I usually don't make a fuss about my birthday. It's not because I'm unhappy about getting older or anything. I just don't. No real reason.
This year, for some reason, I celebrated it quite a bit. It was coincidence that I had time and circumstance.
My family took me to dinner the day before, at Alan Wong's Honolulu. It's one of my favorites. And I like Chef Alan a lot, too.
Impeccable service, exquisite food, convenient location. What's not to like?
Olivia was mighty impressed with this, her first luxury dining experience. She's had high class dinners but this is the highest and classiest.
Beet salad. So artful!
I even "cut loose" and had a glass of wine. I rarely drink alcohol because it makes me tired. A mom can't afford to be tired.
I stopped drinking wine when I got pregnant and I never really picked it up again. I will go to nine out of ten social functions and decline wine, even if it's free.
Sisto Domingo and me
Over the weekend, we checked in at Halekulani - a gift from my generous friend Sisto. It's always lovely to see my former coworkers again. It's such a gracious hotel with perfect service.
Our view! Look how green Diamond Head is!
The suite was incredible. A few of my hotel work friends sent some treats to the room, which was so thoughtful and much appreciated.
They even thought of Olivia!
You guys! Thank you so much!!!
We spent most of our time in the pool or beach, though the second greatest use of time was walking around Waikiki! We saw the newly opened International Market Place and I was a bit sad to see how different the flavor is from the kitschy old mall.
The century-old banyan tree at International Market Place
I completely understand it's the best use of valuable property, and it's well done. It just feels like every other luxury shopping center in Hawaii and in America.
It's probably just because I'm a local and I know what it was, that I miss it. I'm being rigid and resistant to change.
We also walked into Harry Winston and tried on some jewelry. Mind you, I'd never have the audacity to walk into a store in which I could afford nothing, and waste their time asking to try on pieces.
Reef and me. I'm such a goober.
However, as Olivia and I were drooling at a window display, the security guard started waving - it was my high school classmate! OK, if they can hire Reef, they must be pretty cool, I thought.
This was my first time ever doing this (of so many unusual things I've done- go figure!) and they take you into a special room to try on the jewelry. I asked to try on the pink, six carat diamond because it's $20 million and I wanted to know what it feels like to be that close to that much money.
$20 million ring
Oooh, that diamond. Wow, it sure looked good on my finger. I'm fairly sure the diamond and I were soul mates in a previous life and we're supposed to find each other in this life.
We made such a fuss, even Claus tried it on.
See: now the connection has been made, but the diamond is still not quite ready to be with me so we're still in a separation period. I have faith that when it's right, that diamond and I will be reunited for good.
The $800,000 yellow diamond
Then we tried on a 13 carat yellow diamond that retails for a mere $800,000. The super cute sales ladies thought my daughter and I were funny so they also brought out a pair of 18 carat, $180,000 diamond earrings.
Halekulani, Alan Wong's, and Harry Winston. I've spoiled Olivia. I saw a pretty flower as we were walking around Waikiki, and I pointed it out to my girl.
"Look! What a pretty pink!" I exclaimed.
"Meh. It's not a pink diamond," Olivia joked back. Man, I'm sorry, Future Boyfriend of Olivia. That's a pretty hard act to follow.
Though for right now, I'm happy. It was a great birthday - and I'm ready for what the next trip around the sun brings!