Some birthdays I wished would never come, i.e., my 20th birthday. For some reason, I did not want to leave the teenage years and enter "my terrible 20s." I cried on my 20th, don't ask me why. However, my 21st birthday was one to get excited for, obviously!
So this year, I neither was dreading it nor looking forward to it. Just another year and nothing major to worry about. I figured it would be rather quiet since we are in a new country and our friends and family are far away. However, my husband and friends here were thinking bigger.
Finally a REAL date with my husband, best gift ever!! Thank you!
Last night, Nicholas took me to a wonderful dinner where we ate on a terrace next to a gorgeous park, overlooking the lake and mountains at sunset. Spectacular. After a quiet and romantic dinner, I figured I would have dessert with our neighbors and then maybe meet some friends for a drink and Nicholas would go to study. Boy was I wrong.
some of the partners waiting for our arrival
When we got to the apartment, Nicholas suggested we go straight away to Yann and Maxime's for cake. I would have rather stopped in our apt first to drop off my coat and my bag, but of course, Nicholas had other plans. He rang the doorbell and Yann answered and after the two had a very odd conversation about cake, which made me suspicious, we went inside. :)
Low and behold, their quaint apartment was teeming with all our friends and I was serenaded with "Happy Birthday To You!" My dear neighbors, my dear flatmate and my amazing husband, along with my friends of partners and students made my birthday extraordinary and I will have this souvenir for the rest of my life.
Talk about some great surprises and gifts. My one friend flew in from Russia a day early to make it to my party and brought Russian Caviar and Vodka. Wow. Another of my Russian friends brought me a gift of a Matryoshka doll. Cool! My Portuguese friend gave me some kitchen things for my love of cooking and brought Portuguese Green Wine (have you ever heard of it? delicious.) Wow. The list goes on and on and trust me, I realize how lucky I am.
That is a lot of candles!
Wow. One lucky lady. C'est moi.
More photos here, courtesy of our resident photography Dennis.