Twenty-four years in the making, and one month in the planning of your birthday party, by the Il Volo Gals of Detroit! Lucky for us, your birthday was on a Saturday this year! That made it easy for us to plan and make sure everyone would be able to come and enjoy and relax and have fun.
As we were putting the final touches on your party, we could see from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, that you had a jump on the festivities for yourself! Lots of champagne, a little vodka, pizza, and some whipped cream possibly? I’m sure you made it last all weekend, including a boat ride and swimming and lawn games with friends.
Saturday, June 24, 2017, proved to be a most beautiful day in Detroit, Michigan. Gorgeous blue skies, a light breeze, big puffy white clouds, and about a cool 75 degrees. Might have been a bit chilly for the pool, here…but we had a great time as always.
We invited our core group of 6 and a few others. Betty from New Orleans tried to make it up here, but due to the storms tumbling through the Louisiana coast a few days prior, it was difficult to get a flight out. However, she said she would be sure to be here for your next birthday – a quarter century it will be!
Target time for arrival was about 4p. Lorna and I got there about 4:30p and a short time Donna arrived and everyone was there. Emilia would be coming later to join us after she got off work, after 9:00pm.
We brought so much food! We partied at Sharon’s, like always, and spread out our pot luck smorgasboard of cheese/crackers, chips/salsa, and fruit. We brought chicken, salmon, brats, sausages, and hot dogs for the grill. We had a nice healthy salad and green beans, too. We even had some pulled pork! And who could forget the wine and champagne and our toast to you! Of course, everything was delicious… We ate outside under the beautiful early evening air, enjoying the serenity of the rushing water of the fountain in Sharon’s koi ponds.
There were special gift bags around the table where the cake was displayed with your picture on it. Several of us contributed little gifts to go in the bags….as we also celebrated a few other birthdays on Saturday. We impatiently waited until about 9:25p, when Emilia finally got there. We were like little kids, peaking inside, wondering what was in the bags. You may remember Emilia is the one who brought you the box of treats and sweets in Detroit at the meet and greet. For us, she made peanut butter bars, oh so tasty!
Emilia finally arrived! We greeted her and she had a bite to eat. Then it was time to sing Tanti Auguri to you. After 4 or 5 attempts, I think we finally got a good version! Ok, finally, Christmas had come in June and it was time to pass out the presents. I knew what was in there, so my camera was ready to take pictures of the one special gift from Chris, along with a few others. I took pictures of the faces of happiness and surprise, and sheer joy.
Oh, you want to know what was in the bags, too? 🙂 Well, some very thoughtful little gifts, ranging from personalized calendars and magnets, to Sicilian lemon candies and a Sicilian Lemon candle from Yankee Candle, to a wine bottle stopper, M&Ms, some sweet treats and photos from past events! It was quite the little treasure bag – a big Grazie Mille to Chris, who had been planning this for months, as well as Lorna!
Then it was time – time to have some cake. We hesitated in cutting into the beautiful cake, but we managed to cut all around it to save the beautiful picture of that handsome fella on the front. The cake was chocolate with chocolate frosting with a strawberry filling between the layers. It was almost as sweet and wonderful as you.
Before we cut the cake and were trying to figure out the selfie sticks, Emilia ran around and took selfies of us all (after she figured out the selfie stick!) 🙂
After the cake was done and we had stuffed the last crumb of the peanut butter bars into our mouths, we collapsed in chairs, looking at all of our presents. We also put on the Pompeii concert to listen to that. Soon, it was nearly midnight and time for us to say goodbye.
We had a wonderful evening… we helped Sharon clean up and put away the food. Believe it or not, there were still nearly 3 whole bottles of wine left!
No games were played at this party, just the usual fun, laughter and togetherness we share in loving Il Volo!
It was hugs all around, as we said our goodbyes. A few of us, including myself, stayed the night as we stayed up to watch another concert of yours!
To all the guys…you give us reasons to party, to have fun, to remember, and to hope, and for a few nights a year, forget all our troubles and be thankful you are Il Volo and we can share in this special experience that we all know and love. You give us joy and inspiration to keep going sometimes, day after day, when we think we can’t go on, but when we look into your eyes, our problems fade away... Until next time, Piero! Have a wonderful year!
Jana and the Detroit Il Volo Gals….
Chris, Lorna, Ginny, Sharon, Donna, Barb, Magdalena, & Emilia