills with birthday cake. This has been a mammoth year of birthday celebrations – the latest of which, as you know, was my mother’s eightieth birthday.

My family knows how to celebrate

My family knows how to celebrate

The weekend began with a divine dinner at Chez Pierre. What French meal would be complete without a view of Eiffle Tower (okay, so it was a replica), good wine, and a birthday smackaroo from the chef/owner of the establishment?

Friday night dinner at Chez Pierre

Friday night dinner at Chez Pierre

On Saturday we did a little house hunting, then lunch at the Escena Clubhouse, and onto the historic Annenberg estate, Sunnlyands in Rancho Mirage. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets to tour the house, but thoroughly enjoyed roaming the museum anyhow – including a film about the estate’s exquisite Mid-Century Modern architecture and all the Annenberg’s royal, political, and star-studded guests. Mom was a HUGE Frank Sinatra fan, so she got a big kick out of seeing the Halston gown his bride Barbara wore when they were married there.

Sunnylands

Sunnylands

Saturday evening was off to the Follies. I’m kicking myself for not knowing where, but somewhere I have a photo of my mother -age 3, dancing on the stage in Kansas City with her miniature Fred Astaire partner – making the Follies a most appropriate celebration on the eve of her big birthday.

The Palm Springs Follies

The Palm Springs Follies

What makes the Palm Springs Follies unique is the cast range in age from 55-84, and they all looked more fabulous in their showgirl costumes than I did at 25! I literally cried with laughter over the jokes, and Darlene Love from the Oscar-winning documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom, brought the house down.

80th Birthday Brunch at Spencers

80th Birthday Brunch at Spencers

Sunday was the big day, and my cousins came in from Illinois to join us for an extremely decadent brunch at Spencer’s complete with Maine Lobster Benedict!

My family like to eat!

My family like to eat!

I’m probably going to be dieting for a year after all of these festivities, but it was scrumptious, and as obscene as it may sound, we were not done yet…

With my sister Patty, Dad, and Uncle Harlan

With my sister Patty, Dad, and Uncle Harlan

Many of mom and dad’s good friends from Des Moines winter in Palm Springs, and they threw an exceedingly elegant dinner in her honor.

Birthday Dinner at La Spiga

Birthday Dinner at La Spiga

The grand table by the crackling fireplace in the outdoor dining room of La Spiga Restaurant was framed by the mountains and fruit trees.It would be so easy to mistake the local for Tuscany, until you notice the putting green in the far corner.

Why not have your cake (ice cream, and mousse) and eat it too!

Why not have your cake (ice cream, and mousse) and eat it too!

Mom and dad are now in their eighties, but that doesn’t mean they are slowing down – they still love a good party, and plenty of birthday cake (and ice cream, and chocolate mousse). The birthday that began with billinis in Venice last June is finally over. They wore me out – I came back to LA and slept for the better part of the past 24 hours!

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