Celebrating my 29th birthday in California

may day birthday celebration
may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

My May Day birthday celebration was quite special in many ways this year. The fact that I was turning 29 was NOT anywhere near special but who I was with made it memorable + dear to my heart. 🙂

I jetted off to San Francisco the day before my birthday to meet my friend Jon – a transplant from DC who’s also found himself living all over the world, including New York City, all over Asia, and now the Bay area. Right after work, we drove up and around the crazy windy hills to take pictures of SF at sunset – with the Golden Gate Bridge as well as over the water.

may day birthday celebration

Then, we headed over to the Presidio to chill & relax at this event called Off the Grid. Off the Grid is this particular pasture of greenery where people set up picnic but in a MUCH cooler way! It’s more of mini camps with fires, snacks, alcohol and blankets to watch the sunset, stars rise, all while eating, drinking and listening to some jams. There’s even white cabanas you can curl up under with a small group of friends.

It wouldn’t be SF without food trucks so feel free to just bring your appetite and cash/credit! Jon brought some gluten-free cookies that were more granola-like than cookie crumble and surprisingly tasty. For beverages, he pulled out a bottle of Sriacha beer.

Now for those of you who haven’t tasted it, I really don’t recommend it. It’s average tasting beer with a spicy kick at the end and that’s about all you can expect. It’s nothing more than a novelty (but still fun). If you’re keen on tasting it, I suggest getting one bottle to share a taste amongst a group of friends.

The next day – it was May 1!!

& we got up at 6.30 am. Barely sunrise in this part of the world. We got up the buttcrack of dawn to get to DAYBREAKER!

For those of you mere mortals, DAYBREAKER is a growing world-wide morning movement that “will start your day off unlike anything else.” Daybreaker takes the trend of dancing till the break of dawn at a club to dancing AT the break of dawn with water, juice, healthy breakfast snacks, vs. alcohol and for some – drugs.

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

Their next San Francisco early morning event was on the Friday of my 29th birthday and get this….on a BOAT. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – the plan was to go dance to some zesty deep house beats on a boat that sailed in the bay towards the majestic Golden Gate bridge at sunrise. What better way to start your birthday morning right?!

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

Jon had a brilliant “costume” of light blue jeans with a white shirt topped off with hot pink suspenders and a matching pair of hot pink stunna shades. Simple and so SF! While I was Cali girl casual in denim shorts (jorts!), a gray bandeau, and a white skeletal tank top with pink flowers on it, all adorned with a flower wreath on my head – of course.

may day birthday celebration

We were not the only ones dressed for the occasion. There were plenty of female specimens decked out in full-on crazy costumes ranging from colorful flash dances 80s outfits, flower crowns galore, to super cute in spring dresses. Guys were just as dressed up (or more undressed with their fit bodacious bods) in furry animal costumes.

Not surprisingly, there was one guy strip down to his skeevies (yoga class was held beforehand on the ship) and just took OVER the dance floor – figuratively and literally. He was clearly on some kind of illicit substance that had him sweating like a rabid animal. Nobody dared to go near him in case he flung sweat off himself and onto the masses. *shudder*

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

So – sustenance. Breaking the fast. On both floors of the boat, there was an enormous buffet line of waffles, pancakes, toast, bagels, sausage and cheese croissant sandwiches, as well as granola, yogurt, fruit and other healthy, fresh delectable breakfast items to start the day off.

After Jon made a beeline for some fresh hot coffee, we explored the rest of the boat. There was a dance floor inside on the bottom floor as well as on the outside deck with two DJs spinning snazzy house beats. There was also a photo booth for some souvenirs as well. We made it out to the upper deck and snagged a spot to start the day off when the boat took off.

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen (right)

I do admit, it was a little awkward getting down to some deep house tunes while completely sober at 7.30 in the morning but once you got into it, it was like YES, I’m getting exercise! Not to mention, everybody else’s enthusiasm and energy was contagious.

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

We had people groovin’ on the benches, some were leaning over and dancing on the rails. There was one particular chick that kept yelling at the crowd to get down and stomp that shit! We had to assume she was a zumba instructor or some other instructor of some sort with her unabashed ear-piercing commands.

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

The morning soon passed and it was 9.30 AM. The crowd started to wind down and while Jon went to work, I met up with friend and digital nomad Marina!

Marina and her husband are parked (for now) in SF working on their startup called What’s It Like App and we met on the digital nomad community of NomadList/HashtagNomads where we’re both admins. 🙂 After showering me with beads (was I supposed to show her my boobs for that?!) and a lovely chat catching up and discussing everything under the sun, I headed up to Sacramento to see my familia.

may day birthday celebration
Photo Credit: Jake Gonen

Spending my birthday with my family this year was pretty darn significant because I haven’t celebrated with them in 11 years!

Short story: My family left northern Virginia when I was 18 and I could never visit them in Wisconsin due to finals always being during spring. After college, it was always the holidays when I saw them and big events like family weddings, funerals, etc.

may day birthday celebration
Yes, I had two birthday cakes on two separate days!

So this time, my dear ole’ Dad took the family out to dinner where we opted for traditional Korean BBQ. My little brother and his girlfriend got me delicious macarons and chocolate from this chocolatier place called Ginger Elizabeth in downtown Sacramento and my sister got me a BEAUTIFUL raspberry birthday cake that was….green of course. (Green being my FAVORITE color as a child, it still is but not such in a crazy obsessive way).

Afterwards, I was dead beat tired. Talk about calling it an early night….:)