Since J had to work on my birthday, I was on my own until evening. As she was leaving for work, J pulled the big black Audrey Hepburn hat I'd been ogling at Steinmart from the back of her car, my first gift for my 37th birthday. Before 8:30, I had gotten calls from the Miami Contingent, my uncle calling first, then my dad. I called my mom, too. So, it was off to a good start right away. Thinking I really deserved to have good fruit and cheese I love for my birthday breakfast, I took a detour by the lake to get to the grocery. As I walked into the grocery, I smelled heavenly fresh-baked bread. I realized that plain old English muffins would not do for the birthday girl and headed for the bakery. They had some beautiful mini ciabattas and I bought those, along with a gorgeous peach and some dill havarti. Ensconced in bed with a book, I enjoyed my breakfast of toasted ciabatta with plenty of butter, that perfect peach and several slices of cheese.
I took myself to the movies later. I'd hoped to go see "Shrek 3" or, preferably, the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. My cousin Leah went to see that on her 18th birthday & it sounded like the perfect celebratory movie. But, no, our local cinema won't keep movies around long enough to actually see them (phooey on Regal!) so I ended up settling for "Ratatouille," which was cute, but nothing spectacular. Still, just being at the movies was a wonderful time. After the movie, I went out into the sunlight, blinking and astonished not to be in an animated version of Paris. I picked up lunch at Bob Evans, chicken salad for me and a pot roast sandwich for J. We ate in her office, then I headed out to get my brows waxed. A facial would have been better, I suppose, but I wasn't in the mood to be at Aveda that long.
I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my life list, a list of things I want to do at some point in my life. It ranges from the large (build our dream house) to the small (color in coloring books), the adventurous (go kayaking) to the fairly mundane (make pie crust from scratch). I try to update it every year on my birthday. When J got home, she had a large Hello Kitty bag full of gifts for me. There were fun hair scrunchies that looked Tinkerbell-ish, a CD walkman & audio book called "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" (I have the idea that if I have books I can only listen to when I'm walking, I will get out and do it more...except it's been hellishly hot here lately...I did get one great walk by the lake in, so far, though), a SARK book, a book of kiss coupons, a book of love quotes and a stack of my favorite magazines. It was a delightful surprise, as I had assumed the hat was my only gift. It would have done just fine, too. I also got a sandalwood mala from my mom & Graham. I've been wanting one for a long time, but have never broken down and gotten one for myself.
We changed clothes and headed out to dinner at The Melting Pot. I'd had a terrific birthday dinner at the one in Nashville a few years before and I had every reason to expect the same this time. I wasn't disappointed. Well, maybe a teensy bit because there was no candle on the cheesecake slice, but I got birthday cards from them, so that was nice. I feel a little birthday cake deprived, though...or wish-deprived, perhaps. Our waiter wasn't that great. Luckily, the manager was mostly the one who waited on us and he was fabulous. We tried a slightly different cheese fondue for our first course, one with an Asian flavor imparted by sake in place of kirsch. It was delicious. Then, we had Asian-themed salads with Mandarin oranges and almonds. For our main course, we chose the coq au vin broth. J added a lobster tail and we were both very happy. My favorite part of the main course was chicken with a curry dipping sauce. Dessert was dark chocolate fondue with a little Chambord added for a raspberry splash. We were fat as piggies when we left, with big grins on our faces. It was a delightful day to turn 37!