My maternal grandmother, Nana Dale, turned 70 years old last weekend. In classic Nana Dale fashion she invited her friends and family to join her in celebration on the Lady Venetian Yacht docked at Bayside Miami, FL.
What I love about destination celebrations is that the fun begins and ends long before and long after the big event. We started gathering Thursday evening and the last traveling guests arrived Sunday morning, the day of the party.
I’m so proud of my family we got our directions together and arrived safely to the destination and home, nobody was forgotten at the airport and all the children went home with the right parents. It was so nice to see everyone coming together in joyous fellowship.
The yacht is decorated beautifully. As we entered the boat we went upstairs to the lounge level where the captain’s control room, the dance floor, DJ booth and one of the bars is located. The fruit, cheese and vegetable trays were fresh and tasty. My sister in law and I were particularly impressed by the Wasabi vegetable dip. It was delicious.
The ship took off for a tour around the bay. We socialized as a photo presentation of family snapshots created by Nana Dale played on the televisions. We sat down for dinner on the lower level just after sunset. We dined on salad with cashews, bread, curry goat, rice and peas, grilled Red Snapper and sweet plantains. Between dinner and desert my cousin led a birthday presentation.
We sang Happy Birthday, called out the January birthdays of everyone present and paid homage to the ancestors. I especially enjoyed the game “who knows Nana Dale best?” We guessed her favorite dessert – ice cream and her favorite vacation – Barbados. Then we spoke individually about our connections to her. Then we indulged on dessert of Key Lime Pie, cheese and chocolate cake with coffee and tea.
After dessert we moved back upstairs to the lounge for dancing and mingling. The elders are so funny; they know they want to get their grooves on but they try to be smooth around the young folks. We got a few of them to get their two-step on; we even had a soul train line flowing for a little while, good times.
We circled about the exterior deck on the main level and the upper deck of the vessel. Everyone taking photos and flashing their pearly whites. My grandmother seemed happy and that’s really the point. All of her four children were in attendance as well as many of her grandchildren, other family members and friends.
After the party we gathered together walking up and down Collins Ave visiting each other in the various hotels where the out of towners were lodging. The next day we all gathered at my grandmother’s place – she doesn’t live in South Florida but she started getting her snow bird on a few years ago so she escapes here in the wintertime.
Everyone together, breaking bread together, walking on the beach, talking about current events and laughing at the characters we all are, reminds me so much of our youth. It was good to see everyone together, enjoying each other.
It was a soiree to remember. Thank you for sharing your celebration with all of us. I am because you are; I never fear aging because God is showing me the pathway through you. Happy Birthday Nana Dale and Many More!