I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love my birthday more and more. I don’t know why, but maybe its because of an accumulation of wonderful birthday memories from years passed. I remember ice cream birthday parties, events at the roller-skating rink (with a fuzzy green dinosaur skating around), slot car racing, ski trips, a Chilean 21st birthday celebration, and countless cupcakes, flowers, and balloons. All have been so fun and unforgettable, and remind me of happy times with friends and family.
This year I was really looking forward to the big 2-3 and all of the things I had planned for the week. After spa Sunday, Steph and I made a trip to Barrio Chino to ring in Chinese New Year. We got giant dumplings, spring rolls, and chicken meatballs, and finished our feast off with some fortune cookies (which had the same exact fortune!). Before leaving we browsed some of the stores in search of the perfect Chinese New Year trinket, and found adorable golden elephants to take home as keepsakes. Later that night we went to a new favorite summer spot Soria. The outdoor bar makes a great old fashioned and is a cool place to go on a beautiful summer evening.
The next night we had to work at Pub Crawl in San Telmo. Upon hearing that it was my birthday at mid-night, my co-workers made it their mission to get me a little drunk. The owner of La Barceloneta gave us all tequila shots on the house, and wished me the very best birthday. After, my friend pulled me up on the bar so that all of the pub-crawlers could sing me happy birthday (I almost peed my pants I was so embarrassed). It was such a fun night and a great start to my actual day of birth.
My birthday usually falls on the same week as Mardi Gras. This year was no exception, and February 12 actually fell on Fat Tuesday. We had learned from some Irish friends that Fat Tuesday is called Pancake Tuesday in Ireland since people normally make a big breakfast the day before Ash Wednesday. I got overly excited by this bit of information, and decided to do round two of roommate brunch. We changed the menu this time around and made banana and apple pancakes (with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar), home fries, a quiche, toast, and a fruit salad. It was the first time I made a quiche, and I must say it came out very good.
Later that day, Pat took us to a cute French café called Bar du Marche. I loved the black and white tiled floors, and the chic yet cozy feel of the bar. We ordered the wine and cheese tasting that the café offers, and were each given three different types of wine which were paired with different kinds of cheese. Along with the wine and cheese came crusty bread, apple preserve, mini pickles, and delicious olive oil. It was such a wonderful place to go and I am so glad that Pat suggested it as a birthday activity. After our wine tasting we got a few cortados closer to home to wake us up, and then started getting ready to go out.
Everyone on Pub Crawl’s favorite night to go out is Tuesday because of Hype at Kika…and I of course was the only member of the staff to never have gone before. Since it was a Tuesday, it seemed appropriate to celebrate my birthday with our PC family at Hype. We went on Pub Crawl for a little, then stopped at my favorite spot, Acabar, for some Jenga and caipirinhas, and finally made our way back to meet everyone at Kika. On the way we came across a Carnaval celebration in the street, with music and tons of people dressed in crazy costumes dancing and singing. At last we made it to Hype, and it was everything I hoped it would be. The music was awesome and the party was so much fun.
To finally wrap my birthday celebration week up, my roommates and I went out to a nice dinner thanks to my wonderful parents. After working at a barbecue restaurant in East Hampton, I have become a huge fan of BBQ food. I decided to have my birthday dinner at El Tejano (the place behind our Thanksgiving turkey), a closed-door restaurant known for its outrageous Texas BBQ. The meal was all you can eat smoked brisket, ribs, and matambre, along with jalapeño cornbread, coleslaw, baked potatoes, and sweet pickles. I would have to say that this dinner was probably one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. The smoked brisket was perfectly charred on the outside and tender on the inside. Topped with the sweet pickles and El Tejano’s BBQ sauce, and eaten with the coleslaw, it was beyond delicious and definitely my favorite part of the meal (round 1 out of 4). The ribs were amazing as well, falling right off the bone and full of flavor. I could not have been happier to share this meal with my friends, and to celebrate my birthday in South America. The week was so wonderful and definitely adds to all of my fond birthday memories.