On Friday I turned 25…I was ready. The day was filled with many encouraging things such as this: After a brief service call in the morning, I took my car in to my tire shop because my front right tire has been consistently losing pressure faster than the others. When I got there, they said it would take approximately 20 minutes to diagnose and fix. It ended up taking an hour, but not only did they NOT charge me anything for the service, they also gave me a ($45 value) free hubcap to replace one that had fallen off of one of my wheels a few weeks ago. It was quite a good start to the day
After work I drove out to the San Fernando Valley and had dinner at Claim Jumper with my parents and younger brother. It was really nice to see them and even nicer to enjoy a good meal together in a peaceful spirit of celebration. The food was fabulous as usual (seared ahi sashimi appetizer for life) and the obligatory free birthday dessert was quite literally the icing on the cake. When I got home I found a card in my mailbox from my parents that deeply touched my heart and made my eyes well up just a little
I grabbed one of my roommates and went to CVS to pick up some drinks and a cooler. Upon returning home I wound down and went to bed early (10:30PM) knowing that the next day, Saturday the 19th, would require as much energy as possible.
I woke up at 6:45 and began doing laundry and took my morning supplements. I drove to 24-hour fitness and got some good lifting in and arrived back home before 12 and took a shower. After packing up the cooler with some drinks and ice packs, I threw it in the trunk of my car and took off to Azusa to pick up my friend Luis. Together we headed to Newport Beach to get settled in at the boat rental place early and also to scout out a potential dinner location. Thankfully all was as it should be and we had some extra time to chill on Balboa Peninsula. Right across from the boat rental company there was a little free nautical museum with some very interesting models (the ship steam engine was my favorite) and a touch tank with some sea stars/slugs in it. Friends began to arrive at around 3:00PM and by 4:15PM all 10 of us were out on the 21′ electric boat we had secured for a couple hours. The weather was splendid. It was mostly sunny with a slight haze and a delightful salty sea air breeze. Immediately after launching we cracked open the cooler which now contained several kinds of beverages and made short work of a few bottles of sparkling lemonade mixed with Pimm’s…yummy! There was lots of laughter and several moments that will not be forgotten for a long time…probably ever. But we won’t get into details *cough* Luis *cough*.
Just after 6 we pulled back up to the dock after having a brief sojourn in the sandbar-laden Upper Newport Bay (restricted area…whoops) and a loop around Lido Island. We chose Mimi’s for our dinner destination and made it there in a few minutes, despite taking a small detour onto the PCH and back. Most of us had arrived by then sans one vehicle and we had great fun for a few moments discussing the possible whereabouts of said vehicle and its occupants.
The service at Mimi’s was impeccable; separate checks were approved without any issue whatsoever. The chicken cordon bleu hit the spot as usual and a slice of birthday pie that followed was so richly delicious that I had one bite and then handed off the rest to my friends who devoured it with reckless abandon. The ride home consisted of dropping Sheena off at home nearby in Costa Mesa, and then a muted conversation between Luis and myself (so as not to wake the sleeping Dayna in the backseat) as we made our way back up the 55, 5, 57, 60, and 605 freeways. Once we got back home we immediately flipped on the gamecube and engaged in brutal cartoon warfarein the form of Super Smash Bros: Melee. A drink and a few hours later, it was time to wrap it all up. I drove to Azusa to drop Luis off, then to the old standby Taco King with Dayna before dropping her off in Monrovia. By now it was quite late and I headed home where I promptly collapsed into bed, thinking happy thoughts and drifting away into slumber.
Sunday started off with the final membership class at Foothill Community Church in Azusa. Mike and I have been taking the membership class there and next week we will attain our membership at last After church we went out to lunch and then parted ways. I did some shopping at Big Lots and picked up refreshments for the housewarming party at Dayna and Leah’s later in the day. While parking in the CVS lot to get some El Jimador, I noticed some people standing around a free medical clinic. I had an hour and a half before I was due to pick Luis up to go to the housewarming party in West LA, so I registered for it and sat down to have my blood pressure and glucose levels taken. As part of the dental and vision examinations I was given a free toothbrush, floss, take-home pregnancy test, and a plastic daily pill organizer week-long thingy. I shot over to Lu’s at around 1:30PM and we went to Jack in the Box because Luis was ravenous. After that we got on the freeway and made it to Palms in record time, giving us enough of a window to pick up some ice and limes at Ralph’s before finally arriving at our destination at Dayna and Leah’s place at the stroke of 4.
The party was a great time to relax and enjoy several finger foods and some serious spinach artichoke dip that Aimee made. She also brought her pet iguana, Godzilla, who is simply enormous at over 5 feet long. He and I shared a few special moments together before we both decided we were better off pursuing other relationships…*sniff*. Seriously though it was really cool to pet him and see an iguana like that in person. The infamous always-comfortable-green-couches looked inviting so I spent a good deal of time lounging about. However, there was enough excitement to keep us all moving around and eventually we settled down to watch Loaded Weapon 1 at around 8:30PM. I had never seen it before but I quickly realized what I had been missing…it was totally hilarious. The night was capped off by yet another good long conversation with Luis on the way back to the San Gabriel Valley.
In summation, the weekend was amazing. I am once again completely humbled and honored to have the friends that I do. Their love and friendship means so much to me and I am grateful for each of them. I received a birthday card from one of them while at Mimi’s that totally made my night and meant a lot. So thank you, James. Now that it’s back to the grind of the workweek, I’m left with wonderful memories of the weekend and a lingering peaceful happiness.
Thank you, friends.