My family embarked on one of its rare outings for my Mom’s birthday last week. It’s difficult to find a day when we can actually all take off work, considering our crazy schedules. As a result, these occasions are always special! Mom chose The Oaks Lodge in Chippewa Lake as our dining destination, which sits lakeside and has a gorgeous view. We sat on the patio, where Olley had the opportunity to run around and be entranced by the frogs jumping in the little fountain. The Oaks is not exactly a vegetarian’s dream come true, but I did enjoy my pecan field green salad, as well as my “fallen” chocolate souffle, which I ended up having to take home because I had to go back to work! Everyone else also enjoyed their food for the most part, from seafood kabobs to shrimp pasta to salmon. To combat the heat, I savored a Domaine Rothschild White Bordeaux, which was perfect for the sultry evening. Mom’s neighbor downtown was kind enough to send us a complementary bottle of Fetzer Gewurztraminer. I did have to warn my parents that this would not be like the Alsatian Gewurz they like (snobby, I know), but it was kind of her friend to send it nonetheless. Sadly, we all had to rush home – me to work, and my sister to put the kids to bed – but I still cherish these memorable, even if brief, moments with the whole family!