The 29 Best Things About My 29th Birthday

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Last Monday, I turned 29. I thought there would be a lot of anxiety associated with beginning the official countdown to 30, but I have a pre-birthday habit of spending a couple weeks referring to myself by my almost-age, which means that when the time comes, I'm already comfortable with the new number. It worked like a charm this year, & instead of anxious, I found myself more laid back than ever - which is, perhaps, a sign that I'm becoming an adult after all!

Here, in no particular order aside from pseudo-chronological, are the 29 best things about my 29th birthday.
  1. The Acer Aspire M laptop Nathan got me for my birthday, which he gave to me on Friday so I could use it over the weekend
  2. The note he included in the box, which made me cry & is now tacked up on the bulletin board above my new desk (see #)
  3. Sleeping in just little bit, but not enough to impede the day (10:00), & waking up gently on my own, rather than to my mother's annoyed insistence
  4. Waking up to a small spread of gifts, from both my boyfriend & my mom, framed by an adorable felt birthday banner & a bunch of colorful balloons

  5. Also waiting for me when I awoke: Homemade brunch of cinnamon French toast, crispy bacon, fruit salad, & mimosas
  6. Opening my gifts: a pretty mixed-metal necklace from Ten Thousand Villages from my mom, & from Nathan, some practical post-laptop things, like an umbrella, a wireless mouse, & Men in Black on BluRay. OK, so they weren't all practical!
  7. The weather, which was gorgeous, sunny, & not too hot. Being born in August, I am accustomed to not wanting to leave the air conditioned house on my birthday. Every year.
  8. Because the weather was so nice, this year found me pleasantly surprised to be able to wear shorts & a sweater, my ideal combo. I have never worn a sweater on my birthday ever.
  9. Drinking a superb, just-sweet-enough iced latte from America's Cup, my favorite coffee shop in Asbury Park
  10. Checking out my favorite antique store in the area, the Antique Emporium - 20,000 square feet of antiques jewelry, furniture, clothes, decor, electronics, & truly absurd knick-knacks, like this Jimmy Buffet bird statue, which was my favorite find of the day.
  11. Finding a pair of bright red, real leather boat shoes for just $15 - in my size! Bought them, obviously, though they were my second favorite find of the day, because that bird is just too good.
  12. Walking the not-at-all-crowded boardwalk at Asbury Park on aforementioned gorgeous, sunny, not-too-hot day
  13. Wandering into some of the little shops along the boardwalk, where I bought an Asbury Park tee & discovered a bowl of wooden bottle openers carved into the shape of penises. 
  14. Exploring some of the abandoned & Sandy-struck buildings at either end of the boardwalk, including an old casino that now bears this awesome octo-flapper graffiti inside.
  15. Taking black & white photos with Nathan in an old-timey(ish) photo booth. They turned out so cute I can hardly stand it & are now on display in the corner of our bedroom mirror. 
  16. Spotting this fantastically terrible hairstyle at the beach. What is this???
  17. Discovering that Mogo was open! We've twice tried to eat from this Korean taco stand, which was closed both times. It's the highest-rated "restaurant" on Yelp in Asbury Park. I went with the bulgogi tacos, but it was a tough choice.
  18. Eating our (delicious) tacos on a bench facing the Atlantic Ocean - feet up, sunglasses on, just hangin' out & talking about life.
  19. Witnessing my mother's enthusiasm for being at the beach. She didn't want to leave!
  20. Making a quick stop at the mall that turned into a not-that-quick shopping trip that yielded a sweatshirt, two sweaters, a gingham button-up, & a small Sephora haul. Score!
  21. Eating dinner at Muang Thai, which has become arguably my favorite restaurant in Red Bank. Their chicken basil has officially surpassed the same dish at my favorite D.C. places - which is saying a lot, considering I once made it my mission to find the best ka prow in the District.
  22.  Enjoying a bottle of Cupcake prosecco while we ate. Like most restaurants in the area, Muang Thai is BYOB, which means we can bring whatever we please.
  23. Moving my grandmother's old, wooden desk into my office. She passed away in 2011, & my mom has been hanging onto the desk for me ever since. I feel closer to her, having that familiar piece of furniture in my apartment, to be used every single day. 
  24. Catching up on MasterChef, my current favorite reality TV obsession.
  25. Filming my YouTube video for VEDA, Vlog Every Day in August, & watching other people's videos. Watch my birthday video below, & check out the rest, if you're so inclined.
  26. Spending this excellent birthday with my two favorite people. Nathan & I both took the day off work, & it was a treat to have my mom in town for a few days.
  27. Being on the receiving end of what felt like a million kind text messages, cards, voicemails, tweets, Facebook posts, & Instagram comments wishing me a happy birthday. I felt so loved! I think everyone should treat everyone like it's their birthday every day, don't you?
  28. Finally getting my little bit o' birthday cake (a chocolate & peanut butter-stuffed cupcake with peanut butter buttercream icing from Sugarush) the next day, just to extend the celebration a bit.
  29. Ending the whole thing happy & satisfied - & not at all too scared of 30!

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