Happy Birthday to Me!

Once upon a time, a boy met a girl and they fell in love. The boy told the girl that he would be hunting on her birthday and the girl didn't believe him. He went hunting and the girl almost dumped him. After four years of mediocre birthdays spent either at the ranch or waiting for T to return from hunting, the girl got smart and got herself to California.

Fast forward four years and a bona fide birthday tradition is born. So now when T goes out to kill Bambi (which strangely, he almost never does on opening weekend), I go to California to visit Sister K. This year I even got to pawn off the kids on their grandmother go by myself!

Sister K has birthdays down to a science. I arrived on Saturday afternoon to a perfect SoCal day. We went to visit Sister K's grandmother-in-law at her new condo. OMG. I would sell a kidney to have a view like that. She has an entire wall of windows facing the ocean. Just the street then the ocean, complete with seals. Heaven! Then we went to a lovely chichi restaurant that served wicked martinis to go with the gorgeous views. I swear they only waved a piece of fruit over a martini glass of vodka before they brought it to the table. That, however, did not keep me from drinking it! Sister K and I were wiped for the rest of the day. We are some kind of party animals, huh?

That evening we went to The Secret Life of Bees. Totally rocked. Such a treat to go see a real grown-up movie. Unfortunately, on the way home we saw another car hit a kitten as it ran across the street. We stopped to see if we could help it. Unfortunately, though it had run away after it was hit, the kitten did not make it. I made it dry eyed through the tear jerker of a movie only to completely lose my shit over a random kitten. We were good Samaritans and took it to the emergency vet clinic for disposal. There is a funny story in there, but it is still too fresh right now for me to tell it. Anyway, we eased the trauma with ice cream and a trip to the Mother Ship (Target).

On Sunday we had brunch and a walk on the beach. A front had blown in and the weather had turned cool and wet, so the beach was pretty deserted. We went to dog beach - the only beach in town where dogs can go off-leash. The dogs are always such a treat. They just love playing in the water and playing together. I can just picture my poms playing in the surf, their tiny chicken legs exposed by the water. I live way too far from the beach.

After the beach we went to a rescued bird sanctuary. They had all sorts of domestic birds from tiny finches to these huge indigo macaws. A pink and white cockatoo fell in love with me and crawled up my shoulder, refusing to get back on its perch. This alarmed the keepers, but we managed to get him back without losing an eye or a digit.

That night we ate our weight in melted cheese and chocolate at the Melting Pot. I just love fondue! My bro-in-law rocks in the plans department! Thanks, M!

Monday was my birthday. The big 38. Best. Birthday. Ever. Sister K booked us for an entire day at the spa. We started the day with lemon souffle pancakes with pine nuts and raspberry syrup. To die for! We started the day off with a spa treatment that neither of us had ever had before: watsu. It is kind of a floating massage/stretching session. For a water baby like myself, it was heaven. Next we headed off for stone massages, which totally rocked. Pun entirely intended! Though my massage was awesome, I think I got the white bread version of the stone massage. Sister K told stories about her masseuse using his elbows, ice, and possibly hanging from the rafters while he rubbed on her. Dude. We ate lunch Hollywood-style in a cabana by the pool. We finished up our treatments with the best facials I have ever had. My face felt as soft as a baby's bottom. We hung out in the tranquility room for a while then got all dolled up for a fancy spa dinner. M met us and made it a party. Wow. Such a great day.

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