Monday, March 2, 2015

Twenty One

As of Saturday, I'm finally 21 years old! My birthday felt like huge milestone, since 21 is one of the ages that almost everyone anticipates. Unfortunately getting my first drink wasn't as exhilarating as expected – I was able to legally drink for four months while studying abroad in Europe, so drinking in America was a bit anti-climatic. Nevertheless I had an amazing birthday weekend that I'd love to share!

My incredible parents drove six hours from Ohio to Syracuse to be with me on my birthday. I haven't seen my parents much recently because of study abroad and a summer internship in New York City, so I was glad to have a little time with both of them.

My mom and dad arrived the day before my 21st, so Jake and I met them at for late-night appetizers at a pub. I was still a few hours away from being 21, so I was forced to watch as my parents and Jake (who turned 21 last month) sipped on some cocktails. Jake and I headed back to my apartment and right after midnight, when I officially turned 21, we walked to a local college bar called Chuck's for my first drink. Chuck's is loud and grungy, just like how I imagined an American college bar to look. I ordered a vodka and tonic, which was later followed up by a Long Island Iced Tea. One of the best parts of going to the bar on your birthday is that you don't even touch your wallet – your friends are more than willing to pick up the tab for you. I'd say European bars are more cozy and relaxed, but I loved finally being able to drink with my boyfriend.
Dark and grainy- a typical bar picture

The next day Jake and I went to lunch with my parents at Tully's sports bar. Afterwards we came back to my apartment for a tour and my birthday presents. My mom gave me the typical "21st birthday" gear, but actually bought me the black and brown Tignanello purse that I talked about in my "What I'm Loving" post last month! The gift was so unexpected and thoughtful. My mom also whipped up a delicious carrot cake, which she safely transported from Ohio. 

My parents, Jake, and I spent the rest of the day at Destiny USA, Syracuse's gigantic mall.  I ordered my first Bloody Mary, which I was surprised to learn tasted like tomato juice with a kick. Dinner that night was incredible. My parents treated Jake and I to Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse in the mall. The meal was pretty pricey (thank goodness for parents!) but the food was delicious. The concept of Brazilian steakhouses is pretty neat. Basically, everyone pays one price for unlimited salad bar and meat. The salad bar not only has leafy greens, but also soup (the lobster bisque was to die for), cheese, bread, and seafood. The salad bar options were so tasty that I had to pace myself – one of my biggest problems with food is that I always tend to fill up on the appetizers!

Picture from urbanspoon

When we were done with the salad bar, we flipped a coaster on our table from a red side to a green side. Immediately, waiters carrying meat on sticks walked to our table and offered us their selection. If we wanted the particular type of meat, the waiter would place the stick on the edge of our table and use a knife to cut a small portion off the meat. That night, the steakhouse served filet, flank steak, lamb, lamb chop, sausage, parmesan pork, bacon-wrapped chicken, rib, and more. I filled up on as much meat as my stomach could handle (I apologize to any vegetarians reading this!). Brazilian steakhouses are so unique. I love being able to try many different types of meat without limited yourself to one or two. If you don't like a type of meat, you can simply give it to another person at the table and wait until the next waiter rolls around.

Exhausted and full, my parents and I parted ways after dinner. I'm so grateful that they were able to travel to Syracuse for my birthday and treat Jake and I to a delicious dinner. I'm also grateful that I turned 21 before spring break next week!