It doesn’t matter how old you are, birthdays are always special. Last year the best gift I received was the love and thoughtfulness of my two roommates, Daniela and Thomas, and Adélié who woke up early to decorate our flat and throw me a special birthday party. Daniela said that we are family, which is why she played her family’s traditional birthday song for me.
That concept has never left me, and although I can never repay either of those roommates with a special birthday celebration I intend to always pay it forward. And so as Cristian’s birthday approached Rocio and I planned a special celebration. The night before we set out to make a red velvet cake because he loves cream cheese frosting and were almost through when he walked into the kitchen and says: “You’re making a cake??” Oh no, our surprise was ruined.
Or so it seemed. Cris wakes up at 6 and goes to work until 2 and then has an hour break before heading to his master’s classes and returns home at the earliest at 9:30 pm. It’s a grueling schedule that not many could keep day in and day out. And to our luck, he was so exhausted that he didn’t think realize that the cake would be for his birthday (I guess that means we make a lot of cakes in our house…) But he went to bed super early which left us the rest of the evening to decorate the flat so that when he woke up, he was greeted with birthday celebrations. We colored a couple of pages from a coloring book I found, blew up balloons and hung a colored pendant banner on all of the doorways. Despite our belting the words to our favorite songs, he did not wake up to any of preparations, and was thoroughly shocked when his alarm rang in the morning.
We were not able to see his face that morning since Rocio was fast asleep and I was swimming, but we know from his response later that he was blown away. That evening we all went to Restuarante Bamboo Zen, a sushi buffet that has the reputation of being one of the best in Madrid. It was absolutely delicious and much better than other sushi restaurants that I have previously been to in Madrid, since you can choose which rolls you want to eat and they are made fresh to order. We have talked about going out to this restaurant since I moved in (3 months ago) and finally made it!! Clearly we just needed an excuse to get us out of the house.
Here is a picture of the birthday boy; however, I should preface that this was not taken on his birthday…