December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
Preparing to turn 25 can be quite daunting. As the quarter-life birthday rapidly approaches, one may start to think: “Oh my god, I’m turning 25. I’m going to be in my mid-twenties. And then before you know it, I’ll be *gasps* 30! Oh my god, I’m getting… old.” And then, after the initial shock of growing another year older subsides, one might start to think: “Oh my god, I’m turning 25. Am I where I’m supposed to be? Shouldn’t I be done with college by now? Shouldn’t I have a full-time job? Shouldn’t I be married with kids? What am I doing with my life?”
These are all of the thoughts that ran through my mind as my 25th birthday crept upon me. However, instead of letting these worries about turning 25 bring me down, I decided to rejoice my quarter-life birthday instead. I immediately started making plans to have a “Big Girl Birthday Party” consisting of wine tasting during the day in Napa with a handful of my closest girlfriends, followed by a dinner gathering later that evening with a combination of friends from school, work, and dance.
I had never gone wine tasting in Napa before, or gone wine tasting in general, so I was especially excited for this part of my birthday celebration. After a filling breakfast at Cafe Bernardo, my best friends and I made the hour drive to “wine country” where three complimentary* wine tastings awaited. Cakebread Cellars was our first stop, where we received an elaborate tour of the beautiful winery. Duckhorn Vineyards was a much more formal winery: Their guests are provided with their own tasting tables so they can sit and really enjoy the wine, rather than fight through the crowds to get their glasses refilled. Our last stop of the day was at Frank Family Vineyards where, along with the wines, we tasted a couple different champagnes as well. After a long day of vino-drinking, my friends and I were all sufficiently inebriated.
Wine tasting in Napa was a blast, but there was even more fun to be had back in Sacramento. After sobering up and freshening up, my girls and I headed over to Paesano’s Pizzeria, one of my favorite restaurants, for a dinner gathering consisting of about 18 of my dearest friends. Throughout dinner we drank fruity cocktails, ate delicious pasta, laughed at each other’s jokes, took silly pictures, and had a genuinely good time. I opened my gifts, some of which included a hula hoop, a gift certificate to Urban Outfitters (win), and clothes from H&M (double win). I made a wish and blew out the candle on my complimentary scoop of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge drizzled all over it; my wish was to be able to keep the people surrounding me, the people who bring me so much joy and contentment, forever in my life.
I’m glad I ended up making a big deal about my 25th birthday and planning a day of fun to celebrate it; it gave me an incentive to go wine tasting– to have a Big Girl Birthday Party, which coincided with my transition into Big Girl life. Also, having such an epic birthday celebration was a good excuse to bring all of my good friends together. Seeing how all of my friends went above and beyond to make my 25th birthday special reminded me of how lucky I am. This memorable birthday celebration, combined with the reminder of what great friends I have, was a great way to enter into my 25th year of life.
*One of the perks of working in the service industry: If you email the winery’s host ahead of time and tell him or her that you work in the industry, he or she will hook you up big time, especially if it’s your birthday.