Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dad's 70th Birthday: Celebrations and Surprises!

What exciting celebrations we had for dad's 70th Birthday!

Knowing that he's quite a low-key person and would not organise his own birthday party, I thought of throwing a surprise birthday dinner for him. After discussing with mom and sis, we decided to keep it as a family affairs - ie. have a nice Chinese dinner and invite his siblings and family as well as my mom's side.

To accommodate my sis and brother-in-law who are able to be back only after work on Friday, we decided to hold it on Saturday, after all, his Chinese birthday is not over yet.. I called my two aunts in Singapore and as well my other aunts and uncles in KL. Finally we got 29 people confirmed!

Of course he knew nothing about it. Instead, he thought of calling a few of his close friends over for dinner and drinks, and that happened on Wednesday (and some of them couldn't make it on Fri) And he didn't want to tell them it was for his birthday.

He really had a whale of a time on Wed night - after dinner, they went down for karaoke and really sang and drank the night a way!! Yes, he got pretty drunk...

And on his birthday proper, I told him I would cook him a nice Western meal. Ya, I do like cooking especially Western meals once in a while. :)

Dinner menu:
  • fresh mushroom soup with dinner roll
  • arugula, avocado and aspragus salad
  • ribeye steak with red wine sauce
  • roasted new potatoes
  • buttered baby carrots
  • molten chocolate cake with pecan vanilla ice-cream (no, i didn't make this ;p)
  • red wine, brie with grapes
It was quite fun preparing for dinner and since I've had some experiences (ahem), the timing was pretty perfect and I thought I was quite organised! So everything was ready and dinner was served at 7:30pm sharp as expected!

And dad thought that was it, not knowing that the real two surprises were awaiting him.
He had no idea that my sister would come back for his birthday (it was a secret the whole family hid from him.. )

Earlier in the morning, sis has already sms him to wish him happy birthday and then in the afternoon, called and asked the kids to greet him too - telling him that they were going out that night!

Well, sis and brother-in-law took the late flight home from Hong Kong (as they were working and arrived at about 10pm. It was so funny when she returned dad's call, she was already on the cab home from airport! She even apologised for not being able to be with him on his birthday to which my dad said it's ok..

So, imagine his shock and surprise when my sis and b-i-l turned up at the gate at about 11:25pm! Dad's jaw dropped and his mouth agape. It was something he never thought of! And after hugs and all, I could see he was so touched and happy that tears welded in his eyes..

Dad would have thought was the ultimate birthday surprise for him..

The next day, we acted as usual and since sis and b-i-l were around, it was natural that we planned to go out for a meal. And we told him that the venue has been planned in advance. He was curious but I insisted we wanted to keep it as `secret'..

Of course, all the guests ie. our aunts and uncles from both sides and our cousins had all been informed personally about this surprise dinner and had been playing along with it. I found out that an uncle had to make up stories to dad about the date he was coming over (since he does come here quite often)

I texted the guests to remind them to be there at 7:30pm and we would arrive a bit late.. so dad would be greeted by a sea of people.

Perhaps dad was already elated enough to have sis back to celebrate his birthday with him, he really didn't suspect anything at all. Even when he saw an uncle's car parked at the car park of the restaurant, he just presumed it was a coincidence that they were also dining at the same place!

As we entered Elegant Inn, the restaurant manager played along and even pretended to have mixed up my booking and fumbling to find a table for us, as he led us to a darkened room. When dad pushed open the door, voices shouted `Happy Birthday!' and he was shell shocked as the lights were switched on.

Yes, he was literally stunned for a couple of seconds!

I think dad's reaction was a mixed one - of course he was happy to see all of them, including my two aunts who came specially from Singapore. But knowing him he also felt a bit bad as well.. he never wanted to trouble anyone and has always quite low profil.

But hey it's his 70th birthday after all, and that only happens once in a life time! :D

So all in there were 28 of us, seated in two big tables. It was a time of reunion and good company, to catch up with one another.

Of course, it was a time for feasting and drinking! The food was nice - I had spent some time and effort pondering over the menu and really glad it up to standard. And the service was very good (all included in the rather expensive prices!)

Drink wise, we had dad's favourite - whisky and also a few bottles of red wine.

Finally, we had special homemade birthday cake - a Rum & Raisin Cheesecake - ordered from my friend FBB. It was a really yummy, as extra rum has been added! Everyone loved it!

Besides a few quite hefty angpows, dad also received a beautiful framed painting and a collectable huge bottle of Johnny Walker that's more 20 years old.

But I'm sure, more importantly, it was the family get-together that surely made his birthday extra memorable..

... and not to mention the two big birthday surprises he would never forget! (phew, so glad we pulled it off and I gave myself a pat on my back as the mastermind.)

Happy 70th Birthday (again) dad, and ya, you deserve all the attention!! :D


boo_licious said...

Well done!! Surprises are so nice aren't they? I think Ee Chin made his day by coming back from HK.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Many Happy Returns to your Dad! What a lovely celebration with loved ones!

Fee said...

wow, what a fantastic way of celebrating a birthday! you did a great job! in fact, you have inspired me to do something for my dad too! :)

jesscet said...

Thanks! indeed it was a memorable birthday for dad.. and for us too! ;)