Monday, October 18, 2010
Mi Cumpleaños de 21
Just a few days ago I spent my first birthday abroad, which, ironically, was my 21st since I was legal to drink in Costa Rica 4 years ago. I actually didn't even drink any alcohol, but that didn't make it any less special.
During my breakfast, Claudia serenaded me with a Spanish birthday song and then gave me a big hug. Mariela made a little birthday sign for my door and everyone in the house wished me a happy birthday. When I got to school, everyone in my Spanish class wished me a happy birthday, Abby made me brownies, and Caitlin gave me a cute little flower for my hair. After class, my friends Abby, Callie, and Holly went with me out to lunch to an Italian restaurant close to campus and then we went to our favorite smoothie place. We go there so often that we have made friends with the smoothie makers and they gave me a free birthday smoothie :) And in between I got a piece of chocolate cake at our favorite bakery. My excuse for all the sweets was "it's my birthday."
After lunch, I just came home and relaxed until Mariela came to pick me up at 6 to go to Andrea's house. Since Jorge, Andrea's husband, has the same birthday as mine, my family planned to have a party for the two of us at Andrea's house. So, Andrés drove the two of us and my host cousin, Laurie, out to her house. Claudia had already gone over earlier with Sofia to help make dinner and when we got there, Jorge's family members (his parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew) were there as well. It was nice meeting new people and spending time talking with my family.
Claudia made the famous "sopa azteca" which has been served at every single birthday celebration since I've been here. I'm not complaining, however, because I love it. After that, we had some type of chicken casserole with salad, which was equally as tasty. Later on, everyone sang "happy birthday" to me and Jorge and I got to blow out my own candles. After cake and some more socializing, we left for home around 10:30.
I really enjoyed my birthday and felt very loved by my host family. I really appreciated their thought in doing something for my birthday, and it reminded me even more of how hard it is going to be to say goodbye in just a little bit more than a month... I'm not quite ready to think about that, so I'll tell you about the continuation of my birthday on Thursday.
Luckily, I didn't have my usual Thursday morning class so I got to sleep in, but I did have my night class. Afterwards, since I didn't really get to celebrate my 21st the traditional way, I went out with Callie and Abby. They had planned to pick me up in a taxi, but when I went out to meet them, they were just standing there by themselves. Once I let them inside, I found out that they made a cake for me and bought a "21" candle. Once again, I felt overwhelmed by all the love and blessings I have received here and just very fortunate that I have family and friends who care about me in Costa Rica. After more cake, we went to a Spanish tapas bar near my house that has become one of our new favorites. It has a very cute and calming atmosphere with food impressively similar to Spain and sangria :) The three of us shared sangria over great conversation and then finished the night with a Corona. It was a tame but perfect celebration (with alcohol) for my 21st. Although it doesn't matter here, I am glad that I can say that I at least had my first drink being 21, even though it was in Costa Rica. This just means that I get to celebrate a second time when I go home to the U.S. :)
All in all, it was a very nice birthday and it will certainly be one that I will remember.