I feel 25 years of thankful.
My birthday extravaganza of a weekend has come and gone, and what remains is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I was just able to experience the weekend that I did. I came back from my weekend filled with the best of friends, good food, sweet drinks, and incredible times feeling on top of the world. Plus, I humorously described myself as feeling like a Hollywood socialite who does nothing but socialize for a living – because for four straight days, that’s all I did. It was a literal dream.
Technically, I started my birthday celebrations days before my designated birthday weekend, as I arrived in New York the Wednesday before my Sunday birthday and got some food and drinks with a friend, which was followed the next day by another night of food and drinks with a different friend. Come Friday, I felt like a privileged housewife because rather than working, I spent my afternoon getting an incredibly relaxing hot stone massage followed by am indulgent sushi lunch. By night time, I was at a rooftop bar in Brooklyn with various friends who all seamlessly blended together and enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere.
I left New York bright and early Saturday morning to head home so I could then spend the night in Atlantic City with my best friend Laurel. The night was interesting to say the least, as it consisted of walking around the Hard Rock Hotel for an hour attempting to gain entrance into any bar we saw and a small hit-and-run accident in Laurel’s friend’s car as he was driving us back to our home base at the Tropicana resort. However, the night ended in the best way possible: singing “Hotel California” by The Eagles on karaoke. My friend and I originally had plans to be in Atlantic City for an Eagles cover band concert, but that got postponed. So, ringing in 25 by making people hear me sing The Eagles (and encouraging them to join in) seemed like it fit well. I even got a compliment on my way out of the bar!
Laurel and I woke up the next morning on my birthday in our suite with ocean views and we walked to breakfast with another stunning view of the ocean. I ate one of the best breakfast sandwiches I have ever had: bacon, egg, cheese, and avocado on a croissant. It was practically made for me! Then we celebrated in the most Sara way possible: by taking a nap on the beach … which resulted in some serious sunburn — oops!
After a walk on the boardwalk and a positive palm reading experience, we drove to Renault Winery where I got to celebrate my big day with my dear friends from home. Guess what. They played “Hotel California” while I was there! I made my friend Gacho dance with me and it was simply the best time. My friends all effortlessly got along and the joy I felt was unmatchable! The night ended at Gacho’s house where we ate ice cream cake and sang karaoke. What a dream.
Monday was my day for recovering from the crazy, fun, beautiful weekend I experienced with the best friends ever. I rounded out the day by going on a bike ride with my sweet friend Lauren and then eating hibachi with my dad and grandparents. It was so fun watching my grandparents get excited over the organized chaos that hibachi is.
What I am saying through these 500 plus words is that I had the most amazing weekend ever surrounded by the best friends ever. As I was thinking about what to write — and I genuinely did not mean to write this much — I smiled to myself because while my 25th birthday was beyond incredible, I often find myself with this feeling of eternal gratitude for the people I have in my life every time my birthday comes around. Check out my blog posts from my 21st and 22nd birthdays and you will see what I mean. Not all friends stay in my life forever, but I can say that I have been so lucky to find the people that have been in my life, whether just for a small amount of time, or a decade.
I truly believe that having healthy relationships in life is truly important to endure a happy life, and I have simply hit the jackpot. I feel beyond lucky to live the life that I do and to have the people I have in it. I may have set up all the plans for my 25th, but my friends are who made it beyond memorable. Here’s to 25 and being alive!