My 40th birthday was last week. All in all, it was pretty fun and a lot less depressing than I was expecting. I don’t usually do much for my birthday since it falls over Xmas break, and most people are usually gone over the holidays. So I generally enjoy a quiet dinner out with family or friends, have a couple glasses of wine or champagne, order a single piece of dessert so I don’t have an entire cake leftover to eat in the fridge, open a couple gifts and call it a night.

Until now, my most memorable birthday was my 31st. It was in Las Vegas. Need I say more? About 15 of us that worked together in the Antarctic met up in Nevada between seasons that year for a big New Year’s bash. We doubled up on a few rooms in the Mandalay Bay hotel right on the strip, tried a bunch of different restaurants, visited a few clubs, went to a few shows, enjoyed late brunches, walked all over town.

On New Year’s Eve we all met up for the main event in one of Mandalay Bay’s massive ballrooms. It was a sea of round tables, white table cloths and empty champagne glasses. They served us dinner and drinks, but wouldn’t give us any champagne until midnight, which kind of irritated me. Most of the group left a couple days later, but about half a dozen of the girls stuck around for my birthday, and we went to see Mamma Mia on stage and Thunder Down Under, which was hysterical.

This year I did not have high hopes since there’s not much to do in Belmopan. Most of the beach resorts were already booked, but I wanted to try to do SOMETHING for my milestone. I checked the resorts again a couple weeks before the day and found a few cancellations. So we made it to San Pedro (see previous post) and my hubby took me out to a wonderful b-day dinner at Victoria House while my mom stayed in the hotel with the baby. It was lovely. J

I also wanted to try and do something with friends. The only real venue that we have here is the Pig & Parrot, which is the pub at the British High Commission’s housing compound. It’s not particularly fancy, nor does it have the dark wood and brass and dim lighting that one conjures up when thinking of a British pub. It’s basically a room with a bar at one end and a large TV screen at the other. There’s a couch and a pool table. Most people sit outside at on the covered porch. There’re seven wooden tables with a view of the tennis courts. So not much in the way of ambience, but the conversation and company are excellent, and they have real Guinness and good hard cider.

So I roped a few of my colleagues into joining me for a birthday drink. About 18 of us showed up altogether, which is probably the largest party I’ve ever had…including the DCM and the Ambassador and his wife. I was really quite touched. Plus I got a Belizean mahogany wooden spoon, a bottle of wine, a few beautiful cards, a unicorn jewelry box to keep me young…ha ha…and a lovely dinner out the week before with some friends that couldn’t make it to the party.

My hubby even made me a big chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips that didn’t end up in the fridge. I think this birthday is going to be hard to beat.

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