Sunday, February 8, 2015

Birthday Weekend & General Life Update!

"Pardon me while I burst 
A decade ago, I never thought I would be. 
A twenty three on the verge of spontaneous combustion. Woe-is-me."
- Incubus, "Pardon Me"


Hey everyone! I had a FANTASTIC birthday weekend and I thought I would share it with all of you! I know I've posted quite a few "issue" related posts lately (more article-like than blog posts), so I thought you all could use a life update!

Patrick didn't have to travel for work for all of January and is just now going on his first business trip of the year to Austin Texas, so we've been able to spend a lot of time together! He really needed to get out of the house, though. I kid you not, he rearranged his office four times and the living room five times. He gets stir crazy after a while of strictly working from home!

Friday was February 6th, the day before my birthday, and I got to have a really great birthday dinner! Last month, I told Patrick that I wanted to "have a birthday dinner with our close friends at a sushi place" and let him run with the idea. He began inviting our friends to go out with us... until we found out that our chosen restaurant would be closed for the month of my birthday! Boo! He had already began inviting people and because we ended up having to switch restaurants, the guest list had to be cut off where it was (we had actually over-invited guests!). Even though I wish everyone had been able to come, especially the ones we got to invite, some people ended up not being able to make it so we did end up fitting in the space we reserved, which was a relief but definitely a bummer because it meant people weren't able to make it.

Regardless, I ended up having an AMAZING birthday dinner! We reserved two tatami rooms with the divider between them removed at a Japanese restaurant in San Carlos called Kaigan Sushi, where we've eaten several times before, but it was my first time in a tatami room!

For those who don't know (because I sure didn't until I moved here), a tatami room can be many different things depending on what context you're using it in, but in our case it was a small room with a raised floor and a step to get into. You take off your shoes and place them below the step, and then walk up into the room and sit at a sunken table. I could try my hand at describing it, which would likely turn out really poorly, or I could show you this nice image, courtesy of Google.

Example of our tatami room, courtesy of Google Images.

As you can see, the table is sunken in and the seating is one long, continuous bench around the table. Though our seats did not have chair bases, we did have some nice chair cushions to sit on! Our tables were smaller than the one in the image, though. 

Patrick and I headed out several hours early to account for traffic, and even though we had had an entire week of clear, beautiful weather, it started raining on Friday morning and really hasn't stopped much since, and now it's Sunday! We overshot the traffic a little bit, so to kill time Patrick and I did a little bit of various shopping (specifically searching for one item-- I'll explain later), and he ended up with a new coat and I got a new pair of Captain America PJ pants! Yay Target! 

When it got closer to the reservation time and we finally got to San Carlos and found parking, we trudged through the rain and eventually got to sit down to dinner. We all ordered various dishes, and I had an appetizer of shrimp tempura and gomae (steamed spinach in a sesame sauce) and then a chicken teriyaki bento box, which included grilled chicken in a teriyaki sauce, a small salad with a sweet, creamy dressing, sticky rice, California rolls, fried dumplings, and miso soup. I'm a little picky, so I gave away my fried dumplings and I only ate the crab out of my California rolls (is that disrespectful? I think it is but it was my birthday so I think I get a pass), but everything else was DELICIOUS!

For dessert, we had my traditional assorted variety birthday cheesecake (my slice was chocolate cheesecake with chocolate drizzle and chocolate chips-- YUM). It just wouldn't be my birthday without an assorted variety cheesecake!

*Fun fact, I was talking to my mother on Saturday and she told me about a random craving for cheesecake that she had. She ended up purchasing an assorted variety cheesecake and eating only one slice, which was the same exact type that I did-- not even knowing that that was what I'd eaten 18 hours before. How's that for ESP? 

After dinner was over, some people decided to head home while the rest of us headed over to our favorite Hawaiian restaurant down the street, Noelani's! They have the BEST french fries (I don't even normally like french fries!) and drinks for those who like alcohol (I still can't get a taste for it) and so we sat outside on their heated patio by a nice fire while it rained all around us. It was so cozy and beautiful!

On Saturday, the actual day of my birthday, we had a Rocky show to do! However, Patrick had to leave for Texas on Sunday morning, so we worked it out with our friend Delfino that we would drive to his house, he would drive us to the show, then we would drop Patrick off at the airport directly from the show, then we would drive back to Delfino's house, and then I would drive home from there. I ended up going to bed at 5:30am, but it as worth it to have been able to go to the show!

Our show this weekend was one of our special theme shows, so instead of the normal characters, each character dressed up as a different cartoon character! We had examples like Tina and Louise Belcher (Bob's Burgers), Scar (Lion King), Betty Boop, Jessica Rabbit and Roger Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), and a set of Minions (Despicable Me)! The show was fantastic and the most fun I've had at a show since probably October. I'm so proud to be a part of such an awesome cast!

And now for the part we've all been waiting for... PRESENTS! I had a bunch of fantastic, thoughtful presents this year, but there are some that I really want to give mention to!

On Friday, Patrick gave me my early birthday present of...

An Instax Mini Instant Camera! 

Do you know how hard it is to find film for this thing in stores (which is what we were searching for before dinner on Friday)? I'll tell you: It's next to impossible! We didn't find ANY! It's going to have to come from Amazon!

(Most of) The gang's all here! Thank you all so much for coming out to my birthday dinner, it meant so much to me! 

:) I love this guy!

On Friday I also got a random, unexpected package in the mail! It was...

A pair of Bluetooth headphones from my dad! 

My dad and I have always been able to connect through music and it was so cool that he sent me these. They're so awesome! I've been wanting a pair since Patrick got himself a pair for Christmas, and out of the blue I get a pair on my doorstep from my dad! He didn't even know I wanted them!

On Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke up and Patrick was gone. When he got back, he had me open my already wrapped presents, and I got... 

A new water bottle (and two extra ice sticks)! 

This might seem silly, but I was so stoked about this water bottle! I'm really picky about stuff, so when I find something I like, I usually try to stock up (and if you follow me on Twitter you know my struggle of trying to find a good pair of slippers... And how when I found a good replacement pair for my ones that are tearing, I bought five pairs...). During my trip to Michigan in December, I kind of "adopted" one of my grandparents' water bottles and ended up taking it home with me because I loved it so much, and it has been attached to my hand ever since! I never go anywhere without it, but I wanted a backup for when I need to wash it so I don't have to go without a water bottle. Lucky for me, even though the original bottle was probably 5+ years old, the same company still makes the same exact bottle, so Patrick ordered another one for me! I'm probably irrationally excited about my water bottle. I know I'm a crazy person. It's okay. He also ordered an extra two pack of ice sticks (since I lost the one to my original bottle) so now I have a nice rotation of three sticks so I can always have a nice cold drink :)

Then Patrick pulled a box out of his pocket. Apparently he had been out shopping that morning for a last minute gift. He bought me...

A diamond tennis bracelet!



We had just gotten an advertisement book from Kay Jewelers the other day in the mail and I had dog-eared a couple of bracelets that I really liked, and Patrick wanted me to have something shiny for my birthday, so he went out that morning and purchased the tennis bracelet I picked out. It is beautiful and I was blown away. I never expected it!

However, when I mentioned that I was worried that he would think I didn't like it because I wouldn't wear it just anywhere (I would be too afraid I would lose it, and I definitely wouldn't wear it to Wal Mart with my yoga pants and hoodie!), he took me back to the mall...

And got me the second bracelet that I had dog-eared in the advertisement! I think maybe Patrick has started taking crazy pills, but I'm not complaining!



I, of course, got several other awesome gifts, including flowers, balloons, and books, all from people I love very much! I had an amazing birthday! Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of it! You all sure know how to make a girl feel special :)

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