So, where did I leave off?
The night of my birthday Dave and friends took me out to Aiyara for Thai food, which I completely forgot that I was absolutely mad about ever since Anne introduced me to it in Nashville 8 years ago. After perfectly sized portions of Massaman Curry, Curried duck, basil chicken ("Our Most Favorite") and Drunken Noodles we came back to our house for presents. I received some of the most thoughtful and wonderful gifts I've ever received in my entire birthday career. Jason and Virginia gave me two gorgeous vintage hardcover books from the 1800s (I'm a mad collector of old books), a very artsy pocket mirror and a brand new watering can (good-bye hand me down!). Micah and Nat gave me (so much all week and) tickets to Wicked this Friday night. Hello? Am I dreaming? Wicked?! I am Definitely squeezing into my sky blue F21 summer dress for one last birthday hurrah tomorrow night.
Davey presented me with a set of 4 amazing Pop Ink melamine dinner plates that are just too stunning to eat off of. I've decided to hang them on the wall rather than scratch them all to death with forks and knives.
The night was wonderful, little did I know how much more was in store!
The following evening I was allowed to open "Tier #2" of the birthday cake painting. It said "The Queen's Vessel." I knew immediately that we were going to have dinner on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, something I've wanted to do since we moved to California in 2005. It was very swank, very Art Deco and a little bit spooky...just the right ingredients for fun.
After dinner (and a complimentary Raspberry Mousse Cake dessert) I was presented with a huge shirt box filled with the shirts seen in this photo:
They had planned on taking me to Disneyland the very next day. Surprise!!
Two days after Disneyland Davey surprised me with a special little trip to Victoria Gardens just for the two of us to have dinner at our favorite romantic burger joint, Johnny Rockets. We spent the evening strolling leisurely in and out of shops and up and down the sidewalks in the cool night air. A perfect ending to a perfect birthday...but did it end there? Oh no it did not! When we got in the car to leave Dave handed me the cake painting and let me open the door on the top tier. It simply said "'Nobody ask, no body get hurt' weekend". The Eazy-E lyrics harken back to the soundtrack from a 2007 camping trip we took with the Ensors so of course I assumed we were going camping, but when I asked Dave if that was the case he simply shrugged and said "I'm going to say 'No' to everything you ask me about this weekend. All I'm going to tell you is that we leave on Friday."
And he certainly made good on his word. I could not get anything out of him, not even the slightest hint of what was to come. Thursday night Natalie came over to help me pack...packing skinny jeans, legwarmers and "good walking shoes" sort of demolished my camping idea so at that time I had no idea where we were headed. I was told to be in the Ensor's garage at 5:30am sharp the next morning.
At the crack of dawn, barely awake and craving Panera's everything bagel (which I was told we would have) we were on the freeway headed North...with the dogs in the car. I had sort of figured we would be dropping them at the 'sitters' house in Ontario, which we did. While we were making the drop off, someone let slip that we were headed to the airport. My mind started to spin. I simply couldn't calculate that we would be getting on a plane. No one had prepared me to fly so there was just no way we would be flying. I kept wondering what else we would be doing at an airport.
By the time we were in the security line I had to make my brain believe that we were indeed going to be getting on a plane. I was not allowed to look at my boarding pass so I still had no idea...Ruidoso to visit Micah's parents? Hawaii? (surely not, Nat hadn't made me pack a bikini) San Francisco to visit family and shop? (not possible. Dave had told me this was a small trip, "nothing too huge") and anyway, I had thought for sure we would be driving if we went to Frisco, flying there just seemed out of the question.
We stopped for breakfast sandwiches, my head still spinning, I just didn't know What to think. Then as we approached our gate I was given the green light to look at the departure board. Oakland, CA! We were going to San Francisco! The flight was already boarding so we walked right on and sat down. I was a little bit dizzy and still somewhat confused. But we were flying to San Francisco! And me without a stitch of makeup on! As soon as we hit cruising altitude (ok, while we were still climbing) Nat and I whipped out our matching Dior makeup bags and began the Beautification Process.
An hour later we landed in Oakland, glowing with Bare Minerals and all the possibilities of the Big City. Matt Quiggle picked us up and took us back to his apartment (a true 'pad' in every sense of the word...can't believe I didn't get any pictures of all the amazing vintage furnishings). After some conversation and coffee we headed out to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. Still in somewhat of a daze but with my head beginning to clear we began to walk and take in all the sights. For lunch we dined on clam chowder bread bowls and onion rings and for dessert we headed to Candy Baron for salt water taffy by the 1/4 pound.
We spent the night at Nat's friend (and my New friend) Trisha's house with her husband and 3 Muffins ('cats' in layman's terms). We chatted, tried out her new elliptical machine and totally crashed out on the air mattresses. The next morning we rode BART (a subway-type thingy) into the city for shop-shop-shopping!
Many many many hours and dressing rooms later we dragged our sorry selves back to Trisha's neighborhood for delicious dinner at Tomatina's with Quiggles a-plenty. I capped off the night watching Return To Oz while eating ice cream that can only be described as raspberry chocolate madness. I slept hard until our early morning flight the next day.
So here I am, after 11 days of birthday...I am official 30, I've had the kind of birthday I always dreamed of and I'm going to see Wicked tomorrow night. I want to sum everything up into a poetic last sentence, but it's just too difficult...there's too much to be thankful for, too many thanks to give. I just want everyone to know how special this birthday was for me, there will never be another one like it I'm sure.
Check out my flickr page for more photos. http://flickr.com/photos/shannonquiggle/