My 80th Birthday

My 80th Birthday

We were having dinner in a small izakaya (pub). We’d struggled a bit to find a good restaurant for dinner. The first place we tried was full, but they recommended another restaurant that we eventually found. When we arrived it was empty but the proprietor turned us away. As we left, they waved us back in and offered us a table. We were early and I think they hoped we’d be gone by the time their reservations showed up. It almost worked!

Near the end of our meal a large group of young people arrived. Several spoke some English and were eager to practice with us. We learned they were a group of students, professors, and marketing professionals working on a project to promote a local brand of shochu. They appeared to be having a very good time and were so welcoming that we stayed for another round of drinks.

Celeste let it slip that it was my 80th birthday. A local musician was performing with traditional taiko drums and a shamisen (a three-stringed guitar-like instrument that is plucked with a stick). The other patrons were eager to celebrate with us. They serenaded me with Happy Birthday and before long the entire izakaya was singing, dancing, and helping play the taiko drums. Pure joy!

Words don’t do justice to the experience. We took some short videos that do a slightly better job, but nothing like being there in person. It was a marvelous way to celebrate a birthday!




  • Jack Peters
    Posted at 03:31h, 19 March Reply

    Belated Happy Healthy BIrthday !!!

    This over the horizon friend gratefully turned 79 March 13 th

  • Scott Stabbert
    Posted at 05:57h, 19 March Reply

    Never knew you such a party animal!
    What a cool time.

  • Sheila Morrow
    Posted at 06:21h, 19 March Reply

    AH! The perfect celebration! Happy 80 Don!

  • Lori Lloyd
    Posted at 08:17h, 19 March Reply

    Memorable and Happy birthday celebration! Thank you for sharing with us. Big hugs xoxo

  • Michone Walker
    Posted at 13:32h, 19 March Reply

    Happy birthday Don! What a great way to celebrate

  • John Ruscetta
    Posted at 15:34h, 19 March Reply

    Happy belated birthday Don.

    John and Gidget

  • Beverley Lynn Desmarais
    Posted at 17:04h, 19 March Reply

    Happy Birthday! Great celebration!

  • Valorie Carpenter
    Posted at 17:19h, 19 March Reply

    Hau’oli La Hanau Don!

  • Michael and JoAnne Gray
    Posted at 17:51h, 19 March Reply

    What a wonderful birthday celebration! We are so enjoying your blogs!

  • Ken Diestler
    Posted at 17:58h, 19 March Reply

    Another day ….Another Great Experience. Happy Birthday

  • Craig Rowelll and Cory Ray
    Posted at 19:07h, 19 March Reply

    Happy Birthday Don!!!

  • mike harrington
    Posted at 19:12h, 19 March Reply

    Happy birthday!

  • Mary Ann Underwood
    Posted at 02:28h, 20 March Reply

    Happy Birthday. May you have many more. You make your life good!!

  • Jill
    Posted at 12:05h, 20 March Reply

    Belated Happy Birthday! Great to celebrate with new cultural surroundings and enthusiastic Crew. Rod and i feel like every year we spend on a boat over 80 we get to subtract!

  • Tom and Jan White
    Posted at 19:20h, 20 March Reply

    Happy 80th Birthday.

  • Azusa Maruyama
    Posted at 11:55h, 21 March Reply

    Happy belated birthday Don! We cannot wait to see you and Sharry in Japan. We’re looking forward to hearing back from you.

  • Hugh Reilly
    Posted at 17:25h, 23 March Reply

    Another belated Happy Birthday wish . . . and for many happy returns of the day!

  • Hal Wyman
    Posted at 15:40h, 24 March Reply

    A belated Happy Birthday, young man!

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