4 years ago, when my ex-girlfriend turned 27, I threw her what I
consider to be one of the funnest surprise birthday parties ever. Her
Birthday is on July 12th but my scheming and planning started on a
chilly night in January, a full 6 months before her birthday. I
finished reading a chapter in "A Cook’s Tour" by Anthony Bourdain (one
of my favorite books) and I looked over to her and said, "I know what
we’re doing for your birthday". This thought lay dormant until June of
that year when it was time to get the wheels in motion.
revealed to her that I needed the names of 17 close friends who she
would like to invite to her birthday party. The party would have to be
limited to 20 people with the final 3 spots being taken up by me, her,
and my youngest brother who was living with me at the time. Some of the
people she invited included ImprovBoston favorites Don Schuerman, Elyse
Becker, Eddie Mejia, Michelle McNulty, Mosie McNally, Paula Garcia and
Matt Tortora. She had no idea what was coming but it was great to hear
her guess…her strongest intuition was that we were going to watch a
sporting event in a rented out luxury box. The festivities were to
begin at 6pm. She would be picking me up at 5:30 and she, myself, my
brother, and her roommate would drive together to the party.
6pm, we were at Taberna del Haro in Brookline, MA. A quaint Tapas place
on Beacon Street. slowly, people started to arrive all dressed up and
we all set around our 20 person table eating, having drinks, etc. I
made it clear to everyone that we needed to leave by 7pm so by 6:50
everyone started to finish up our seafood heavy dishes accompanied by a
sweet white wine. The abbreviated stay confused my girlfriend even more
as she realized that this was not the entire surprise. We all got up
from the table and walked outside as we discussed who would be driving
who to the next meeting point. As we exited Taberna del Haro, my
girlfriend hugged her friends in joy while "California Love" by 2Pac
was blaring with a heavy bass beat in the background. This reminded her
of her year in California doing JVC work. Through the hugging and her
slightly buzzed haze, her friends casually turned her around to reveal
what was the next part of her gift.
"California Love" was
pumping from a stretch Hummer Limo featuring the lazers, a fog machine,
a fireplace, a playstation 2, a DVD player, and a fully stocked bar.
Her jaw nearly dropped as the wide open door welcomed her in to her
mobile playground. We all piled in and the rolling party continued.
rest of the night became a gluttonous, drunken mess. The theme of the
night, inspired by the book I was reading 6 months earlier, was Tapas
bar hopping. We continued to Atasca in Brighton on Commonwealth Ave.
and had a Bread heavy assortment of Tapas. Third on the list was Dali
in Cambridge, MA which welcomed us with some cheese and pork based
tapas and batting clean-up was the no-longer existent Sophia’s in
Boston, MA right behind Fenway park which served us Calamari tacos to
go with the homemade cakes that my girlfriend’s roommate made for her.
We were beyond stuffed. The goal was to burn most of the calories on
the dance floor since it was Salsa night at Sophia’s but we were all
barely able to roll ourselves out of there so we had to pass.
night went much better than expected and everyone had a great time. I,
personally, had a great time organizing the event and figuring out the
line-up of Tapas with the head chefs of each restaurant. Other than the
actual night itself, that was one of the highlights for me. Perhaps I
missed my calling as a party organizer.
It was a great night and
one that we will never forget. I hope that one day I can be re-inspired
to put together a night of that magnitude again.