It’s G’s birthday today!
WAHOO!!!!! My favorite human is officially in his mid-30s!!!
There is literally no one else I’d rather spend 24/7 with, move to a new city where we don’t know any one, and…oh yeah.. start a business with while having full time-jobs. Thank you G, for your easy going nature, your curiosity and drive to figure out a solution to anything. Thank you for your patience while I insist “just one more episode” or that “I’m just resting my eyes.” You are the best partner/hubster I could ever imagine.
Okay mush over. While he is not that into birthdays — and let’s be honest two people obsessed with birthdays might be…a lot — we have had some pretty awesome celebrations in the past. Since we’ll be having a more low-key celebration this year (and loving it!), I thought I’d take a look back at some of our past celebrations. Can you tell I’ve been on a photo organizing streak?
I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane.
One disclaimer — because I’ve been reflecting a lot about privilege & social media shares lately — I want to acknowledge the privilege that goes along with having these past experiences. I debated a lot sharing this post, given how much people are hurting and have lost during the pandemic. G and I have been extremely fortunate. I also want to stress that these have all been very special occasions (and not our everyday lifestyle). We have always had an unspoken “no gifts” policies, preferring to share experiences together over buying things. Hence why it’s been six years of incredible adventures.
February 2015 // Noho, New York City
For our first G-day celebration, I surprised him with a trip to Bohemian, a super cool speakeasy in Noho. It’s housed in a historical building, once home to Andy Warhol and then the live-in studio of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the incredible 80s graffiti artist! Apparently, this is when we started the tradition of surprise dinner location and tasting menus? (Yes…we are spoiled. But also food is our joint obsession) Back in the day, you could only get in if you had their phone number, but with the pandemic they have really opened up. If you’re in the area, please check them out and support them.
February 2016 // Cartagena, Colombia
In 2016, we took our first international trip together to Cartagena, Colombia. For his actual birthday, I surprised him with … yes, a tasting menu at Carmen. Located in the ground floor of the Anandá Hotel Boutique, Carmen blends together a fusion of Asian, Californian and Colombia ingredients and techniques. The food, the service, the atmosphere all make for the perfect night of celebration. As soon as we walked through the incredibly large Moorish doors and onto the elevator patio in the middle of an old Spanish Colonial style hacienda,
I also wrote a guide to Cartagena here in case you’re interested in what else we did.
February 2017 // Napa Valley, California
In 2017, a work trip brought G and I to SF, where his friends Bri and Andrew planned the most epic and amazing birthday celebration. We started the day in a self-driving Tesla (SO freakin’ cool) and took a drive through Napa, stopping a multiple vineyards. Though we sampled many cheese plates throughout the day, dinner was at this INCREDIBLE bbq joint in the middle of nowhere. I can still taste the gooey grilled cheese.
February 2018 // Berkshires, Massachusetts
In 2018, I surprised G with a road trip in a cool silver car (lol) to the Berkshires. I found an INCREDIBLY awesome deal to stay in a hipster hotel and get a couple of day passes to the local ski mountain. While the food was very good, the opportunity to try something different together was truly awesome.
You can read about the full weekend here.
February 2019 // New York, New York
I think because we were in the middle of planning our wedding(s), G and I agreed to stay local for his birthday. Of course, that meant I wanted to go overboard for this birthday. (I really can’t help it. I love birthdays!) While all of G’s birthday celebrations have been my favorites, this was one is definitely up there. We started with the best fancy meal I’ve had in NYC (well…at the time, G crushed it with my birthday ’19 meal) at Atera. This 12 seat chef’s table is located in a remote part of Tribeca and they only serve a tasting menu. It took me about 17 calls to get the reservation, but BOY were we happy. And because I have been trying to make birthday week a household thing, we also had an epic day at a Virtual Reality World followed by some…interesting…karaoke in K-town, and rounded out G’s actual birthday with Scott Silvan’s the Illusionist Table at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea.
You can read more about the full 2019 birthday weekend here.
February 2020 // Osaka, Japan
G’s birthday was right smack dab in the middle of our epic trip to Japan. We started the day in Osaka, one of our favorite cities of the trip (aka FOOD HEAVEN), with some more fluffy pancakes and cheese fondue. We then trained over to Sakai, where artisans specialize in Japanese knives. We first stopped at the local museum to learn about the history and craft, and then went to the famous Jikko Knives. What an experience! 2 hours later, we walked away with the most beautifully handcrafted gyuto with the handle made from rosewood and buffalo horn and the blade made from super blue carbon steel clad in stainless steel. Of course, all that oohing and awwwing fueled our hunger so on our way out of Kyoto, we stopped for some of the best kushi katsu I have ever tasted.