I am having a hard time knowing where to start. When I think back to the big birthday weekend, I am still overwhelmed! It seems that my parents and friends masterminded quite the surprise!
I think I need to provide some background on the birthday. If you didn’t already know, you have probably gathered that this was the big 3-0 for me. I wasn’t looking forward to it very much. For quite some time (probably since the day I turned 29), I had been trying to figure out something cool to do for the big birthday. I had talked to friends about traveling somewhere and everyone would say, “yeah, let’s do it,” but after a year of multiple weddings and other life events, I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen. (To NO fault of any of my friends either…it’s cool.) Then I began talking to my mom about a family trip or cruise. That idea started to fizzle too. The next thing I know my Mom was communicating with some of my friends and they “had it under control.”
As the birthday weekend got closer, my Mom told me that we’d be having a family birthday celebration at the beach house. I was fine with that, and my friends told me they were still planning a birthday celebration. (Not that I need all the celebrations, but with recently moving, I was looking forward to seeing my West Palm Beach friends.)
I think that’s all the background, and still probably more than you needed to know, but anyway on Friday we trekked over to the beach house with me still clueless. A few of my friends had even contacted me on Friday about my weekend at the beach and I still didn’t have a clue. We went to dinner at one of Ponce Inlet’s local hotspots, Inlet Harbor. As I walked into the restaurant, I saw my friend Joe Suarez (from WPB). I was rather confused. Then his wife, Deirdra, walked up. Seeing that our table was just big enough for the 8 of us, I was convinced that my birthday weekend would be complete with a visit from the Suarezs and that was great! Throughout dinner, more of my friends showed up–Cathleen, Chad, Kasey and Matt (they all live in the Orlando area). My Dad said, “I think that’s the last of the surprises!” And I said, “OK!” Even at dinner Kasey still told me that she was planning another celebration with my West Palm friends, and I believed her.
After dinner and the shuttle launch, we went back to the beach house for cake. It was suggested that we go to the condo Deirdra and Joe were staying it because it was larger. “Ok,” I said. Little did I know that Dawn, Bob, Melanie and Mike had come from West Palm Beach and were waiting for me there. I was so surprised!! We hung out, ate cake and began opening 20 of the 30 birthday presents. My Mom (the cruise director) also gave instructions about the next day’s schedule of events–breakfast, beach and lunch.
On Saturday morning my mom fixed a big, yummy breakfast. We hung out in their condo for a while, playing Wii and scoping out the waves. Eventually some of us decided to go down to the beach and see if we could ride any of the waves. Mike, Melanie and I surfed for a little bit. I went up to the pool to take Paul swimming when I noticed my long-time friend, Lindsay Hodges. Another surprise! Meanwhile, my Mom & Dad decorated the downstairs club room and prepared a big feast of a lunch for everyone.
Another surprise of the weekend (to everyone) was the cake! It’s too long of a story to make this blog post any longer, but apparently the cake didn’t quite turn out like my parents had hoped. You really should see the “before” and “after” pictures side by side. Even still, the cake was great and everyone seemed to love it. It weighed several pounds with all its icing and fillings.
After lunch and cake, I opened the last of the 30 birthday presents from my friends and we took a group picture. I had to get a picture of everyone together because there were literally people from each stage of my life present. It was like a real life version of “This Is Your Life.” Ha. After we got cleaned up, people slowly started packing up to leave.
I am so glad that so many people were able to come hang out at the beach house. I am grateful to my parents and friends for planning such a great birthday surprise! It was so much fun and so wonderful to have so many friends and family in one place.
Mom and Dad, thank you for planning and hosting such a great birthday celebration! Everybody else, thank you so much for coming to celebrate with me. What a great birthday!