So, I turned forty last week! And I really feel that graduating to a new decade is an accomplishment. Look how persistent I am! Made it! Can I get a high five?
It wasn’t the longest day ever, but it was close. I wanted to milk every second of enjoyment from my 40th birthday. The day started at 2:30 am, and I watched the sunrise through an airplane window, with that little tummy flutter of anticipation that accompanies the start of a journey. By lunchtime Michael and I had arrived in Puerto Vallarta, toasted with champagne, gotten a chair massage, and were seated in a beachside restaurant. Not bad for the first half of the day!
That still left the rest of the afternoon to walk up the beach, explore the town a little, swim, and lounge around the swim-up pool bar.
Then came the question of where to go for dinner. I find that it can take a day or two in a new place, to really get a feel for the restaurant options in the neighborhood, to notice places that look good, and to see where the locals are eating. And that was true of our time in Puerto Vallarta. But we didn’t do too badly our first night, at a restaurant called Tino’s.
We were ushered to a patio table on the second floor, where we could gaze down on the flow of people and cabs and buses and Volkswagen Beetles in the street below, as the light slowly faded into a sweet, lingering, deep blue twilight and then finally the sun went down.
The waiter brought an ice bucket on a stand, filled with tiny bottles of Pacifico, and parked it next to my elbow. We went a little crazy over the Seafood Platter, spearing shrimp, mussels, broiled fish, sea snails, and cracking crabs and lobsters to dig out and devour the sweet bits of meat from every joint.
There was melted butter! There was salsa! The baked potato, bread, rice, and steamed vegetables were good, but ultimately merely supporting players in the seafood extravaganza. By the time we finished, we had a bone yard piled high with empty shells. We scrubbed rather ineffectually at our buttery hands and faces, then leaned back in our chairs to enjoy a guitar serenade.
We rounded out the day with an outdoor concert in the plaza–complete with fog machines and fire batons–before strolling back to the hotel. It was just a few minutes after midnight when I glanced at the clock and said, “My birthday’s over!” And within a few more minutes I was sound asleep.
I think I must have fallen asleep smiling, after a very long and wonderful day.