Damn! Our son turned 18 this past weekend. Despite being non-verbal, I’m bloody proud of my son and how far he has come.
As a CTO, seeing how he uses technologies to express himself is fantastic. He is persistent and will use his communication device (an iPad) to express his wants, feelings, and other interactions.
His priorities are straight and simple – he loves his family, life, people that are kind to him, my cooking, and a solid movie library.
Our biggest concern is that we never had a real birthday party with friends. We have always tried to invite his classmates to birthday parties, but limited participation means we cancel our plans.
Instead, we celebrate with the core family, taking him on small excursions to the cinema, theatre, or some other activity that we know he loves.
We have been blessed that our close friends appreciate and celebrate our son. We don’t host a party for our son and invite our friends, but we know they would shop up if we did.
Part of me wishes our son would one day meet his favorite action and comedy heroes like Kevin Harte, Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, and Jack Black. But it only happens for Make-a-Wish Foundation or some other charity event.
A Magical Bday Weekend
This weekend we planned a few special trips for our son to celebrate his birthday. We wanted to ensure he had a fantastic Bday weekend and started early Saturday morning. It includes making and eating the food he likes – unfortunately, some food is fast food from county fairs.
A River Cruise
Cruising on the Hudson River is perhaps not as exciting as rafting down the Columbia River or sailing up the Mississippi River to visit distilleries, but it is a worthy excursion, and we had a great trip on the river.
We set “sail” from the seaport in Kingston, NY, a grand old town with many lovely eateries, a maritime museum, and a trolly museum.
The cruise lasted about 90 minutes, taking us past two unique lighthouses, and the crew provided passengers with some interesting historical facts about the importance of the Hudson River – and you can see some stunning mansions from the river.
We had a late lunch or early dinner at a cool place called Ole Savannah, depending on how you look at the clock. Pricy place, but the decor and atmosphere are excellent, and you have a perfect view of the river inlet.
A Redneck Adventure
Late afternoon we ventured to a local county fair. Not to ride the amusement rides but to witness an actual American sport and pastime – Monster Truck racing.
Redneck is a lifestyle, and not assigned to a specific race or ethnicity!
Walking through the fairgrounds and headed towards the race track, we encountered rednecks from all walks of life. It is awesome that being a redneck is not tied to a specific race. We witnessed rednecks that clearly descended from South and North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and probably the Artic.
We were surrounded by like-minded people, although a few were a little too tense and might have caused a riot at the local bar if offered a Bud Light.
A person who lives in a small town or in the country, who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having opinions and attitudes that are offensive
We spent the next two hours watching and experiencing the roars from the monster truck as they jumped over parked cars, and a school bus did donuts and attempted to beat each other in various challenges.
Cooking for a Champion
Starting the day with a healthy breast is essential, so I cooked him an Irish-American breakfast; eggs, pancakes, sausages, white pudding, and plenty of beans.
We experimented with our new pizza oven from Blackstone for the week and Sunday evening dinner. Using a pizza oven is a learned skill, and the first pizza we baked turned out less than perfect. But the result was pretty impressive and tasted excellent.
I grilled chicken breasts for Caesar salad, a chicken sandwich, and my wife for her lunches.
I prepared another Italian-inspired meal for the birthday boy; Spaghetti Bolognese. I enjoy cooking Italian food as I sample red wine while cooking. Cooking bolognese is no exception, as you need a little red wine in the sauce while simmering for 3-4 hours.
The rest of the meals will be cooked on the day we consume them to make them fresh.
|Monday||Homemade pizza||Spaghetti Bolognese|
|Tuesday||Cheese Burger Slides||Caesar salad with grilled chicken|
|Wednesday||Caesar sala with grilled chicken||Chicken stir-fry|
|Thursday||Grilled chicken sandwich||Left-over Thursday|
|Friday||Grilled cheese sandwich||Friday Birthday BBQ Feast, firepit, AC/DC, and adult beverages|
One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!
Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.
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