Allie! You’re turning 21 soon, don’t forget.. you pick the PLACE and time and we will celebrate CENTORINO STYLE!
WOW… a milestone birthday.
It’s January 24th 2015 WINTER in CONNECTICUT
FRIDGED & FROSTY , nothing was stopping us!
This is the day Allie becomes a legal drinking adult. So it was fitting that she chose to celebrate with a trip to Gouveia Vineyards.
Allie and her sister Steph were in control of the birthday plans. The celebration would begin at 4:30 when Allie, my husband and I left the house to pick up Steph. Headed for wine and spirits, and then off to Archie Moores for dinner. I volunteered to be the designated driver and keep watch over the family.
Leaving the house is always tough as I am the last one out causing the delay. This time, the delay was because of a dog and a little stuffed "Bear," crazy right?
What's this all about anyway? Allie holds this little “Papa Bear “ as she calls him, very dear to her heart, because her late Grandfather "Papa Rino" gave it to her when she was a young girl.
"Dog on the loose," as I was brushing my teeth, I hear the jingling collar of Scooty upstairs, where he is not allowed. First and only stop, Allie's room! Leaping onto her bed he grabs Papa Bear and runs downstairs!
As we were leaving the house me last (as usual) I thought to myself "Cool Papa is joining us tonight.”
Upon our arrival at the vineyard as the four of us were walking to the winery,
I wanted to capture the moment. As usual, I had to beg my family members to pose, no one was looking. Until he popped up.
A young man came from out of nowhere as I snapped the picture and says, "do you want me to take one of the four of you?
YES, YES Please I said as he snapped several photos of us.
As he walked away I told him my daughter is turning 21 today, and thanked him again for capturing the moment for us.
He then said, " Eight years ago I turned twenty one,” as he walked in he turned around and gave his advice, "pace yourself."
Then we walked in from the dark dreary night to a warm and colorful room full of life. It was a magical experience, and I wasn’t even drinking. As I looked around and people watched I loved every minute of it. I witnessed my husband and girls tasting their wines as we all chatted watching Allie open her gifts.
After tasting 5 wines, Allie's favorite was the Chocolate Desert Wine, The most expensive! Anything with the word chocolate would be a good choice! She asked if she could buy and take home a bottle, of course my husband whips out the Visa and hands it to the birthday girl! As Allie stands in line at the bar, he popped up again and tells the woman proudly "add what she wants to my tab, she's 21 today!"
As Allie returns to our table glowing, she says, “here's your card dad, the man that took our picture bought this for me.”
This gesture was all I could think about the rest of the night. This man was the real deal. As our winery time was coming to an end we were off to have dinner. Allie walked ahead to thank him again, as I looked over he leaned in and gave her a hug.
It was off to Archie Moore's for dinner and then home. As Steph, Allie and my husband were feeling pretty good from the wine and spirits kicking in,
my duties as the designated driver would begin now on the road. Little did I know that I would be seeing signs all night when I wasn’t even driving.
We arrived home safe and sound. As I sat drinking some tea with the dog on my lap as everyone else was asleep I RE-played the evening in my mind, feeling the warmth and light of a spirit filled birthday. As something came over me, I was inspired to take a peek at the wine. I walked over to the counter, took the bottle of wine out from the wrapper and saw it, right before my eyes. The name of the wine was Epiphany!
I clearly had one, as I figured out that the kind man that kept popping up was just another Centorino. His name is Papa, and he was there in spirit.
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