Nic and I were both able to take the day off, so I waited up for her to get home the previous night. But instead of crashing out exhausted, we ran a midnight trip to the store, and then she bounced around the kitchen making a birthday apple pie for me while I blearily kept her company.
The next morning, the whole house smelled like pie. We slept in and, after some lovin', went out for a huge breakfast at Petite Provence on Alberta. Nic had class at 1, so I hit the gym and then took a long, relaxing steam.
She'd then planned a surprise. Knowing that (1) I tend to get squicked out by the concept of someone touching my feet, and (2) I tense up at the idea of getting a massage, she figured that some magical combination of two things I don't like would result in something I do -- and had arranged foot massages for us both at Barefoot Sage. She'd told me beforehand in case I wanted to chicken out, but I was game, and I absolutely loved it.
We then had some time to hang out before dinner, and the pile of presents I discovered on the dining room table turned out to be three books, a travel toiletry kit, a foodie trivia game, and a cool-ass red robot belt buckle! Then, the birthday pie proved too much to resist, so we each had a piece, I guess as an amuse-bouche before dinner. Fucking incredible. Nicole makes some damn good pie, but she's her own worst critic, and even she thought this one was her best.
Our reservations were at Everett St. Bistro ... our Valentine's Day dinner last year was at the Gower St. Bistro in Cannon Beach, and we were pretty excited to discover the Everett St. Bistro was run by the same folks, especially after discovering that the Cannon Beach place closed down earlier this year. However, the Everett St. place had a profoundly different feel, like a brightly-lit lunch deli rather than the cozy, intimate hubbub we kind of expected. Plus, the only other patrons were a mom and three kids at the table right next to us.
So we ditched, and ended up a few blocks away at 50 Plates, and feasted. This place does gourmet versions of American comfort food, and we stuffed ourselves: artichoke rolls and a fried-chicken-and-waffle slider for appetizers, beef tenderloin and a shrimp / lamb / filet mignon combo plate for dinner, and bourbon cocktails and wine for drinks. Gaw DAYUM.
We waddled back home and finished off the night with a DVD episode of Dexter, and had a proper dessert of a second slice of apple pie, this time with ice cream.
I think the day was perfect, and I felt like a million bucks the entire day. Nicole is completely to thank for it.
More birthday stuff is rolling out in the near future: a family thing on Sunday, then the party next weekend, which I just learned that three of my buddies from LA will be able to make. Flippin SWEEEEEEET.