Erin Turns Thirty (305th new thing).

April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

My friend Erin turned thirty in December, but because of crazy schedules and a hectic life, she neglected to go all out in celebration. Her husband Tyler made up for it on Day Three Hundred Five when he arranged a surprise post-birthday dinner for Erin at South City Kitchen. For the first time, I ate at the restaurant and yelled, “surprise!” with everyone else as Erin walked into our upstairs alcove.

I almost didn’t make the meal after suffering from a crippling stomach bug all day. But I didn’t want to miss out on one of my oldest and dearest friend’s 30th, so I downed some over the counter medicine and headed across town.

Tyler managed to put together one of the most organized surprise parties I have seen. With a fixed menu selection and open bar, he had catered to everyone’s dietary and alcoholic desires. Being one of the first to arrive, I grabbed a seat at the end of a table and looked over the food offerings for the fete. Fried Chicken, Shrimp and Grits, Filet Mignon…I cursed my weak stomach for not being able to labor through the pains of a virus.

The menu of the evening

After a short time, the two tables filled with Erin’s friends and coworkers, and eventually Erin and Tyler arrived. My eyes watered as we cheered her arrival. She looked so surprised, although she did in fact have an inkling, seeing one of her fellow Zoo employee’s car parked behind the building.

After Erin took her seat, the food began to arrive. I tried a touch of each appetizer, and vowed to return to taste the rich starters in full once I felt better. I finished a salad and ended up taking the Shrimp and Grits to go, which Tyler and Erin fully endorsed, although I thought myself a little tacky. But at least I could share the experience with Patrick the next day as he ate my leftovers, right?

I wistfully said my goodbyes, wishing I could have stayed for the duration of the party. Tyler did a great job at “elegant surprise thirtieth,” and Erin was a radiant recipient. I was glad I was able to share in the day, even if only for a little while.

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