We've been instructed to not use wedding days or children's births for this one and I can see that. There'd be a lot of wedding and birthday posts that way.
For me, the best day would be my 29th birthday. I believe I've written about this before, but I can't remember for sure.
It actually started the January before my birthday. I was talking on the phone with my friend, Dave. He commented that he was going to surprise his wife with a trip to a bed and breakfast on the weekend after my birthday. "Great," I replied, half joking. "You're gonna get some on MY birthday weekend." And from there, we somehow came to the conclusion that they'd come down to Philadelphia for their weekend at a B&B. I knew that his wife would love it, because we all got along wonderfully. We started talking about the four of us getting together with another good friend of ours that also lived in Philly for dinner the night they came down. Dave wasn't going to tell his wife about the trip, just that he had a surprise for her. When they were driving toward Philly, he'd call me on his phone and I'd get to tell her what was going on. We decided to get together on the 15th for the big night.
Rich was in charge of making reservations for us for that night. Originally, we were going to try to go to The Restaurant School - a school about 2 blocks from our apartment that was also a working restaurant. They had four different theme rooms and lower prices for great food. It was a favorite place for Rich and I to go Unfortunately, they were having a large party that night so we couldn't make the reservation. So Rich asked around his lab and got a suggestion of a place called Rx. It was a BYOB organic restaurant that was in a former pharmacy. Their menu changed daily based on what they could get from the farmer's market that day. Everyone was on board for it.
On my birthday, I talked to one of my best friends, Cristi. She lived out in Michigan, so there was no way for her to come out. We talked a bit about it and she mentioned her regret that she couldn't be there and asked us to call her when we were all together. I promised we would.
Then came the 15th. I'd been excited all day, waiting for Dave's call. We weren't sure who was going to get there first, Dave & Barb or Sal (the other friend that was joining us). Rich tried to keep me occupied during the day, but when the call from Dave came, I couldn't hold it in any longer. I just grinned and grinned, keeping an eye on the clock for the two hours that it would take them to get there to hurry past.
Sal was actually there before Dave and Barb. He came in, gave me a large hug and chatted for a few minutes before telling me that my gift was out in the hallway. I opened the door, and there was Cristi with her boyfriend Patrick.
I was floored. For all that there'd been a few times that I could have guessed because of things people said (Cristi almost said, "See you Saturday" when I talked to her on my birthday, and Rich made a comment that the Restaurant School wouldn't be able to seat 7 of us), I hadn't caught on at all. It's usually hard for people to surprise me because I have a habit of asking questions that ruin the surprise. But this time... I was floored. I hugged Cristi so hard and I may have even cried.
When Dave and Barb got there, Barb admitted that right after I told her about her surprise, Dave told her about mine. It was truly the best birthday ever.
The seven of us headed over to Rx with a couple bottles of wine. We had a few tables put together and we stayed at the restaurant for several hours. The food was great, the company was even better, and the staff just rocked. We were all a bit tipsy when we left after a few hours, but we had good memories.
It's been my absolute best day. Especially because we lost Cristi the following March ( a week before my birthday) to an epileptic seizure. That year, my birthday turned into a wake for Cristi, and I was ok with that too. But I got to spend a special day with special friends and I can never forget it.
The seven of us at Rx.
Rich and I.
Cristi and Patrick
Sal and Barb
Dave, showing off the Rx Pharmacy Drinkware. :)