I’ve got to admit, turning thirty is a whole lot easier when you’re living in an incredible place like London. Not to say it wouldn’t have been fun in Tennessee. It just would have been quite a bit different. I’m fairly certain in Tennessee there would have been a BBQ and a bonfire or two, but instead we celebrated with an international potluck, a wander around London’s lovely South Bank, and tickets to see “The Beatles” in concert. I didn’t see that one coming when I turned 29 and started planning what I wanted to do for my 30th!
It’s a given that when your birthday falls on a weekend, the entire weekend is spent celebrating instead of just one day, and celebrate we did! It all began on Friday night when we went to an international potluck for the sixth grade parents at Lexie’s school. Now, this wasn’t a party for me, it was just a party. I hadn’t told anyone at Lexie’s school that my birthday was coming up because I didn’t want them to know I was still in my 20’s. I am one of the youngest moms at the school…by a lot. I had already been mistaken by a few of the moms for being a “second wife”, which is actually one heck of a compliment that they’d think I was some older businessman’s childless, trophy wife. (Cory got a kick out of that one!) But I didn’t want something like age alienating me from the other mothers, so I’ve been attempting to stay in an ambiguous age range until I could say I was in my 30’s. Anyway, it was actually a really fun party. I got to know even more people from all over the world and sampled dishes from their home countries. (Except the sushi. I still can’t get that down.)
On Saturday we spent the afternoon walking along the Thames on London’s South Bank. One of the most popular tourist areas in London…on a Saturday? We really didn’t think that one through. It was madness. Even still, we had a good time. I just love this area – seeing all the famous sites that I’d previously only been able to see in movies. It’s when I get the most overwhelmed (in a good way) that we’re living in London. We stopped and saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Parliament Square before heading back to the South Bank so we could peruse all the secondhand books for sale under the Waterloo Bridge.
I could have spent hours there browsing through all the books for sale. Old books, new books, records, a little bit of art – and yet all we came home with was the third book in the Twilight series for Lexie. (Too many books already, too little space for them.)
Sunday was my actual birthday. (Although, since I didn’t technically turn 30 until 9:31 PM, it was more like saying goodbye to 29 than hello to 30.) There was cake, and seven candles because who the heck has the time to light 30 candles? (Waitrose saved the day again with the birthday cake!) And then there were gifts. One of which arrived in a huge box and needed to be opened immediately due to a few perishables being inside.
Oh yes they did – my parents sent me spicy cheese for my birthday! I was almost as excited about seeing the Kroger label as I was the cheese. (Little reminders of home.) But cheese wasn’t the only familiar American product in my box of treasures.
I think it takes becoming an expat to get excited over receiving dental floss and allergy medicine for your birthday. There are some things you just can’t live without! (And this is when it comes in handy having a daddy who works for a major shipping company – I don’t even want to know how much it cost to ship those black beans!)
To close out a wonderful birthday weekend, we spent Sunday evening watching “The Beatles” perform at the Savoy Theater. A perfect gift for someone who earned the nickname Penny Lane in college due to a minor obsession with the Fab Four! These guys put on a marvelous show. When they played Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), my all-time favorite, I felt like they were playing it just for me. (I’m sure they knew it was my birthday…)
If the rest of 30 is as good as the first day was, I’ve got a lot to look forward to. Also, thank you to everyone who left such wonderful comments on my thoughts on turning 30 post. I absolutely loved writing that, and it made me feel really good that so many of you enjoyed reading it, too!