A birthday weekend of overindulgence

News photo by Donna Rovins Palmer was happy to receive a new telephone - a Smartphone (!), which means we're allowing him to have a data plan.

What a weekend!

First we had the festival Saturday that is Punxatawny coming out of his stump to predict whether spring will be coming early – it will. I was up at 6 a.m. and turned on PCN, but I had already missed some of the festivities, which apparently began somewhere in the dark of night.

But Saturday was an even bigger day – the day my little groundhog turned 16! Let the fun begin. As part of our tradition, Scot and I always let the birthday boy (or girl – me) pick where they would like to be taken to eat. They then get to choose their favorite Mom-cooked dinner and their choice of cake.

Also part of the tradition is that any birthday cards that come in the mail, are saved until we open the family gifts. When my mom called Palmer on Saturday, she wondered if he had opened her card yet, but he hadn’t. He was waiting. She thought that was ridiculous – but it’s the tradition. And this year – Palmer didn’t want to deviate from tradition.

So Palmer’s choice of restaurant this year was … SHADY MAPLE SMORGASBORD. He has been there twice in the past year: the Exeter drum line has a “tradition.”

We have lived in Reading since 1996, and Scot and I have never stepped foot in that place. I am not a fan of buffets of any type. I don’t like the choices (too many) and I especially don’t like that I have to go get my own food when I am paying so much for it.

But this was Palmer’s day. So I put aside my prejudices and planned to enjoy the experience. Because we went ON Palmer’s birthday, he actually got to eat for free, which was a nice bonus. Because if there was any one of us I was confident would get their money’s worth – it was Palmer. So to have him eat for free was even better.

They advertise that they have “200 feet” of food. They certainly had a lot. So we got to our table and everyone was ready to go. I turned Palmer loose while Brannon and I explored the offerings before making some choices. By the time I got back to the table with my freshly prepared spinach and Swiss cheese omelet, Scot had already cleaned his plate and had it taken away … Palmer, too. They were headed back for round two!

Brannon ate about $3 worth of food – too many choices for him, I think. Scot had plenty, along with his favorite sweet choices of cinnamon rolls, donuts and, yes – ice cream. To be fair, the boys both had ice crème cones, too.

What about me, you ask?

Well, I am embarrassed to say that I got my money’s worth … in BACON. I really love really crisp bacon. There I was, standing at the buffet, faced with a big buffet tub of it – cooked to perfection. What was a girl to do? I overindulged in bacon. To soften the blow … I did put some prunes in a bowl and eat them, too!

We survived Shady Maple, and while it won’t be my choice for birthday destination – Palmer was thrilled.

So after I took a nap – did I mention how much bacon I ate? – we just kind of hung out. We had a fire in the fireplace and we watched “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. Then, believe it or not, it was time for dinner. We had breakfast kind of early, and everyone was hungry by the time we had dinner at 7:30. Palmer’s dinner choice – chicken parmesan with angel hair pasta, followed by ice cream cake.

We opened presents, and he was tickled with his new phone – we’re letting him have some data – and a set of the new Apple “Earbuds.”

You might think our weekend of gluttony ended there – but you would be wrong.

Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday – with all the snacking that goes along with it. How else do you stay interested in the game? Enough said about that subject!

I know – just writing this on paper is making me feel A) ill and B) like a pig. I have no doubt we all ate a week’s worth of calories over the course of these two days. Hopefully we did no permanent damage –nothing that can’t be undone with lots of water and cruciferous vegetables.

Happy 16th birthday to Palmer – who enjoyed a two-day celebration. At least he didn’t ask me about his driver’s license. And for the record – I hope he doesn’t ask me what’s for dinner anytime soon, either.

One thing’s for sure – it won’t be bacon!