I have to say, Ed really put a lot of thought and effort into making my birthday quite wonderful this year. Thank you, my loving husband, for making my birthday a very happy day. It was all a surprise and I was quite happy to just go along with whatever Ed had planned.
First up, we headed to the Pan Pacific hotel in downtown Vancouver for a sumptuous brunch buffet. I didn't know where we were going until we got to the hotel. It was crazy how much food was there! I was proud of how I resisted eating way too much. I actually stopped when I felt full even though I was tempted to keep going. The sea bass was amazing! It was the highlight of the buffet for me.
There were two performers singing Christmas carols. Sophia went on the stage they were on and danced to the tunes. Several kids were on the stage. It was pretty cute to watch. There were also face painting and balloon animals to entertain the kids. And of course, Santa was walking around handing out candy canes.
After brunch, we walked around the Jack Poole Plaza where the 2010 Olympic cauldron is located. It was Sophia's first time seeing the cauldron and I explained to her that it was lit during the Olympic games in Vancouver. Then she asked me if the polar bear blew the flame out when the Vancouver games were done. Then I remembered that the polar bear blew out the flames in Sochi! Wow, she remembered that detail from the Sochi closing ceremony. I'd completely forgotten about it.
We went back home to decorate our Christmas tree that afternoon. Ed had also made dinner plans for us that evening. Again, it was a surprise where we were going. When I noticed that it was getting dark, I said to Sophia that I felt sad that my birthday was almost ending. She said that it can't end yet because I haven't had my birthday cake. To which I replied that we forgot to buy a cake for me but that it was okay. Then she ran to Ed, who was in the kitchen, and said, "Remember, Daddy, that you ordered a birthday cake for mommy and Auntie Vettie is going to come and drop it off later?". I love how kids are so honest and pure! I was laughing so hard but laughing silently so Sophia wouldn't hear me. I still didn't know where dinner was going to be, though, but now I knew that the Van Dops were going to be a part of it. And that I was going to have a birthday cake, after all. Dinner turned out to be at Chefe Daniel, a Portugese place that Ed and I like a lot.
It was a fantastic day! I was spoiled by my husband. I am truly one lucky woman. Thank you, Ed, for being so thoughtful and making my birthday very special.
The one thing that did not happen was me spending some time with my mom on my birthday. She had a bad cough and cold, and did not want to infect us. Before having a child of my own, I was quite self-centred about my birthday. But after having Sophia, I appreciate 100 times more that my birthday is also an impactful day for my mom. I should give her a "giving birth day" present! Something to do for next year.
Another thing to note for me is how positive I felt going into this birthday. I have not been welcoming to my past birthdays, almost cringing that here is yet another one and oh dear, I am getting older and older. There have been birthdays when I just wanted to hide - no celebrations with friends, no big party. I still do not like getting older but perhaps, I am getting a little more comfortable with it. I have much to be thankful for and this year, I have chosen to focus on that instead of the number of years I have been in this world. We'll see if the trend continues into next year...
Here are some photos: