Birthday’s Are Always Awesome

I’ve always loved celebrating my birthday. Even if I didn’t do anything special, I just liked the idea of having an entire day that is entirely dedicated to me and my happiness. If I wanted to go out and party, my friends had to participate because “it’s my birthday, I do what I want”. But if I decided I wanted to chill and relax, I could do that because “it’s my birthday, I do what I want.”  If I weren’t dating anyone, I would buy myself something I’ve been coveting but never wanted to spend the money on. When I was dating someone, it was nice to be treated like a princess; that didn’t always happen, but whatever.

This year on the 22nd I turned…thirty-…er…twenty-nine, and Lorenzo decided to surprise me with a trip to Orlando so we could go to Disney. We went to Epcot on Saturday and The Animal Kingdom on Sunday.  Ever since Lorenzo and I met, he’s always done a great job of making me feel special on my birthday. Once he took me to Jamaica for a week, then he paid for me to have dinner with my family when we couldn’t be together, and once he took me to Chateau Elan for the weekend.  Last year was our honeymoon, so that was a given.

But anyway, Epcot and the Animal Kingdom were just like the Magic Kingdom- lots of walking. Fortunately, Lorenzo and I already walk enough through our neighborhood, so the walking didn’t bother us. At Epcot went on a virtual tour of the world called Soarin’ and a few other rides, and also went around the world through all the built up cities they have. We also stayed for the firework show. Sunday, at the Animal Kingdom we went earlier in the day, so it was hotter; we took the safari ride, but the animals were so hot that many of them just hung out in the shade and didn’t move much. I honestly didn’t blame them.

For dinner that night we went to Del Friscos where I tried escargot for the first time. I’ve been wanting to try it for some time now but have always hesitated due to fear of the unknown. I will say that it was not as horrible as I imagined it to be, and I was very proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying something new. It was kind of chewy, like muscles, but had zero flavor which is why I guess when it’s prepared its done with so many other flavors. Lorenzo thought it was okay. Now that I’ve tried it, I don’t think I need to have it again.

We did some shopping and drove back to Atlanta Monday afternoon. Overall I would say it was a very successful birthday. We are going to go back to Orlando sometime in October or November because when we bought our tickets, we purchased access to 4 parks. We’ve already been to the Magic Kingdom back in 2012, so I think we’ll do that one again and go to Hollywood studios to use up the last park pass. It looks like I’ll have to keep on walking on my route…


Lorenzo’s Family Reunion

Lorenzo and I spent the weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina with his maternal family for their 4th family reunion. I think it was cool to attend since I didn’t get a chance to attend my father’s family reunion earlier this year due to the date being the same time as my military training event. I already know most of his mother’s siblings, his first cousins, and their kids, but at the reunion, there were other extended family members as well. This included his grandfather’s siblings and their families.  The guest of honor was his great-grandmother Sue who was born sometime in the 1800’s and passed away in 1951. Sue had 8 children, one of whom was Lorenzo’s grandfather and only one of Sue’s children remains alive today.
Because Lorenzo had to work, we didn’t leave on time, so we didn’t get a chance to go to the meet-and-greet on Thursday night. Friday morning we met up at his uncle’s house for breakfast, and I got a chance to meet his cousins that live on the west coast in California and Phoenix. Everything was fine until I was completely thrown off by the entrance of an older woman who greeted me by saying, “Are you the baby mother?” I attempted to say, “Huh?” and “Who?” at the same time. Lorenzo’s cousin laughed and his aunt Barbara stepped in and saved me by explaining that I was Lorenzo’s wife. No sooner did the words leave her mouth did another woman walk and ask me the same exact question in the same direct tone. I had no idea who’s baby mother I was supposed to be, but I guess they had to check to make sure. I later found out they were the descendants of Lorenzo’s, grandfathers’, brother (confused yet?), or something like that. They are twins in their early  70’s, both named Gloria, and they both tried to get me extremely drunk that night after the banquet.

Here are few things I’ve learned about true southerners since I’ve been with Lorenzo:

•They like to do things on their own. Paying for convenience is almost a crime- Lorenzo’s mother is still hesitant to pay for bottled water, and Lorenzo insists on chopping his own wood (and we don’t even have a fireplace).

•Sweet Tea is a staple. Well, tea period. If you don’t drink sweet (or unsweet) tea, something is wrong with you.

•Also pork. The only justifiable reason to not eat pork is because you have hypertension…and not even then.

•They like to make their own alcohol. I know we are all aware of moonshine but this weekend I’ve actually had homemade wine. Yes, you read that correctly.

•You have to learn to translate some of the terms. I already knew that some pronounce “children” like “chill-ren” or “chill-en” because that’s how my grandmother says it but the new one for me was, “have some sit down.” It means, “please have a seat.”

But I did have a wonderful time. Friday night there was a banquet where we dressed up and honored the family members over 70, and on Saturday we went to Pullen Park for lunch and other activities that the kids could enjoy, like a carousel, train ride around the park, and paddle boating in the lake. Sunday was a travel day for everyone, so we had to say our goodbyes on Saturday night.
I know Lorenzo had a great time as well. He already wants to make more time to go back home (to South Carolina) to spend more time with his cousins and their children. It would be a great way to end the summer since I think I’ve spent a total of 3 weekends in Atlanta together since June (that last sentence had a lot of sarcastic undertones just in case no one caught it).