40 hours of 21

I was a bit worried about celebrating my 21st birthday away from home and in Canada.  But I’ll cut to the chase and save you the anxiety I had by telling you: it went well.  My birthday actually started at 8am on Canadian Monday, as that was the 8th in Australia – and considering I was born on Australian time, I was 21 then.  I went on Skype to see my Mum, David, Barry, Grandma and Grandpa.  They all bopped in unison and sang happy birthday, and even with some initial sound issues – it was so lovely.  I had a giant box under my bed that mum had sent to me – and I resisted opening it for such a long time!  Finally I opened the box to find:

My mum knows me well: a package full of thoughtful trinkets, chocolates and love 🙂

Everything! It was so fantastic – so many cures for homesickness.

Aussie homesickness medicine.

After some great Skype sessions with the people I love in Australia and some gorging on all the best Darrell Lea and Cadbury chocolate Australia has to offer, I rang in my Canadian birthday at midnight and finally went to bed.

The next morning I was woken by an alarm and couldn’t figure out why I still felt so tired… that would be because my lovely fiancé woke me up at 7am so I had plenty of time to open presents.  I may have been sleepy, but hey… it’s a good reason to wake up.  I got down filled gloves and mittens, ice-skates ($5.65 from an op-shop – such a win!), a beautiful card, delivered roses and ice wine.  I then moved to a package that I have been saving from my Aunty Yvonne and awesome cousin Lauren back home.  The description  to the post office said cards – but that was an understatement! There were several cards, a squirrel broach (love it!), birthstone pendant, earrings and all sorts of things that made me smile.  My room was (and still is) filled with so many thoughtful presents that I can’t help but feel happy.

I skipped off to uni for my Media Audiences and Effects class – my birthday fell on a Tuesday, which just happens to be a 9.30 – 3.30 day for me.  But the class was good and over before I knew it, so I got to trot off to a café to “study” with my good friend Victoria.  We have a great study system… it’s go to an awesome café/restaurant and chat/eat/study.  To my delight Victoria made the executive decision of adding gifts to the occasion! Not only did I enjoy a Chai milkshake (the best milkshake I have ever had), I was given a gorgeous key pendant for my 21st.  Victoria also gave me my first engagement present – a glittering jewellery box that was wrapped so beautifully that I am considering the ribbon part of the present!  Well, the day was going well I must say.

Victoria and her bounty of lovely presents.

I had to sit through Asian Art, but even the news we had a test on Friday and a possible presentation didn’t get me down.  Same with Renaissance Art… and it reminded me how glad I am that I’m a women living in the 21st century… and not the 15th.  I don’t care if it was fashionable, I am not plucking all the hairs out of the front of my head to raise my hairline.

My next birthday wish was to get a cupcake because my birthday fell on a Toonie Tuesday!

I was told there might not be any leaves left by my birthday…
But there certainly were!
The Cupcakes shop has the best cupcakes… anywhere.
I got Red Velvet and Mark got Caramel Apple.

We took out deliciously boxed cupcakes and walked down into Cootes Paradise.  It was a very foggy day – I like to describe it as mystical.  I think the lighting made things look really pretty –  a little bit magical, and the low cloud kept the temperature up.

Yellow and red trees seem to find each other…

We took out cupcakes with us on a walk to Cootes Paradise.  We lost daylight savings time on the weekend, and so come 5pm, the sun wants to disappear.  This means that when you are walking around at 4.30pm, it is prime squirrel spotting time.

Saw two chipmunks, the little fellow is too small to really see here, but I know he’s there.
We walked along the path between the leaves.
We enjoyed some free squirrel theatre while eating out cupcakes in Cootes.
The multitude of squirrels were quite entertaining.
And the cupcakes were scrumptious.
The leaves were falling…
in a lovely way…
and it was my birthday!

 It’s funny… I am terrible at catching leaves, but I get so many opportunities lately that I have actually caught a few!

Mark caught some… and so did I.

As we were leaving we saw a deer running like crazy in the opposite direction to us.  It ran right alongside us… with its white tail flashing.  I was a little concerned we were about to be greeted by a bear or something else with sharp teeth.

We had to cut our time in Cootes Paradise a little short when I looked at my watch – I had dinner booked at The Village Green at 6pm.  Now, this dinner had been the source of much anxiety for me over the past week.  It’s a really small restaurant,  and so for groups larger than 16 you can book the whole place.  I made a Facebook event and got quite a bit of interest… so I booked it.  As the date drew closer I was worried I would have too many people (I had 27 attending at one point), or not enough (Facebook events can be very tricky things).  The staff needed to know how many people to cater for… so I just pulled out a number – 22.  The lady informed me it would be a bit cosy, but I figured since we all knew each other it would be fine.

Well I arrived at the restaurant at 6pm sharp and to my delight, some friends were already there – you can always count on Germans to be punctual.  We walked inside and a very Canadian sounded lady remarked – “Oh no, you’re big people!”  She was hoping for petite little vegetarians and instead got a load full of international giants (I seem to have mainly befriended tall representatives of their countries).  Well, we weren’t that tall, and one we sat down the restaurant was cosy, gemütlich, gezillig.

I was showered with beautiful cards and gifts – including some Dutch Stroopwafels and Austrian Mozartkugeln from representatives of their native lands.

The food was AMAZING, the service was great and the company was wonderful.  Then my cake came out.  I had mentioned it was my birthday, and the restaurant said they would provide a cake… but I was not quite expecting this.

The dinner was great, and guess how many people came.  22.

The night finished with gathering leftovers and a drink with a few friends at a pub.  When Canadian midnight rolled around so ended my 40 hour-long 21st birthday.

You’ve got to be lucky sometimes – but I think I must have a leprechaun hiding in my back pocket.

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2 thoughts on “40 hours of 21”

  1. While reading your blog I had to continually wipe my eyes and try to keep reading. I miss you and I am so glad that everything went so well on your special day. You deserve to be surrounded by lovely people because you are very special. Perhaps you should keep hold of that leprechaun.

  2. What a wonderful 40 hour birthday celebration!! We are so happy that you loved the presents (I knew the squirrel brooch would be perfect) and had such a great 21st birthday dinner – did you really book out the entire restaurant? And that cake looked so pretty and amazing, can’t believe the restaurant made it for you, it looks like a cake worth hundreds of dollars! What a fabulous 21st birthday!

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