Sweet 16

January 10, 2015

Straying away from my usual Greece posts and making way for a personal one -- to write about my 16th birthday, which was truly one for the books. To be frank, I couldn't ask for a sweeter 16th celebration.

We slept in the Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay from the 4th to the 5th. Being woken up to a loud, overly excited take on the Happy Birthday song being belted out by the people who conceived you is very pleasant. This is exactly what happened to me the morning of.

After finally mustering up the courage to get out of bed, I took a quick shower then ran down to gobble up the breakfast buffet. Let's be honest: there's no better way to start a day than with a breakfast buffet. That rhyme was wholly unplanned.

Discovery Country Suites offers a range of breads, fruit, juices and cereals which are yours to take. Then, you order your main. This particular feat was remarkably difficult because all the choices seemed so tempting. Should I go with the French toast? The corned beef hash, maybe? What about the steak and eggs?

I went with the corned beef hash. We took our sweet time with breakfast, with my parents reading the papers. Suddenly I hear the Happy Birthday song playing in the background, with hotel staff singing along. I express an uncontainable laugh and turn around to see a slice of cake on a plate, as well as a huge box wrapped in delightfully yellow wrapping paper. After blowing out the candle, I eagerly unwrap the paper and low and behold: it's a new MacBook Air (laptop case included)!

We went back to our room to pack and start heading out. But a trip to the Discovery Country Suites isn't complete without taking a moment to sit back for a second and appreciate the scenery and the view. So after packing my things, I head out to the patio where the jacuzzi was, put on my chillest music and sat down. I loved being able to unwind and de-stress whilst listening to my favourite tunes, with a beautiful view right in front of me.

We were then off, back to the city. On the way home, we stopped for an irresistible snack of  Cinnabon. Such happiness.

I set up and started using my new laptop upon arriving at home. Funny this was, I was barely getting any birthday greetings much unlike last year. Furthermore, a tad bit of disappointment washed over me when I was told that my parents still had to go to work. So here I was, in the same position I'm in right now, eagerly putting all my social networking accounts but wondering if all my friends had forgotten it was my birthday. Don't get me wrong, I was excited out of my pants with this new toy of mine.

Then my mom told me to book two blow-dry appointments at the nearby spa/salon in my village. Why? I ask. It's not as if anyone else will see us, and I just don't see why we needed to get so dolled up for a mere dinner in town. But, fine. No harm in having a blow dry anyway.

At the spa, I had hand and foot reflexology and a blow dry. There's nothing like a little bit of pampering on your special day.

When we got home, we started getting ready for what I thought was just a quaint dinner in a really nice restaurant with my two favourite adults: mum and dad. Then I was told that we would still need to pass by mum's office before going to dine. I was a wee bit dispirited, couldn't she miss just one day of work? After all, it was half past 6 in the evening and no one would be at work anymore so I just didn't see the point.

We spent a little over half an hour in her office, but it felt like an eternity. Whilst there, I was texting my good friend Selena about not being able to see another friend of ours (Bea), as she just visited from Thailand. This downed me even more, because she only comes once a year and it's tradition for all of us to meet up.

We jumped back in the car and were on our way to dinner when I asked, "mum, can we eat in Toby's Estate?" We were in The Fort and I wanted to try out this new place that everyone was obsessed with. I'd seen it all over Instagram and was absolutely mesmerised by the drool-worthy photos and raving reviews.

Then my mum made some flimsy excuse about how she was stressed out and tired and God-knows-what and practically forced us into eating in a restaurant in Serendra. Fine, I say, befuddled because - well, it's my birthday, isn't it? Even though it was too difficult to find parking, she was so insistent on spending my last birthday meal here. But we finally found parking, so there.

We ascend from the parking and I am asked to choose where I want to eat amongst the small selection of restaurants present. I mention that I am craving for truffle pasta. So, Chelsea? mum eagerly proposes. Okay, I say, agreeable to the mouthwatering restaurant of suggestion. We walk over there and I start browsing the menu for my dish of choice.

And then I am yanked inside the restaurant and am greeted by a loud, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" by what seemed like a trillion voices. A camera flashes in my face as I am cover my mouth: I am truly in state of shock. I see my nearest and dearest: my best friends, my teammates and my cousins and relatives. Everyone stands up from their seat to give me a hug and wish me a happy birthday. Not only that, Bea's there too! I am not only overwhelmed with the number of gifts that were given to me, but that someone has gone through all the trouble to plan a surprise party for me. There is no exaggeration when I say that I was shaking for a whole five minutes: I was so shocked! I was so glad to see everyone who I love most.

This is easily one of the best days of my life -- maybe even the best, and undoubtedly the sweetest 16th birthday I could ever ask for.