i was a total rock star for my birthday. obviously, my blah attitude improved quite a bit ;) i got lots of fun e-cards, a good number of birthday e-mails, and a bunch of phone messages. i was quite the birthday princess, after all!
during fabulous sushi lunch with the hub, i casually (i swear!) mentioned that my back was killing me - i'd spent the majority of the day before unpacking box after box into the kitchen and the nursery, and i was pooped! so, of course, being the wonderful husband that he is, he immediately picked up the phone and called the claremont club to check availability for a nice, relaxing maternity massage. and amazingly, they had an opening! he gave them his credit card number and i was all set. he even tried to hook me up with a mani/pedi, but i wasn't that lucky. "just go to your regular place and get one after the massage is over", he says. um, okay. you sure don't have to twist my arm. although i put up the token argument ("but it's just going to get ruined anyway, with the rest of the unpacking and crap."), i wasn't hard to convince. ;)
the massage was oh-so-fabulous, of course. although i found it a little sad that my belly was too big for the pillow with the hole cut in it! hahaha! i ended up laying on my side and flipping over for her to do the whole thing. oh, well. it was wonderful.
i headed out to urbane for my mani/pedi and then raced home to change and meet the hub for a surprise dinner. all i knew was that we were supposed to be in l.a. somewhere by 7, and i got home just before 6.
in the car, the hub handed me a really sweet birthday card and a ginormous box from nordstrom. before i could open the box, he stopped me with a disclaimer: "i'm totally prepared for you to want to exchange this if it's not what you had in mind, so don't feel bad if you don't like it, okay?"
awwww!! and this is what was inside: i LOVE juicy couture. and with his usual aversion to large handbags, i was really surprised at his choices. he knew i'd been wanting a kooba bag, but the closest places to find them in-store are the grove and south coast plaza - and with everything we've been dealing with lately, there was just no way. besides, i dig his selections, and i love that he took the time to pick them out for me.
after fighting 6:30pm santa monica blvd. traffic, we pulled up in front of mr. chow. i was totally excited - maybe we'd have some celeb sightings, too! the maitre'd took one look at my bulging belly and said "we have a few different options for your seating. there's a quieter, more private area, a booth (again, eyeing the gut), or the central area. it's noisier, but it's great for peoplewatching."
since it was our first time, we opted for the latter. sadly for us, there were no celebrities to be seen. however, we ate ourselves silly - i really wanted to take some pictures to post, but i just couldn't bring myself to bust out the camera and look like a total tourist. besides, the hub would've killed me! the waiter gave us the option of ordering off of a menu or simply bringing us dishes that he thought we would enjoy. since we were feeling wild and crazy, we decided to wing it and see what kind of stuff we'd get from the grab bag. "i'll bring you chicken, seafood, and red meat", our cute scandinavian waiter tells us.
the first thing we were served was lettuce wraps with minced chicken and veggies, with plum sauce. simple, but really tasty. he also brought out a curious plate of shredded seaweed and candied walnuts. weird, but i tried it anyway. and the other plate was sliced pork with enough garlic to ward off vampires and a red chili sauce. everything was yummy. after we polished that off, out came a plate of sliced filet with asparagus (oh, so delicious), a mixed bag of chicken, tofu, and shrimp in another spicy red sauce, and some sauteed bok choy. a silver pot of fried rice accompanied it all, and it was scrumptious. oh, how i wish i had pictures to share!
we'd been eyeing the desserts that were being paraded past us the entire time we were sitting there - most of them were coming out with candles, as it seemed i wasn't the ONLY birthday princess at mr. chow last night. boo. anyway, out they came with a mixed berry tart, singing the birthday song. the hub looks at me and goes "let's order you that fudge cake, eh? i'll eat that one."
he's a keeper, this man.
and when we went outside and handed the valet our ticket, we noticed a few dudes standing near the entrance, armed with both still and video cameras. a few of them were from TMZ, and we struck up a conversation with one guy who asked us if we'd seen anyone inside. he'd been waiting out there since about 6:00 and was prepared to keep standing out there till the wee hours, hoping for a money shot of someone interesting. good lord, what a boring ass job.
we ended the evening sitting on the couch, falling asleep in front of jay leno. yay! it was a lovely birthday.