Thursday, October 14, 2010

i wanna celebrate and live my life.

This post is about two weeks late, but my birthday was such a bonanza of festivities that the prospect of writing a post was almost too daunting...almost. However, I want to properly document so I can remember what I great birthday I had on September 30, 2010, so prepare yourself for an onslaught of photographical evidence that I had a most excellent 28th birthday. (No, that's not a typo. I really am just 2 years shy of the big 3-0 --wowzers.)

My birthday started off at work with a ridiculously awesome display of my team's creativity. They had totally decked out my cube with streamers, balloons and various photo-shopped pictures centered on a New York theme. I especially loved having my face inserted on the Statue of Liberty. There was a birthday lunch, a trivia game and lots of birthday treats throughout the day. All in all, it wasn't too bad for having to be at work on my birthday.

That night, Kori took me out to a birthday dinner at Coast. Not only did I get to spend time with one of my dearest friends, I also got to enjoy a beautiful setting, a great glass of wine and some really delicious seafood which included crabcakes, a seafood salad and grilled salmon.

The next day, I celebrated turning another year older with my beautiful family. We hit up Fireside Pies for some yummy pizza, salad and wine. Nick took one for the team when a rogue waitress spilled marinara sauce all down his left side. This snafu resulted in a serious chunk taken off our bill to which we were greatly indebted to Nick. Thanks a heap!

And what birthday is complete without cake and presents? We went back to Michelle's to open presents and eat the divine strawberry cake made ever so lovingly by my dad. We also toasted the festive occasion with celebratory glasses of champagne, because anytime is a good time for bubbly. (Feel free to quote me on that.)

As if that weren't enough, the merriment contiued throughout the weekend with a girls trip to my favorite place in Texas: the ATX. We headed down south Saturday morning and drove straight to Stonehouse Vineyards overlooking Lake Travis. The winery was really beautiful and we enjoyed a wine tasting at their bar with 3 white and 3 red wines. After we sampled their offerings, we got glasses of wine (bubbly for me) and took our party out on the patio to leisurely sip our spirits and listen to the live acoustic music. Obviously, superfluous photo opps were absolutely necessary.

I think I could have sat out there all day, but we had much more on the agenda, so we packed it up and headed to check in to our hotel. We were then joined by my cousin Elisa for a quick champagne toast before we made our way to Malaga for dinner. Whilst at dinner, we sipped on a delightful sangria and feasted on dish upon succelent dish. Since it was a tapas restaurant, we were able to share about 8 different menu items and I don't think we even left so much as a garnish on the plate. From the swordfish to the goat cheese-stuffed peppers to the flatbread to the prosciutto-wrapped scallops to the artichoke-manchego dip, it was all incredibly savory and so flavorful.

Even after all that food, we still had room to sample some dessert, so we pressed on to Halcyon where we enjoyed frozen hot chocolate and made s'mores at our table. I hadn't done that since I lived in New York, and it was so much fun roasting marshmallows while sipping on our after-dinner drink. After we had closed out our checks, a waitress came over to deliver not one, but two plates of tiramisu. I thought she had made a mistake, but she proceeded to inform us that a gentleman at the bar had ordered us the dessert. After politely thanking him, we did our best to polish off the final food item of the evening, because we couldn't let such deliciousness go to waste.

We decided to make our way back to our hotel, but a familiar sound caught our attention and much to our surprise, we discovered the Spazmatics were playing at Cedars. Naturally, we had to extend our night and have an all-out dance party on 4th street. We eventually put on such a spectacular performance that the bouncer had no choice but to let us in the courtyard without paying the cover. A rockin' good time was had by all.

After we sufficiently recovered from the previous night's festivities, we ventured out into the beautiful Sunday that laid before us. Our destination was South Congress Cafe, but being the superior establishment it is, there was a rather lengthy wait. Christy and I took advantage of the exceptional weather and explored the sights and sounds of SoCo. We even got to enjoy a bluegrass band.

We wrapped up our tour and headed back just in time to be seated. We toasted the end of our trip with lovely brunch cocktails and feasted upon various sweet and savory brunch dishes. Per usual, South Congress Cafe did not disappoint.

And let's be honest, a trip to Austin never disappoints. We had an absolute blast and I enjoyed every single moment of my 28th birthday. I look forward to this new year with great anticipation.

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