birthdays are better with friends

recently we put together plans to celebrate bank’s birthday.  i mean, turning 26 is a big deal!  i let bank and his wife liz hijack nrw so that we could get together in his honor.  somebody else is going to plan an event?  that’ll work for me in a jiffy!

after work wrapped up for the day, bank and liz invited us all to their apartment for some pre-dinner spirits.  the homemade salsa went well with the hand-crafted, and strong, margaritas.  good thing i had a ride for later!  it was quite relaxing to just hang out with everyone after a long day in the office.  i’m usually so excited being here, there, and everywhere that i forget taking time to slow down is sometimes just as enjoyable.

after everyone finished their drinks, we piled into a few cars and made a short drive to the restaurant.  kyle, vinh, and i were in the “fun car,” if you ask me.  i mean, who wouldn’t want to roll the windows down and serenade the streets of buford highway with off-pitch renditions of “let it go” and “part of your world”?  that’s what i thought.

ten minutes later we rolled into the don pedro’s parking lot.  bank had mentioned this place was quite casual, just one dollar sign, something that was right up jon’s alley.  don pedro’s is no-nonsense, so much so that you might not look twice when passing by.  bank and liz had raved about it, though, which was enough to invite us along.

the don pedro’s menu is very straightforward, as in it is a picture menu, with the dish title as the only indication as to what each may be.  we were all packed in close as the line, and our appetites, grew.  although the whole fish looked interesting, i made a simple choice with the burrito plate.  the staff helped out all fourteen of us and extra tables and chairs were scooted around so that we could all sit together.  our large group took up, i’d say, about a third of the dining space.  we are quite a sight when we are all out and about!

order numbers were soon called out over the intercom, and plates loaded with rice and salsa and tortillas quickly covered the tabletops.  just looking at the sheer amount of food in front of us made me full.  i dug into my meal and between bites, the margaritas from earlier in the evening kept conversation exciting.  i was on quite a roll that night, just ask alison and kari, for they were lucky enough to sit at my end of the table.  my steak burrito was fine, as were the refried beans and rice.  i would say the company of the folks around me, though, is what really made the evening special.

we finished our dinners, scraped our plates clean, and headed back to the apartment.  birthday cake for dessert was still in order!  kari and i were the last ones to return, and as we walked in the door, i saw everyone standing around bank.  i looked at him and asked with worry, “did they already sing ‘happy birthday?'” i was afraid i had missed it!

“no, but it’s okay.  i don’t want any singing.”  the last words were barely out of his mouth as i sang aloud to lead everyone in song with me.  bank simply turned to me with a look of embarrassment.  i returned with a wink and smirk, “you should know better than to tell me that after eight years of our friendship.”  although he said he hadn’t wanted us to sing, i think he was glad we did.

liz cut into the cake and passed slices around to us all.  she had baked a strawberry layer cake that was just divine, and the middle chocolate layer was delicious with the vanilla icing.  a sweet treat with sweet friends to end a great gathering.

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