This past week has been full of birthday festivities. The fun started on Wednesday for Rocío’s 30th birthday. We started off the morning right with pancakes and festive decorations (as you can see in the two photos below).
That evening we celebrated the birthday girl with dinner and drinks at a local bar, La Isla. At home we celebrated the most important part of the birthday, the CAKE. I had made a lemon raspberry cake, whose candles were quickly blown out before we finished serenading the birthday girl. Since she knew about the cake, Cristian and I were still able to surprise her with a new pair of vans. It was a simple celebration between friends, which set the tone for the rest of the week.
Thursday, we had a break to prepare ourselves for the next big birthday of the week, my 25th! Friday was a rather strenuous day and if I am quite honest the last thing that I wanted was to go out to a restaurant (although I toyed with the idea for a few days). After two practices, and a double tour, the only thing I wanted was a good meal and a good night’s sleep.
Luckily my roommates had this in mind and put together a delicious meal of coconut almond rice and chicken curry. They improvised the recipe, since none of the supermarkets in our area carried all of the “necessary” spices that the recipes called for. In my opinion, it lacked absolutely nothing – it was made with love and was not burned (the two important ingredients to good cooking).
We were finishing the meal when Rocío (suspiciously) disappeared, only to magically reappear with a chocolate ice cream birthday CAKE. After blowing the candle out, they both came out with a bag of gummies saying that with all the shopping they had run out of time to get a good present, but they were sure I would like one of the gummies. Being thickheaded, I replied: “thank you, but I cannot eat the colored ones…” And they kept insisting that I look inside and to my surprise intermixed with the candies was a small box, containing an ipod shuffle.
For those of you that don’t know, I have been talking about how I have wanted to buy one to play music to help me relax before my races and have just not gotten around to it. And therefore, it’s not the materiality of the gift per se that makes it so special to me, but rather the thoughtfulness behind the present. I am now even more excited to compete at the Spanish Open this April!
(As you can tell I was really dressed up for my dinner party!!)
Since both birthdays were so close together Rocío and I decided to celebrate them together Saturday night, when everyone had more time (and energy). Originally, we thought of renting a bar from a friend, but as we were getting closer to the date, decided we would rather start off with something more intimate with our friends.
Early in the afternoon, we started our celebrations at Buendí, our local bar. With the good weather we decided upon a tinto de verano and then headed to the park, Retiro, to bask in the sun. We eventually made our way back towards our flat where we threw together a simple meal and danced to our great collection of vinyl discs. Below are a few pictures of us in our flat before heading out to a live rock concert in the center of Madrid. All in all it was a great night spent between good friends!!
However, the festivities did not end Saturday with our party, but rather carried on into Sunday. This afternoon, Cristian made us a delicious PAELLA to conclude all of our week of celebrations.
This birthday, with all of its celebrations with close friends, both near and far, has reminded me that these are the best gifts we get. I am so thankful to have shared these 25 years with so many phenomenal people and look forward to the journey that lies ahead.
Un beso a todos!