My birthday was this past Saturday. I always look far, far in advance on what day of the week my birthday falls. I secretly hope that it magically falls on a Saturday every year and this year my wishes and dreams came true — except it also fell over Passover. This is a serious impediment to proper celebration as no birthday is complete without a luxurious cake with layers, frosting and the likes.
Before I tell you how I celebrated this year’s big day, I will share how I would spend the birthdays BS (Before Sophia). I would take the day off from work, get up early, walk from Olde City (where we lived in Philadelphia) all the way to Rittenhouse Square (one of my favorite places to go, see and be seen) and start my day right at La Colombe coffee with a latte and an almond croissant. I would sit facing the windows, and watch people come and go, rushing to go to work or to various appointments. I would then visit a few stores, galleries, walk around the city and return home to get ready to go out to celebrate. Sometimes, the hubby would take off from work and we’d get a little more adventurous like the one time we went to the Italian Market and visited an old-school cafe and picked up some [real] cannoli.
Now that we’re in the PS (Post Sophia) period of our lives, I’ve had to augment my celebration plan. Since we were also planning to visit our family for the holiday, we decided to leverage our little bundle of joy to get some free time to ourselves while the grandparents got some time to play with their bubbly granddaughter. We finally fed and put Sophia in the stroller for her long walk followed by a long (hopefully) nap in the afternoon. We looked at our watches and made a quick dash for the car. The time was 12:25 PM on Saturday. We made it to Philadelphia in 30 minutes, parked and joined the throngs of crowds around Rittenhouse Square. Our first stop was the Oyster House, an establishment I have not been able to visit for well over 18 months as raw foods present a significant risk to pregnant women. Overjoyed to finally try some sweet, briny oysters, the hubby and I chatted away in our own world like old times. Not to waste too much time, we stopped by a few stores, picked up a bauble for me on my parents’ behalf and moved on to Tria, our old favorite. We know our beer and wine and find that an establishment such as Tria provides a great opportunity to try something without having to committ to a full bottle. I also like Tria because they have a huge array of pinchos and I can get great flavor combination ideas there. They for example have a pistachio, lavender ricotta with honey on a baguette slice drizzled with honey or stewed figs stuffed with gorgonzola picante served with prosciutto and potato chips with truffled mayo. There are all things that I can now (and sometimes do) make at home. A dash into Capogiro comepleted our all-too brief visit to Philadelphia, perfect one-on-one date, and a spectacular birthday celebration sans-baby.