My 27th Birthday

What the hell - style for days.

27

On March 13, 2014, a Thursday, I turned 27. I woke to birthday sweet texts from Laura and Sean, a text from my brother, and phone calls from my beloved parents who fell asleep before midnight the night before. Chris made an adorable granola heart on top of my yogurt.

Chris’s Heart of Granola

I went into work a little late (for me) and from across the office I could see a small cactus on my desk. Elise is SO sweet. She gave me a succulent when I became a Team Lead and I subsequently killed it within a month by watering it the wrong way. I waited, embarrassed, until it was growing a moldy to show it to her and she was kind enough to tell me how I killed it AND brought me a new one. So, like I said, the sweetest.

I rounded the corner to my “office” and there, sitting politely on my chair – bouncing around slightly in the air vent wind, was none-other-than A FREAKING CORGI! I died. Not a real corgi, of course, but a balloon animal pumped with just enough helium that he floated along behind you when pulling him from his ribbon leash. I hugged Tony. It was such a wonderful & thoughtful gift.

Balloon Corgi from Tony

With the corgi in hand, I ran off to thank Elise. Many people mistook my dog for a real one and were pleasantly surprised. Lemmy, the office Italian Greyhound, was perplexed. After a hug from Elise, I went to show my dog to Grayden and he gave me an adorable cap with beautiful hand-written script that read “Happy Birthday Linzy”. Only Grayden could spell my name wrong and I’d be ok with it. It’s just who he is.

Flowers from Chris, Hat from Grayden, Cactus from Elise

Flowers from Chris, Hat from Grayden, Cactus from Elise

When I returned to my desk there was a GIGANTIC assortment of beautiful red and orange flowers from Chris accompanied by a letter from the US Government. “What’s this?”, I wondered allowed to anyone who was listening – no one was. It was the ‘America the Beautiful’ National Parks pass from my parents! What a perfect gift! In April Chris and I will be staying at log cabin just outside of Zion National Park in Utah. We plan on going to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and The Wave as well… we’ll see how many we get to, ha! The park passes alone would have costs us over $100 and now we’re getting in for free. Thanks mom & dad!

For lunch Elise gathered a tribe of friends and we went to Mercury cafe. (A big thank you to Elise, Tony, Theo, James, John, and Hope for coming!) The chef admired my bachelorette-esk party get-up and when I finished my meal he offered me a free cookie. Another sweetheart.

Birthday Lunch!

Birthday Lunch at Mercury Cafe. Photo by Theo.

Upon returning from lunch Grayden showed me an ice cream pie he had made for me – even though we AGREED that we didn’t have time and wouldn’t make anything for each other. The pie was fantastic in many ways. It looked as though a 5 year old had made it, uneven and haphazard, but it tasted amazing. Grayden made the chocolate ice cream himself! It was fun finding where the peanut butter went that was sometimes near the graham cracker crust.

Grayden's Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

Grayden’s Ice Cream Pie. Photo by Theo.

During our Team Blue meeting Ali & Tony bought Maya (March 14th birthday) and I a delicious fruit tart pie from Tartine and vanilla ice cream. YUM! My parents called shortly after to sing the annual ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

After work Allison, Sam, Christopher and I went to Hotel Biron (our old stomping ground) for a glass of wine. I really do love that place, if you have a small group you can always find a table and you don’t need to yell to have a conversation. It’s also where Sean & Laura first met – which WILL be part of my Maid of Honor speech *spoilers*.

We walked down to Pica Pica Maize Kitchen for dinner. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – Pica Pica’s signature dish is the Venezuelan arepa. I was introduced to arepas by Mike Creighton and Michael Wang in Brooklyn, NY. I fell in love immediately. Upon returning to SF Chris and I tried to make our own. It was good, but was lacking the mouth-watering quality we can experienced at Caracas Arepa Bar. Hope and Vickie, co-workers and friends at Nurun recommended Pica Pica and I’ve been hooked ever since. If you’re in the area, my favorite dish is the Shredded Beef Pabellón with sweet plantains, black bean spread, queso fresco in a yellow corn arepa. The bomb.

Shredded Beef Arepa at Pica Pica

Shredded Beef Arepa at Pica Pica

It was just my luck that Garden Creamery, my favorite ice cream truck, was at SOMA StrEAT Food Park that night. I noticed in the morning that they were tentative and I’d like to think that all my wishful thinking telepathically convinced them to go. ;) I tweeted at the truck before walking over and was beyond ecstatic to see Erin, the owner, was working that night. (It’s a rare occurrence when our paths align!) We caught up briefly and she was beyond nice to give us birthday sorbet for free. Another total sweetheart.

Thai Iced Tea Sorbet from Garden Creamery

Thai Iced Tea Sorbet from Garden Creamery

Stuffed, Chris and I returned home where I was presented with my final gifts. Every year Chris buys me shoes and earrings for my birthday. You’re thinking – “oh, that’s pretty generic for a girl.” I bet you’re also imagining some cute girl shoes or heels and dangle-y hangers for my ears, but no – Chris knows me too well. For Christmas Chris bought me 3 pairs of Asics because he didn’t know which one I would like the most. At the time I picked my favorite and told him to keep a second pair for my birthday, knowing most likely I would forget – and I did! I walk so much that I run through Asics like water. THANK YOU CHRIS! <3

As for the earrings, every year I go up a gauge at Braindrops on Haight. We waited until Sunday so I could get my ears stretched up to a 4G! Melinda, Chris's mom, bought me clear glass plugs (with a gift card) and Chris made a special order for sterling silver double flared tunnel plugs. The smallest size you can get them in is 4G – I've finally made it to the big leagues!!!

Up to 4G!

Up to 4G!

I am incredibly lucky to have such a great boyfriend, friends and family who went out of their way to make my birthday amazing. I’m truly grateful and I can’t thank them enough.

Linzi

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