19th Birthday!

Throughout my childhood, I used to really hate being born a June baby. Most of the time, school would be out by the time my birthday came around. Many of my friends would also be on vacation by then, and therefore they couldn’t attend my birthday parties. And worst of all, if my teachers gave out free homework passes as birthday gifts, I would never be able to use mine because there was no homework to be done! I mean, who assigns homework on the last week of school, right?

But as I grew older, I’ve started to tolerate, even enjoy my summer birthdays. Even though the parties stopped after middle school (to my mom’s relief: she really didn’t like dealing with thirty-something little kids running around), I got to spend more time with my family and closer friends, which ended up being even more enjoyable.

This year was no different. For my nineteenth birthday, I decided to have a cute afternoon tea party with my younger cousins Emily and Evelyn. They brought over a platter of fruit, and I set up a snack bar in my backyard that included a three-tier set of mini cupcakes, cheesecake bites, and homemade finger sandwiches (tuna mayo and cucumber cream cheese). For beverages, I made a pitcher of pink lemonade for the kids and summery sangria for the adults. I used pineapple juice, simple syrup, orange sparkling water, and strawberry mango moscato for the sangria. I also finally put my bunny cookie cutters to good use! The adorable melon kebabs were a great hit with my cousins, and they perfectly complemented my tropical drinks.

My cousins and I had a great time at our tea party, but we weren’t ready to end the festivities yet. We followed our snacks with a fancy dinner at Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill in San Jose, where we ordered rolls upon rolls. Some of the items we ordered were a salmon roll served on fire, uni (sea urchin) nigiri, crispy Japanese burnt rice squares, and fried scallop balls. But the highlight of the meal was the Mizu Special Boat pictured below. Chef’s selection of assorted sushi and sashimi paired with house salad and miso soup, it truly was a a gastronome’s delight!

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Mizu Special Boat

I never really thought about it until after I got home, but I’m actually really lucky to attend a semester-based college instead of one on the quarter system. While my friends are currently stressing over finals, I’ve already been back in the Bay Area for half a month. That’s half a month more of good food than everyone else! I also got to celebrate my June 1 birthday in the good company of my family, something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I were still at college. I don’t know yet what exactly I’ll be doing for my twentieth next year (wow I’m old), but I already know that I want to spend it with my family again.


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