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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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My 34-hour birthday

Uploaded: Feb 3, 2016
My birthday last week was extraordinarily long and extra special as well. We traveled back from our week-long trip to Lebanon on my birthday, so with the 10 hour time change, we had a few extra hours to celebrate!

We spent the day touring the mountains above Beirut, and enjoying an amazing lunch in a seafood restaurant in a snowy village. An alpine village seems an unusual locale for seafood, but in Lebanon, the Mediterranean Sea is never more than a few hours away. It is a short drive down the mountain for the chef to purchase the daily fresh catch. From the village, we had a magnificent view of the coast and the sparkling sea to the west, and the white mountain peaks to the east. I was surprised with a cake and candles, which we somehow managed to consume even after a multi-course lunch!

Second only to eating and socializing, our favorite activity in Lebanon is hiking. Our friends guided us on a hike down a valley to see ruins of a picturesque centuries-old bridge and mill along a rushing river, complete with a shepherd and his small son calling and herding their grazing sheep.

We also visited a site high on a mountain peak with a 360-degree view of mountains, valleys and the sea. A refurbished home perches there, atop many layers of civilization in unexcavated ruins. Our friends, the architects who restored the house, pointed out to us how the rocky outcroppings around the property had been “worked” and carved, evidence that we were likely walking on the remains of an ancient millennia-old pagan temple. Later, the temple stones were repurposed as a church. In a cave dug into the rock, we saw brightly colored 6th century frescoes of biblical images. The property also had a tilled olive grove with fragments of painted pottery. All of this attesting to the thousands of years the land has been occupied. One feels a connection to the countless generations of people who have sought out the spiritual experience of the site’s awe-inspiring view.

It was a birthday I will long remember!
What is it worth to you?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CherylBac, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Feb 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing such a memorable birthday.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Matthew, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Feb 4, 2016 at 5:53 am

Can you add pictures to your blog?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Teresa, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Feb 4, 2016 at 8:03 am

Sounds lovely -- Happy belated Birthday Sally! I'd liked to see pics too.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 4, 2016 at 8:06 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

HI Cheryl,
Thanks so much. I was also touched by a lovely hand drawn book I received!

Hi Matthew and Teresa,
I'm having difficulties getting the pictures from the phone to computer. I'll consult my tech support today (AKA my teenagers)!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Gabrielle, a resident of Community Center,
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Sounds like a magical time. Happy Belated Birthday Sally. Ditto on the pictures.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Feb 5, 2016 at 5:51 am

Sounds beautiful! What a great way to celebrate!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by PR, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Feb 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for this delicious posting and Happy Birthday, Sally!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Karen, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Feb 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

Happy birthday! Even the small details paint a beautiful picture of the things you saw.

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