You only turn 25 once, so why not celebrate in style, right? While being abroad for my birthday had its disadvantages, i.e family and friends so far away, it had its upsides, too. With a little help from my wonderful family, my amazing boyfriend, and his fantastic family, I had a day that set the expectations for my future birthdays quite high.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoys getting a package in the mail. So when I received a big box from my family 2 weeks ago, I was giddy with anticipation. Of course, I had to wait until closer to my birthday to open it, so open it I did on Monday, a day early. With my mom on Skype to watch me unwrap my gifts, it felt like I was at home celebrating, which was a really nice feeling. Along with my sister, my family put together a wonderful birthday package fit for a girl living in a cold place like Ireland. One cute little black hat, a beautiful cream peacoat with big black buttons, a scarf, mittens, and other essentials all combined had turned me into the most classic and elegant looking girl in town. Watch out Audrey Hepburn!
I woke up yesterday to a pretty gloomy day, which is becoming the norm around these parts, but I wasn’t worried about it getting me down on my birthday. Oh no. I had a spa day planned at the Seafield Golf and Spa resort about an hour south on the coast, courtesy of Matt and his parents (thank you again!). A short drive and I was sitting in the hot waters of an outdoor jacuzzi, watching the cold rain come down just inches away from me. I had a couple treatments planned: a back and scalp massage, and a facial and back exfoliator, both of which were so relaxing that I nearly fell right asleep on the table. I spent time in the sauna, an aromatherapy room, and had a beautiful lunch of french onion soup and caesar salad. To top it all off, the entire staff called me by first name all day and I was left alone in complete peace to read my book. Ahhhhhh.
But like a little kid who won’t get out of the pool the first time their parent’s ask, I repeatedly had to force myself out of the comfort of the jacuzzi toward the end of the visit. I needed to be home in time to get ready for my evening out. Matt and I went to my favorite tapas bar in City Centre, The Port House, and I wore my new peacoat and hat, of course. After a beautiful and romantic dinner, including a small burger topped with foie gras (amazing), we met up with friends at Venu, a bar that is known for its martinis. I know all of my friends back home kept telling me to celebrate Irish-style, or to have a Guinness/Irish Car Bomb, but I seldom get to enjoy my favorite American things, and martinis are one of them. Venu did not disappoint. My dirty martini was made with a fine Polish vodka and was chilled to perfection. Our friends and I had a great time talking, laughing, and celebrating my birthday like an adult would…well, followed by some pub action afterward!
And so another year has come and gone. If I think back on the past year, it’s crazy to imagine the changes that have happened. A year ago I was celebrating with all of my girlfriends in Dallas, minus Matt, who had already moved to Ireland. Our only form of communication was via Skype video chat, I was teaching at Apollo, and my sister was even still in college! In fact, this blog was not in existence or even a consideration, because I didn’t even know I’d be moving to Ireland anytime in the near future. And here I am, 25 years old, Matt playing on his computer, me in my recliner in Dublin, rain pouring down outside, writing about my European adventures. Kind of makes you wonder where you’ll be in a year, huh?