Granddaughter Amalia's second birthday was celebrated on August 25th in two cabanas of Miami Beach's art deco Raleigh Hotel with its famous swimming pool that seems to be perpetually waiting for Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire or Esther Williams to show up.
We tied some balloons to the palm trees so guests could find the party, but Amalia objected loudly to the balloons--not because she thinks they're too kitsch-y, but because she finds balloons scary.
She cheered up when a man named Bobby brought pitchers of lemonade and iced tea and red and white Sangria. That's Abuela Carmen on the right.
He also brought some pizza to the cabana. Amalia decided she would check it out.
It was so tasty that she ate the whole pizza before any of the guests arrived.
Amalia and the other little girls ignored the famous swimming pool and kept dipping water out of the pool with empty sangria glasses and pouring it on the sand so they could make sand castles.
Finally Mommy and Papi managed to lure Amalia into the pool to pose for a family photo.
Amalia was fascinated with one of her presents--a toy for making cakes and sweets out of play dough.
While the adults ate pizza and drank sangria, Amalia concentrated on the play dough.
Then Bobby brought some special ice cream that was a surprise sent by Amalia's Tia Marina who was in San Francisco and couldn't come to the party.
Everybody waited to see how she liked it.
But after one bite she abandoned the cake and the fancy ice cream and went back to nibbling on the play dough cupcake she had made.
When it started to get dark, Amalia knew it was time to say good-bye.
There were goody bags for the children.
And when she went home, there was another present -- a Dora tricycle that made noise and gave directions in Spanish and English. It was a surprise from Yiayia Eleni and Papi had assembled it.
After careening around the house....
Amalia ended the evening by dancing with her Papi...
It was her best birthday ever!