Throwback: 17th Birthday

Yellow Cab, Malate, Manila
On April 16, my friends and I dined at Yellow Cab and consumed about 4 huge pizzas and a Charlie Chan. We wanted more though, but then we had to save space in our tummies for dessert (which we had at McDo). It was just a few days after our Finals Exam and 2 days before my flight to Dubai. I wasn’t expecting any grand celebration of some kind. Just spending time with my friends before the school term officially ends was more than enough. But then, that day turned out to be VERY, VERY special for me. I received gifts – a bookmark, a travel stress ball, Lauren Oliver’s Panic, a white teddy bear wearing a pink hoodie/jumpsuit, a Chanel lip balm, and a box of Sophie’s mom cupcakes – greeting cards, and a treat at Army Navy the day after. I have a huge thing for surprises and I admit I am flattered (until now, yes). After all the savory treats we ended my pre-birthday celebration at Providence, singing our lungs out.

Thai Chi Restaurant, Dubai
 My post-birthday celebration on the other hand, which my family and I celebrated, took place at Dubai during my summer vacation. It was an entire 3 weeks filled with food, road trips, adventure and relaxation. Following the night of my arrival, we were invited at Thai Chi Restaurant, where a very close friend of my mom works, not knowing what they have planned for me. My friend, Fatma, and I walked around for a bit before settling down on our seat. I was asked what I have in mind for dinner. Laughing at my food choices (mostly seafood and very authentic Thai), my mom made a quick add to the list. She ordered the largest and the fattest crab I have ever seen! I was on the verge of licking my fingers from all the delicious food when people started singing and walking towards - oh, I don’t actually know - I was still busy with my Padthai. What caught my eye was the cake! Oh the glorious cake! It is my favorite chocolate flavor plus the thickness! Gosh it was so thick and maybe heavenly too? I don’t know. Who was this cake for anyway? HAHAHA. Turned out it was for me! All eyes were on me as the staff from Thai Chi walked towards me singing a Happy Birthday song, while holding the glorious cake. I was so speechless. This was so sweet, very sweet indeed (not the cake, the cake tasted with just a tad of sweetness, I meant everyone I was with this night). Everyone really did an awfully amazing job because I was so moved. I am so blessed to have all of you!

Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Dubai
For the first time, I was able to try out my strength in Archery. My arms were shaking and my shots were, well, they were pretty obvious that I was a beginner. After a few minutes, a slight bruise was starting to form on my right arm. This however, didn’t stop me. I was given an ice cube for my bruise and after a while, I was back on track. Legs slightly apart, shoulders relaxed, eyes focused on the target; I aimed and released. I can’t really put into words how I felt when I was able to hit the target, but I swear I just started dancing (well, almost). Aiming again, I released. Target! For a couple more minutes, I was aiming and releasing the arrow like a pro.
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Dubai
Even the instructors were pretty amazed by my quick learning, considering that I have never done this sport before. I was amazed. My arms were sore and heavy after Archery, but I have never been this happy. So, all good!

Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Sunrise at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
3 weeks of fun and that’s all I did? Of course not! My elementary friend, Jean, my family and I, stayed at The Palm Jumeirah for a night. I helped my dad prepare dinner. Yes, I successfully barbecued a couple of our favorites and served everyone with their drinks. The night was so gorgeous that Jean and I could not just let it pass without having a swim, and so we did. Adding to the breezy wind, once we dipped ourselves in to the pool, we were so stunned by how cold the water was that we couldn’t move. Jean and I stayed frozen to our spots until we felt ourselves warming up and adjusting to the temperature. It was a good thing we didn’t get sick afterwards. My mom woke us up at 5 or 6 in the morning to watch the sunrise. Walking towards the beach, my head was running around in circles and I couldn’t think properly. I think it was because we slept around 3 AM. However, once the sun was out, I can’t help but feel its warmth on my face and admire the beautiful landscape in front of me. Before we headed home, one last dip on the pool won’t hurt right? My mom, Jean and I quickly changed into our swimsuits and braved the thoughts of getting sunburned. After all, it’s summer.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

To wrap up my birthday celebration, let’s get right to my most anticipated, most thrilling and definitely my double (no, make that a triple) favourite: Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi. Stopping by at McDo to have our breakfast, we were pretty much pumped up and ready for an hour and more drive to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. On our way to Yas Waterworld, we checked out the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Slipping on our abaya, we walked around the astounding mosque in Abu Dhabi, under the scorching heat.

Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi
Once I saw the signage “Yas Waterworld”, I can’t help myself from grinning like mad. We’re here!!! Ahhhh. I can still feel everything as if it was just yesterday. Sunblock on, I changed into my waterpark attire. We took a couple of pictures before splashing ourselves in the water. Knowing just how adrenaline pumped I am, there was no stopping me. Even if it means that I have to try every ride, including the highest of them all.

(For more of my Yas Waterworld adventure, stay tuned for my upcoming blog!)

Sadly, after weeks of heaven, it is time to say goodbye and head back home where another year of school and org works awaits me. But hey! I’m grateful though and excited too. This birthday was by far the greatest and the longest.

I am blessed, thankful and more than happy for everything that I have received, for all the adventures and for everyone who celebrated these special days with me.