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What an extravagant birth month I’ve had! I’ve been feted, gifted, toasted and celebrated. It sure takes the sting out of turning a certain age.

This weekend at the luxurious Langham Hotel in Pasadena, I got an inside view of Sylvia’s leisure class lifestyle. How splendid to have your every need met, your every pleasure satisfied, your senses constantly soothed.

Through the years, the hotel’s been modernized but the bones of this grand dame remain unaltered and her majesty is undeniable. Whether we were sipping cocktails poolside, strolling through the extensive grounds, dining in the Club Lounge or “in repose” on the fainting couch overlooking the balcony in our room, the peaceful grandeur followed us. It was like walking into an Edith Wharton novel. In the distance lay the glittering city, but the property was like an oasis of refined seclusion.

What a wondrous experience—and Silky enjoyed it the majority of her life. Even during the war or times of great personal loss and sorrow, she was safe and comfortable, surrounded by beauty and ease. Not that a fancy hotel and unimaginable delicacies can replace a loved one, but it certainly makes the day-to-day existence rather nice.

As pampering, luxurious and fun as the weekend was, I was glad to get home to my little cottage, my familiars and my simple little life. Although it isn’t grand and elegant, I’m happy and safe and grateful for all I do have.

This post’s photograph was taken in Silky’s apartments in the Savoy Plaza Hotel, New York in January of 1944, just prior to her marriage to Lord Stanley of Alderly. They were wed at the Copely Plaza Hotel in Boston on a cold winter’s day.

After all my picnics and parties; the cakes, candles and cocktails; the flowers and trinkets, the thing I notice most about this birthday season is the love. My friends and family clearly adore me to celebrate so spectacularly. To be cared for and admired really is the finest luxury one can know.