I can’t believe two months have passed. But, I’m finally writing about my birthday antics in El Salvador with my ladies. This birthday meant a lot as I had every intention of visiting 25 countries by 25 years old. Here I was in my 25th country celebrating with genuine friends. So it started off a little something like this…
I fell asleep early the evening prior. We organized an excursion to the monkey sanctuary for my birthday (a three-hour drive from the Airbnb). My best friend woke up in the middle of the night and went to the bathroom, or so I thought. I began to fall back asleep moments after the bedroom door shut. But, I was restless. I woke here and there as I kept hearing noises. As an individual who has seen entirely too many lifetime movies, I presumed they were gunshots. Yes, I am dramatic. My response? To lay as still as humanly conceivable. No, I don’t know what is wrong with me.
Around 60 seconds to midnight, my sister gradually opened the bedroom entrance. I was not sleeping, not fully awake either. For some reason or another, I waited for her to open the door and say my name. That’s just what she did. I was worried and panicked following the sounds I heard. I can’t recollect what justification she used to get me out of bed, but the reason would not matter. I would get up no matter what she said.
I shuffled out of the room with my eyes partially open. Walking, I felt I stepped on something. The instant I glanced at my feet, the lights came on to a room full of friends screaming, “surprise!” My pathway was loaded with balloons and confetti. It took me several minutes, but I understood there were no gunshots. It was my friends striving to surprise me and unintentionally popping balloon after balloon. Her disappearance began to make sense.
iPhone lights started flashing on me as I had no pants on, and tears slid down my cheeks. I walked further to view candles sparked on bite-sized Baked by Melissa cupcakes. If you know me, you just know how I feel about Baked by Melissa. My sisters brought these cupcakes (all the way) from New York to El Salvador for me after I have been wanting them for months on end. Gazing at the cupcakes alone made me teary-eyed once more. As usual, my girls came through.
I sat at the kitchen island pantless. My friends circled around me, singing happy birthday as I stared at them in admiration. I blew the candles out and began to stuff my face with my favorite bite-sized desserts. My friends said a few quick words as I sat there emotional, unable to grasp the fact that I have now taken 25 trips around the sun.
A few embraces and dance moves later, we chose to go to bed. My birthday would be spent at a monkey sanctuary, three hours away from Teotepeque. We planned to leave the house very early to have ample time in Jiquilisco. So, stay tuned for my experience visiting the Monkey Sanctuary at Puerto Barillas!