On Saturday night, I celebrated with 4 of my closest girlfriends. In the picture below from left to right – the blonde girl is my friend Jojo’s friend from Kentucky who is visiting, next is Jojo, then me (below me is Martina), then Jeanne and last is Elaine. I have had big parties in the past, but this year I just felt like celebrating with a small group of very close friends.
Before the night started, Jeanne and Martina (my absolute best friends in Shanghai…the ones I went to Japan with) came over and surprised me with the most incredible birthday present. They made me a very touching scrapbook filled with pictures of the three of us and funny captions underneath all the photos. It will definitely be something I save forever. They must have spent at least 10 hours making it! At the end of the book was a letter from each of them expressing how much our friendship means to them, of course I cried my eyes out reading it. They also gave me a gift box filled with my favorite things- dark chocolate, candles, face masks, girly things from Sephora, and slippers that have a mop on the bottom (so I can simultaneously stay warm and clean my room hehe…everyone knows my obsession with cleaning and staying “zen”).
After they gave me my presents, we all took a cab to one of my favorite Western restaurants, Element Fresh. Element Fresh has great salads, sandwiches, wraps…it’s a nice break from oily Chinese food. We then headed to a place called “Mr. X”.
Mr. X is this place where you go with a group of friends and take part in a live game of Clue, well sort of. The six of us were put in a series of creepy rooms with clues, and we had to use our problem solving skills and teamwork to try to get out of the rooms. We were given one hour to solve all the clues and get out of each room. Most people don’t make it in time, but we were pretty clever and made it out with one minute to spare! We then got our picture taken to be hung on the Mr. X Wall of Fame. I am not sure if these sorts of places exist in the States, but it has become pretty popular in Shanghai. It was a very good time and we had lots of laughs.
On my real birthday (Sunday), I celebrated with Kevin. We went to my other favorite Western restaurant (Sproutworks) for lunch. I am inspiring Kevin to eat healthy vegetarian foods and he has actually started to enjoy my vegetarian lifestyle. He used to crave wings and a burger, but now he actually enjoys going to Sproutworks with me…he even ordered Kale and green juice! He has come a long way. We then took the subway over to Pudong (the very modern side of the Huangpu river with all the state-of-the-art skyscrapers).
In Pudong, we made our way to Cloud 9, a lounge on the 87th floor of the Grand Hyatt, which supposedly has one of the best views in ALL OF ASIA! The Grand Hyatt is surrounded by the famous Pearl Tower and Bottle Opener building. I would never go to Cloud 9 on a regular weekend, as it’s very upscale and pricey. However, I had been talking about wanting to go there since I got to Shanghai, so Kevin surprised me and took me there for a glass of red wine for happy hour. We sat in the ideal seats, giving us a picture-perfect view of all of Shanghai. We were so high up, my ears were popping like crazy taking the elevator to the 87th floor! I really hope my parents visit so that I can treat them to a one-night stay in the Grand Hyatt, it would be quite the experience!
Tomorrow is the first day back with the kiddos after our month long holiday! Back to the grind…
LOVE YOU ALL! XO