My 34th birthday was full of new experiences (and some old ones).
On Friday night, Chris decided that I'd have a Jewish birthday - one that begins at sundown the night before the actual holiday - so we went out to a movie of my choosing: "Transamerica." I love Felicity Huffman, and I also love an underdog. It's because of Huffman that this odd little low-budget movie is getting the attention it is, including a nomination for Huffman for Best Actress in this year's Oscars. An amazing acting performance can elevate a good movie to greatness, and that's exactly what happens here. Huffman is simply perfect, and if she doesn't receive the little golden man, I'll be very sad.
Then on Saturday (my actual birthday), we had massages in the morning (my last one having been over a year ago, it was a welcome treat). I was apprehensive when my massage therapist said that he tends to do more deep-tissue work... I'm a wimp, as many of you already know, and the words "deep tissue" did nothing to relax me. It turned out he was great, and I would happily request him the next time. You know, next year sometime...
Instead of heading toward the highway after our massages, Chris confused me by snaking through odd little streets in NW Portland. I was just about to ask where the heck he was going when he pulled the car up to the curb in front of none other than Saint Cupcake. We'd both been wanting to try their wares, and were especially intent on supporting them since their recent break-in. We filled a box with sugary goodies (my "birthday cake"), and headed for home.
A boxful of cupcakes - enough to make anyone feel like a kid again.
For lunch, we met my mother and one of my brothers at a restaurant we'd been wanting to try - Ristorante Roma. The menu is simple, as is the food, and it's all inexpensive and tasty. We didn't try any desserts there this time, however, as we stopped next at Mio Gelato. As if kizmit actually existed (and as if I actually knew how to spell it), they had many of my favorite flavors on offer, including my very favorite, caramello. We also had hot chocolates, as the windy walk from Ristorante Roma had made us all a bit chilly.
Then it was just Chris and me again, and we slowly made our way toward our next stop - the Italian film ("La seconda notte di nozze," or "The Second Wedding Night") playing as part of the Portland International Film Festival. We read an Italian Vanity Fair as we waited in line, and the theatre filled up in no time at all. It wasn't a terribly great movie - there were characters in it that I disliked so much that it made it hard to enjoy the rest of the film - but some of the scenes were really quite funny. And any Italian film is a good thing, as it helps our language skills.
After the movie, we drove to our final destination - dinner at Park Kitchen. We'd heard good things about it, but had never been before. Since we arrived a tad early, we got situated at the bar and I ordered a cocktail while we waited. When we got seated, it became quickly apparent why they're going to be expanding into the space next door - there's hardly any space for diners! We had a fabulous dinner (which I completely forgot to photograph, as the cocktail had me loopy even before the first course arrived) - the highlights were the chick pea fries and pumpkin "ketchup" appetizer, the rabbit entree, and the apple butter crepes with caramel ice cream for dessert. Yum, yum, and yum. We'll definitely be back.
So, it was a very full day - I was pretty much ready to hit the pillow at 10pm, but refused to go to bed until after 11:30 just to prove to myself that I'm not that old. At least not yet.