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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

happy birthday, sweet sixteen

i'm so behind on recaps and it would be so easy to just skip over the last few months and start fresh, but we did a lot of really fun stuff in the last quarter of 2023 and it all deserves some attention.  and so we're gonna hop in the delorean and set it to october, when we celebrated the bean's SIXTEENTH birthday.

the bean really isn't a "big party with me as the center of attention" kind of person.  and so after a bunch of brainstorming with the hub, they came up with a pretty sweet plan that encompassed their entire birthday weekend with their closest friends.  we kicked off the celebration on friday afternoon, with everyone meeting at our house after school to hop in an uber bound for beverly hills.

i got to be the designated chaperone for the uber ride, while the rest of the family drove out in a separate car.

we'd booked a table for our party of eleven at barton g.

if you'll remember from our visit for my birthday a few years ago, barton g is known for their fabulously outrageous presentation of their menu items.  like, my sabrinatini - a citrus vodka martini served with watermelon sorbet, a champagne popsicle and a chocolate monkey hanging off of the rim.

the "holy smokes" nitro popcorn was laced with truffle oil and sprinkled with parmesan and fresh herbs.  i think i'm the only one who likes the taste of truffle oil, so i was perfectly happy to snack on it.

this was, of course, a caesar salad.

the popcorn shrimp came in a mini popcorn machine.  super cute, and the shrimp itself was really tasty and perfectly cooked.

the "samurai salmon" came with kimchi fried rice and an actual sword.

the "bucket of bones" contained ribs and wings and potatoes.  this was probably my least favorite item...messy, a little dry, not super flavorful.  oh well.  can't win 'em all.

i don't remember what this came with, but the giant fork was a good time.

desserts were, of course, a big hit all around.  there was a "pie eating contest" and a giant marie antoinette head covered in cotton candy and it was a great way to cap off a crazy, silly birthday dinner.

after a quick stop at home to pick up baggage, we headed to our last stop of the night:

it was opening weekend for the newest part of the disneyland hotel - the villas, which are part of the disney vacation club (their version of a timeshare) with rooms also available to the public.

the next morning, we got up early in an attempt to head into the parks for rope drop.  we headed downstairs to meet up with the bean's friends and then made a coffee run before going in for some disney magic.

about halfway through the day, the old lady and the old man and i made our way back to the hotel to do a little decorating in the bean's room for a fun surprise.

and then everyone headed back to get changed for dinner.  we walked back into disneyland and made our way to new orleans square to ring a very special doorbell:

in the court of angels, we paused to take a few group photos.

it was a really lovely dinner and a fun experience for the group, filled with delicious food and lots of giggling.

the kids went back into the park afterwards and rode as many rides as they had time for, and then the next morning we checked out of the hotel and made our way home to get ready for one last gathering.

we finished it off with a backyard barbecue, and it was a great way to share the celebration with more friends and family.

and the bean officially finished off the weekend by going to the coldplay concert at the rose bowl.  yes, this 16-year-old is a big coldplay fan!  they collaborated with BTS on a song, which was the bean's introduction to the rest of their music catalogue.

it was a wonderful weekend from beginning to end, and i think the bean felt the love from all of us as we celebrated their sweet sixteen.  and now...we continue to get in those practice hours towards earning their driver's license.  woohoo!

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