It began with a candle smooshed into a pre-packaged cupcake and a bunch of fellow TEFL grads singing a well-intentioned and hilariously-off-key Happy Birthday, while in full costume attire. It was midnight on Halloween, officially the first of November; Nick was turning 24 in Buenos Aires.
Bringing Nick's birthday in at our friend's Halloween party was perfect. Almost all the people we know in Buenos Aires were in one place, and we all on silly outfits. There was a great rendition of Joe Six Pack, a Sarah Pallin dead ringer, an impressive Marie Antoinette, a unique David Bowie, a wonderwoman, and a few more goodies. We listened to music, drank wine, talked with friends, and headed home when we realized it was allready 4 am.
The walk home took 45 minutes, and by the end of it, we were starving. We walked to Independencia, the major street two blocks from our apartment, and popped into the only open restaurant we could find. The restaurant was a very narrow two-story dive decorated like a ship, with anchors and fishing nets serving as the decor. It was perfect in every way save for the techno that they insisted on blasting. We ordered a grande mozzerella to go, and ten minutes later and thirteen pesos poorer, we were heading home with watering mouths. Within minutes of arriving home, the pizza was smoked and it seemed later than late. It was time to call it a day.
The next day, it was time to celebrate in earnest. We made coffee and a big lunch of bruschetta and sauteed vegetables. It was a beautiful day, 75 degrees and sunny, and we ate with the windows wide open. As soon as we finished our food, we piled the dishes in the sink, threw on shoes, grabbed the Scrabble board, and headed to the park. En route to Parque Lezana, we stopped at a bakery and ordered three pastries and four cans of Quilmes. We were set.
When we arrived, we staked out a patch of grass and set up shop, sipping on Quilmes and Scrabbling away. Two hours later, half the beer was consumed, the pastries had long been gone, and Nick had beaten me fair-and-square by twenty points. We packed up the board, opened the remaining cans beer, and read our books stretched out on the grass. It was my favorite afternoon in Buenos Aires.
After our beers were gone and the sun had moved so that we were now in the shade, we packed up and headed home. We made more bruschetta and some sangria and turned on Van Morrison. Nick and Brenna and our friend Katarina came over, and we listened to music, drank sangria, and munched for two hours. When all was finished, we grabbed our jackets and headed down Defensa to our very first parilla--Disnivel.
The restaurant was great--filled with happy diners and bustling waiters, pink walls, and countless framed pictures. Nick and I ordered a famous Argentine steak, and it was delicious--tender, juicy, and full of flavor--well worth its international reputation. The four of us toasted Nick and gobbled up our meals.
After dinner, it was again later than late, but we were the kind of tired that comes happily after a day well-spent. I could not hold my eyelids open any longer and I drifted off as Nick was opening his presents and reading his card. He didn't seem to mind, though, and we called it a day, a happy birthday day.