That Time I Turned 29

collbirthday518westAnother birthday down!  This year, I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday a few times, starting on Thursday night.  Jay had to work until close (11:00pm) on both my birthday and the day after it, so we had to have my official birthday dinner the day before.  I wanted to try some place new, so I picked a restaurant called 518 West, located off Glenwood South in Downtown Raleigh.  It’s an Italian restaurant, so it was right up my alley.  It was AWESOME.  We had this great bruschetta called the Shrimp Bruschetta BLT.  It was grilled shrimp over toasted focaccia bread with goat cheese, bacon, arugula salad and balsamic reduction.  It was also heaven on a little piece of bread.  For dinner, I had whatever the special was – I don’t remember what it was called but it had pasta and bacon, so really, do I need to say any more?  At the end of the meal, we ordered an ice cream brownie and the waiter wrote “Happy Birthday!” on a little white chocolate block.  It was a really nice dinner and I’m glad we tried some place new.

For my actual birthday on Friday, Jay brought me flowers at work before lunch, so I got to finally show him my office and give him the tour of the building.  His reaction?  “Wow, this is like a night and day difference between [your last office]!”  Damn straight it is.  After Jay left, my boss took me and my co-workers out to lunch to celebrate the day.  We went to Another Broken Egg Cafe, which is also the place where my boss and HR Director took me for my first day here.  Continuing with the previous night’s spirit of trying new things, I got the Lobster & Brie Omlet and it was outstanding.  I waddled back to my desk after that and worked at an outstanding pace with the determination to finally be all caught up and leave a little bit early.  Mission: accomplished.  Despite a minor setback that included me spilling water all over my desk as I was packing up my work laptop (I had about 20 minutes of work to do at home over the weekend), I made it to Pure Barre and grabbed the last open spot on their list.  Pure Barre runs a promotion on your birthday where you get a free class, 15% off class packs, and an additional 15% off of lululemon gear (turns out when you buy lulu through them, it’s already 20% off).  I took advantage of all of the above!  I was super stoked to get a new lululemon shirt for 35% off.  It was a good workout, too.

Jay had his lunch break at 6:00pm, so after class, I ran home real quick and changed to head back out to meet up with him for the hour.  We split appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory (I was still full from lunch) and then Jay had them bring out a red velvet cheesecake with a birthday candle in it.  🙂  I’m generally a big fan of the Adam’s Peanut Buttercup cheesecake, so I’d never had the red velvet one before.  Another new thing.  It was gooood.  Jay even took video, despite my protests for him to take a picture instead, haha:

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My night wasn’t over yet! After I left the Cheesecake Factory, I headed to a place called Fox and Hound at North Hills to meet up with my friend Sara, who was there hanging out with all her co-workers.  Everyone was super nice and welcoming of me.  birthdaycakeshotI even got a couple of shots of tequila from some very generous co-workers.  OH! And I even tried a new shot!  Our waiter gave me a courtesy birthday shot of “Birthday Cake“.  I’m not a huge fan of sweet shots, but the occasion made the shot all the better.  Because I’m crazy, I managed to get in a blog post while everyone was talking among themselves, lol.  I know that does sound ridiculous, but it made me happy to do it.  I had a really fun night.  I’m always down for meeting (and drinking) with new people!

I took a birthday celebration hiatus on Saturday.  On Sunday night, it was time to celebrate my birthday with the rest of the Raleigh-based Glatfelters.  We had to go someplace at the mall because Jay worked til 7pm.  That worked out well for me, as if I don’t want to eat Italian food, then I want to eat Hibachi.  We went to a good old birthday favorite, Kankii.  Another birthday meal, another chance to try something new:  Sake bombs!  I’ve never had sake before last night, let alone done a sake bomb.  The whole table tried it.  I loved it, I want to do more!  Jay’s sister didn’t like hers, so I ended up doing hers too.  Add in the glass of wine I was already drinking, and oh, was I in a great mood at dinner.  I even cleaned my plate, haha.  Of course, there’s picture and video evidence of the sake bombs:

My favorite part about doing the sake bomb is that it was a family affair. It made it 300% more fun to do it with everyone.

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All in all, it was another great birthday weekend. I like that I did a lot of little things that were spread out instead of one big deal. It suited me well for how busy I’ve been lately that I’d been able to enjoy a bunch of “littler” celebrations that I could enjoy all the more.  I do miss my parents, sisters, grandparents, etc. back on Long Island and wish that I could’ve also spent it with them as well, but other than that, I can’t complain about my 29th birthday weekend.  Thanks so much to everyone who made my birthday so lovely this year!  It’s my last birthday on record, so at least I went with with a bomb…er, bang.

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