The Bracket Jump Birthday

On Thursday night, after being in a car for approximately 18 of the previous 48 hours and sending my baby brother off to college, I found myself a little weepy. Maybe I was a bit grouchy, my emotions were running fairly high, and I was exhausted. This, as everyone knows, is an ideal time to have a quarter life crisis.

Jealous of my Ugly Cry?

Since my 18th birthday, I’ve always been one of those chicks that makes her birthday a national holiday. Whether it’s jumping out of a plane, having a “That’s So Jordan” themed party, or dragging my buddies to a food and craft beer tour-de-Raleigh, I make sure my birthday is a true celebration. But, being in a new, unfamiliar city and knowing very few folks with whom I could celebrate, I was feeling a bit lost. I also couldn’t get the “bracket jump” out of my mind. No longer was I going to fall in that “18-24” age group. Nope, I was shifting into the “25-29” bracket. It seemed symbolic of some big change, which is ridiculous and very demonstrative of how I read far too much into things. Whatever it was, I was not my typical JOYFUL JORDAN.

Then, I woke up on Friday morning (August 24th, the day of my birth 25 years ago) to my mom BLASTING 50 Cent’s iconic “In Da Club”, with the telltale lyrics:

Go, go, go, go
Go, go, go, shawty
‘Cause it’s your birthday
We gon’ party like it’s yo birthday
We gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday
And you know we don’t give a ****
It’s not your birthday!

She danced into the room, and any fears of a bland, “blah” birthday where whisked out of my mind.

We U-Hauled the last of my junk into the apartment and I was on my own for the day.  I headed to one of my favorite spots in the city, the PHS Pop-Up Garden by Rittenhouse Square.

Rainbow in the garden!

I nabbed some free chips and salsa and learned how to make Chipotle’s tomato salsa (which I’m attempting later today), and then grabbed something I’ve been dying to try for a while.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream!

Ever since being scarred for life by their (viral and terrifying) commercial (you’ve been warned), I was itching to get some of the good stuff (though preferably not scooped from someone’s skull.)

Sweet treats and reads

This chai snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich filled with coconut chai (non-dairy) ice cream was much more my style, and I toted it along to the book store for a bit of light (re)reading.

After getting through a serious chunk of the book (and demolishing the sandwich), I decided I wanted some pampering and some girl time.

Burt’s Bees and Say Yes to the Dress: Match made in Heaven.

Scandalous! (I was wearing a towel, I promise.)

I wasn’t trying to star in an off-Broadway performance of the 1997 classic, Face/Off (tempting as that sounds), just enjoying a cooling Cucumber Aloe mask. It was just what I needed before I left the pampering to someone else.

Enter: Nail Bar. Simple concept. Salon, offering manis, pedis, and complimentary bevvies!!

All I need in this life.

Thanks, random stranger, for snapping my picture!

I came out with a sparkle on my nails and some bubbly in my belly. But, other than the ice cream sandwich and some cereal earlier, I didn’t have too much else in my belly.

YELP ELITE TO THE RESCUE!

Sweet spread, right?

Yelp’s Great American Happy Hour, hosted by ING Cafe, was my very first Yelp Elite event, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I considered the whole night a surprise party for me. The surprise, of course, was for Yelp, who didn’t know they were sponsoring my party!

There were delicious Underdogs (which, as I already mentioned, I’m a huge fan of…)

Dog bonanza!

My favorite was the My Thai (with spicy peanut sauce and green papaya slaw), and I even tried the mustardy Chicago style. Delicious, despite the fact that I am not a fan of mustard.

I got a chance to meet some new folks and, surprise surprise, there were two other birthday babes at the party.  Despite the event limiting attendance only to the Yelp Elites, it didn’t feel elitist at all, and I was so amped to get myself out there and meet new people.  For a social butterfly like me, an event like this is the ultimate adrenaline rush, so I jumped at the chance to join the after party at Devil’s Alley for a baby flight of beers.

Yummy x 4

Maggie M. and I, the birthday girls!

I rounded out the night the only way that made sense… My beau, a bottle of Epic Brewing’s Big Bad Breakfast Stout, and a pint of Butterfinger ice cream.  And was treated to this little present when I checked in on Untappd:

DOUBLE BADGED!

500 unique beers? That makes me LEGEN (wait for it…………..) DARY!

I went to sleep with a buzz, not just from the booze (though that helped), but from a night spent with new friends and the love of my life. And though it was DEFINITELY a little different from some previous birthdays (Tequila balls and feather boas, anyone?), it was a successful bracket jump. And maybe I’ll get a little silly tonight with Krissie… Who’s to say I can’t celebrate twice?

And there’s nothing in the rule book that says a 25 (or 46) year old can’t wear a tiara on her birthday…

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Bracket Jump Birthday

  1. Pingback: AC Beer Festival: Of Malts and Mustaches | Food, Sweat, and Beers

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