This past weekend was fantastic. I got to see one of my best friends turn 25 and it was quite a night.
It started with a plane flight to San Diego.
The flight was quick and easy and I was in Jenn's car in no time. We had a relatively quiet evening complete with dinner at Outback with her boyfriend and his roommate, followed by a drink at Jenn's favorite bar.
The next night, however, was the birthday celebration and it was a lot more eventful. We ran a few errands in the early afternoon, had a pre-dinner dinner at her parents' house, and then had dinner at Dick's Last Resort.
Let's just say it was a little rowdy there. It seemed like we all just ordered appetizers and I got to try the Gator Bites. Yes, you read that right. Gator. As in, alligator. It wasn't bad at all! Less chewy than calamari and a pretty good flavor. The chipotle ranch dipping sauce certainly didn't hurt either. Our server seemed like a seasoned employee and threw around her attitude with ease. She did show us some kindness before we left and gave everyone a beer mug or a hurricane glass. Somehow, with the help of Jenn's brother, it made it through the night in one piece and I managed to keep it in tact on my trip home.
Dick's was the meeting up point for everyone and a lot of our friends from LA came down to celebrate as well. I couldn't believe how many of them came! It was so nice seeing good friends and catching up with everyone and I know it made Jenn's night that so many of them were there.
The drinks were flowing freely and we eventually moved to the next stop on our trip which was Taste and Thirst. We stayed there for a bit and then continued across the street to Hennessey's where we had live music for a while and where she officially turned 25. We finally piled into cars (with sober drivers) or cabs and made our way over to Gilly's. We closed the bar down, but not before a few people hopped up to sing some karaoke. Once the doors closed behind us, we decided we weren't quite ready to leave, so we walked over to Denny's for one last meal. It was here that I really was able to catch up with my good friend Marshall, which was nice because he only came out when we got to Gilly's.
The whole night went smoothly until one teenage kid (who was likely on drugs and/or drunk) tried to pick a fight at Denny's. Thankfully nothing actually happened, but it was certainly an interesting note to end on. It was 430AM when we finally made it back to her boyfriends apartment. I honestly didn't think we'd be out that late, but it's true what they say - time flies when you're having fun. And in this case, we were having one of those nights that was reminiscent of our college days. Overall, one of the best times I've had in quite some time.
A few hours later after Jenn, her boyfriend, and I made it back to the apartment, we were awake once more. Somehow we all woke up around 730AM. Not much sleeping for us, but it sure seemed like enough at the time. My 550PM flight was already delayed by nearly two hours, so I kept an eye on it and it just seemed to get later and later. When the departure time reached 9PM, I called Southwest to see if I could change my flight to the one at 440PM. Without even hesitating, the operator, Sandy, jumped into action and changed my flight at no charge. NO CHARGE! Take that JetBlue! I was so relieved that it was so easy to do. She almost seemed apologetic when she mentioned I'd have to get a new boarding pass. I told her that was the least of my problems! I didn't care if I was the last person on the plane because I was happy I wasn't going to get back into town after 11PM. So cheers to Sandy for making that process so painless! Even though I wasn't really ready to go, I knew I had to. Work was awaiting my arrival today and there was so much to do. I managed to get a full night of sleep, but I was still tired for the better part of the morning. It was worth it though. So very worth it. And I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.