If you’ve ever met my dad, Peter, you know he is quite the character. Part pirate, part hippie, he’s full of fantastic tales about his adventures around the world. And if you’ve spoken with him for more than a few minutes you’ve probably heard the story about how he sailed to Hawaii with a friend when he was 18 using only the stars as his compass to show him the way or that time he rode a bike across the United States with just a backpack and a tent.
With grey, salty hair, an infectious smile and a towering 6’6” frame, he certainly stands out in a crowd. And when he carries my kids on his shoulder it’s like they’re miles away! He has no television, cell phone…no computer or email…and that’s just the way he likes it.
The other thing you should know about my dad is that, with his family, he is generous to a fault. He is like a 3rd parent to my kids. He comes over every afternoon to take Henry and Vivi to the neighborhood playground or on a walk (after a long day with the kids this really helps me gather myself and keep my sanity) and also happens to come on every vacation Wiley and I go on.
So, it seemed obvious that we should throw him an extra-special birthday party for his 60th. We decided to host it at my sister Sophie’s very hippie/boho Topanga pad that my dad built from the ground up in its entirety using recycled materials – like a wall of old surfboards and wine bottles for a stained glass effect in the shower wall (not only is my dad interesting but he’s also very talented). Her place also just happens to be currently covered in a lush purple wall of Wisteria – so much so that it perfumes the whole garden. It was heavenly. I promise you it’s one of the coolest houses you’ll ever see – small, but perfect, and full of character.
Dad and his three daughters (me, Freddi and Sophie)
Since my dad used to live in Hawaii working as a rickshaw rider, we went with a luau theme, complete with Hawaiian shirts, Don Ho “Tiny Bubbles” on the playlist, and Spiked Tropical Punch (super strong because I made it while the kids we’re screaming and wrapped round my ankles). For dinner we grilled red snapper and veggies served with rice, a couple different salads and a chocolate cake for dessert. It was such a beautiful, warm California night and the market lights added the perfect touch. We might have to make this party an annual thing.
Photos taken by the incredibly talented Erin from Hello Pinecone Photography.