Manny is one lucky guy. (And not just because he is married to me!) For the last several years, we have ensured that his birthdays have been particularly memorable. We celebrated his 60th enjoying the house blends in a coffee shop in Amsterdam… For his 63rd, we placed the order for our home on the road, Serena. When he turned 64, he relived his college days in Madison, Wisconsin, and his wet and wild 65th found us aboard the Maid of the Mist, cruising under Niagara Falls.
This year Manny turned 66. He has the incredible good fortune of having been born on the day the church celebrates St. Louis King of France, especially this year. We arrived on the very weekend that Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, was celebrating 300 years of history with an event called “LouisRocks!, part of the Louisbourg300 anniversary celebration. So Manny got to celebrate his birthday along with an entire city!
On Saturday of Manny’s birthday weekend, we settled into our lawn chairs as dusk descended on the waterfront courtyard of the restored 18th century Fortress of Louisbourg. A small contingent of fife players and drummers opened with several spirited tattoos.
The cool evening air was electric with anticipation as the crowd awaited J.P. Cormier, a Canadian born folk singer who has soared to international fame.
Although lesser known, the real star proved to be Matt Andersen, a beloved Nova Scotia son, and one of the best blues guitarists we have ever had the pleasure of hearing!
On Manny’s birthday, we feasted 18th century style, at the town’s Beggar’s Banquet.
When we entered the tavern-like setting, we were shown to the wardrobe area and given an outfit to wear. All the guests were good sports and complied.
The result was fantastic. The room was transported back to the 1700s, the straight-backed wooden chairs and long tables filled with buxom chamber maids and devilish pirates.
As we ate the local fare of crab, lobster or halibut, we were regaled with comical tales and serenaded by Étienne, a good-natured and talented musician.
We laughed, chatted and drank our delicious hot buttered rum.
Sebean, the bawdy proprietress, made her way around the room flirting with all of the male guests.
Of course, Manny got special treatment and received a big birthday kiss from the toothless beauty.