Saturday, July 16, 2011

The most amazing birthday (Part 3)

Tuesday the 12th was my birthday, but I didn't celebrate it as I normally do on this blog. In the two previous years, I've done special posts on my birthday where I share baby pictures of myself. This year, however, I was too busy to write up such a post (or, more importantly, to scan in old photos) on my birthday, because I was on vacation. The Housemate and I were on the Big Island for a week, staying at his brother's house in Kona.

I had an amazing birthday this year, with two of the most spectacular experiences of my life. But in addition to my adventures swimming with dolphins and night-diving with manta rays (which I've already described in detail in those previous posts), the day was pretty great all around.

First of all, in the morning, I forgot how old I was. The Housemate's four-year-old nephew had been told that it was my birthday, but he was trying to guess how old I was.
"Um, ten?"
"No, older than that..."
"One thousand?"
"Ah, no, ten was closer. Let's try 'warmer, colder'."
It was clear this method wasn't working. "Why don't you start at one and count up, and I'll stop you when you get to my age."

That worked better. Aside from a nearly skipped number 15 and an attempt at an "eleventeen", he knew his numbers pretty well. Then he got to "24. 25..." I panicked at "26", whacking the Housemate on the arm and saying "Help, how old am I?" I did the quick subtraction in my head (2011 - 1985 = 26) and yelled "Stop, I'm 26!" by the time the nephew got to "27". Oh dear. Am I finally old enough that I have to keep track of my age by subtracting my birth year from the current year? That's how I figure out how old my parents are. I think I've got it now--just takes a little getting used the first day--but I had myself scared there.

After that, the Housemate and I picked up malasadas (Portuguese donuts) for breakfast. We actually took a long time to find the place because we were looking on the wrong road. The sad thing was that we'd both been to the malasada place the day before, in the car with the Housemate's brother, wife, and two little children, and the shop wasn't even very far from their house. We'd just been...distracted. His brother's car has a little TV screen viewable from the back seats, and both the Housemate and I had been oblivious to the path we took to get to the malasada restaurant because we were so mesmerized by an episode of... "The Backyardigans." Delightful kids' program where colorful anthropomorphic animals make-believe exciting stories in their backyards, complete with singing and dancing in a style distinctive to each episode. Yes, that is why we got lost on the morning of my birthday trying to find the place we'd been the morning before.

When we got to the malasada place, we had an amusing exchange with the lady at the register--one of those "Do I live in a sitcom?" moments--but to explain I'll have to back track to the previous morning.

Malasada shop, Monday morning

Lady at register: Hi, what can I do for you?
Me: Uh, we'd like four malasadas--two plain, one mango, and one guava, please.
Lady: OK, so that's two plain, one mango, and one lemon?
Me: No, one mango, one guava.
Lady: One guava, one lemon.
Me: Mango and guava.
Lady: I'm sorry, I don't know why I was stuck on the lemon...

The Housemate and I thought it was pretty funny how determined she seemed to give us a malasada with lemon filling. That brings me to my birthday, the next day...

Malasada shop, the next morning

The same lady: Hi, can I help you?
Me: Yes, we'd like three plain malasadas, two mango, one guava, and one pineapple, please.
Lady: That's three plain, two mango, one guava, and one lemon.
Me: No lemon! Two mango, one guava, one pineapple.

She got it right then, but afterwards the Housemate and I laughed pretty hard about the fact that, yet again, she was trying to push the lemon-filled malasadas on us. Maybe they were her favorite?

Anyway, the malasadas were delicious and filling. After our morning dive with the dolphins, we had a quiet afternoon at home. The Housemate's sister-in-law made a nice lunch of some saucy beef with rice dish, and I had various phone calls and emails from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday. I even got a Twitter "Happy Birthday" from Bonnie Burton which made me squee a little bit.

The dive with the manta rays that night was fabulous. Between that and the red-hot lava I saw last year, it seems that some of the most magnificent sights in the world can be seen on the Big Island after dark. We got back home very late, after the kids had already gone to bed, and ate some homemade pizza leftovers for dinner. Afterwards, when I thought the brother and sister-in-law had already gone to bed, they came out with a cake, full with 26 candles. They'd gotten it at a very nice bakery, and it was a delicious chocolate-raspberry, with light whipped cream icing (which I much prefer to heavy butter cream). It was perfect.

After that, we went to sleep. I was fully content. I can only wish that every birthday is half as wonderful as this one.

Back to Big Island Trip master link page

Now, I feel like I have to include at least one photo of me as a young 'un, to celebrate how far I've come. My photo collection here in Hawaii is basically the photos that my parents either had extras of, or didn't like enough to put in their own photo albums. So I don't have the best selection. I'm all out of baby pictures, but here's one of me with my brothers when I was seven. We'd hiked to get to that waterfall, and my dad was darned if he wasn't going to get a photo of the three of us in it, no matter how cold the water was in early summer in New England. My little brother's face here is priceless. My swim suit, on the other hand...not so much.


Hezabelle said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Sebastian Anthony said...

Ha, you (well, your siblings) look properly Polynesian!

I'd never really considered it before, but obviously you must look a bit Hawaiian... under those damn glasses.

I have to admit I was hoping for an 'after dark, lights out' section to your birthday story, but... maybe next year... :)

Eleni said...

Hez - Thanks!

Seb - We're half Chinese, actually. Other half Anglo-Saxon. My coloring is a bit lighter than my brothers', though.

After dark, lights out? We were exhausted, just went to sleep! Sorry to disappoint ;)

Sebastian Anthony said...

Damn, I knew I should've stuck with 'Asian'. I'm always more reckless late at night... and really shouldn't do my blog reading/commenting then.

(To be fair, Polynesians are probably Chinese, right? Or Chinese + Aboriginal or something?)

And now I'm going to slink into the shadows before I embarrass myself further...

Eleni said...

Polynesians are generally considered a separate ethnic group from Asians. Surveys sometimes put them together, as in "Asian or Pacific Islander", but they do get that separate designation. Polynesians may be distantly descended from Asians, but then so are Native Americans, most likely. And I would guess that Polynesians would then be more related to southeast Asians.

Anyway, it's all right, not the first time someone has made that mistake ;)

Out of Sync said...

Happy Birthday =) Sounds like an amazing few days.

Eleni said...

It was an amazing trip, especially that one day. I do have some photos from the first few days of the vacation. I'll get those sorted and posted some time...

Kathy S said...

Sounds like an amazing Birthday.

Also, I gave you an award:

C said...

Ah! That is the cutest picture!

Eleni said...

Kathy S - Thanks!!!

C - My older brother and I are doing our best to hide our discomfort. Little bro is just being honest :)

Vanessita said...

I'm really glad for you that you seemed to have really the most amazing birthday ever! That or it just sucks to be me, lol!
Accept my delayed congratz, Eleni! :)

Eleni said...

No, this was a really lucky, outstanding birthday for me. By far the most exciting birthday I've ever had. Thanks :)