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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sergio's birthday blow-out weekend

In preparation for the beach weekend, I decided to buy a big hat so that I can try to save myself from the leather coating that is growing over my skin ..it's starting to get bad early people.
So, I went to the Masai Market, where the best vendors come out and sell their stuff a different locations on different days of the week. Here are the ones I tried on:
Mmmm. this is like big-bo-peep

This will work!

hat as prop - the options are endless!
hat on
flied lice anyone?
 The beach was a good old time - apart from the scuba adventure, which I promise not to discuss in this post. You can read about that by clicking here.  The first night we arrived, it was just Sergio and I (and my hat). We had a nice dinner on the balcony area of our little house apartment. It was so close to the restaurant that the waiter just served us right there. We had wine and cheese and delicious seafood and more wine - enough to get giggly then we called it a night since it's better to not be hungover for early morning scuba.

Here is a quick overview and photo journal of highlights from the rest of the weekend:
  • Lenna freaking out at scuba lessons and barfing overboard (oh crap i swore I wouldn't talk about it!)
    • NO PHOTO
  •  Sergio and Scott having a good time scubaing and wearing wetsuits

  • Lenna reading the book Friday Night Lights on the beach - the only book I have access to that I have not read. It's actually pretty good - I didn't think I'd be interested - but I related a lot to it having gone to high school in Kansas where our football team won STATE CHAMPS my senior year (fly Eagles...fly...)

  •  Eating the BEST coriander and feta samosas I've ever had for lunch next door (No Photo)
  • Going to dinner at 40 Thieves beach bar and ordering the 3rd Lobster I've ever eaten - 750 grams. It was GIANT and DELICIOUS and half the price of lobster at home.  (No Photo)
  • Trying our best to make smores over a candle back at our apartment after dinner

  • Sweating to death from my morning torture run on Sunday - 6 miles in the most humid heat EVER..but the road was flat and nice. One would think that I swam 6 miles by the look of it when I was done - I passed a few Masai on my run (there are a ton of them around the coast)...I think they wanted to recruit me - pretty sure women that can get that sweaty and run long distances are attractive and useful for them...and they probably picked up on my scent.
I could literally ring out my clothing after the run - not unusual for me in general and you probably don't even need to know this.
  •  We had an AMAZING dinner Sunday night (birthday eve) at the Al Manara Hotel next door. It's more like a collection of villas. Each unit is around $2000 per night and sleep 8. They are large villas that are all decked out in incredible Swahili/arabesque style decor - They have A/C, flat screen TV, etc and they come with your own staff of people. We spent Thanksgiving dinner there last year because Scott's friend from DC was visiting Kenya with her whole family - They rented the place for a couple nights - I mean LUXURY...crazy levels of luxury. Since we were staying at our little humble abode next door their family invited us over for Thanksgiving meal there. The staff made an amazing Turkey dinner for us - it was awesome. So, for this trip we walked over to their restaurant for dinner. Surprisingly the prices were amazing! We all ordered seafood platters - It was CRAZY GOOD - for um, don't hate - $16.  We had shrimp, calamari, lobster, and fish.  HEAVEN.
sideways seafood platter

The staff made a little cake for Sergio and sang "Happy BirSdays tu yuuuuuu"

  •  Birthday MONDAY -  The guys did their scuba, I lounged, then we all met up at the bar on the beach afterwards for some birthday cake. I brought a better crocker mix and frosting with me and asked the chef to cook it up for when they got back from scuba. Um, I think having a cake mix threw the guy off completely, which was not my intention - i was trying to keep it simple.  Add a little oil, add a little water, a couple of eggs and voila.  But I think with shotty English, he probably thought the instructions said, "once the cake is done take it and let a rat gnaw on one side so that it's not quite a circle, then take some sandpaper and sand the cake ...after you put the frosting on it...then write the name Sergio so big that you have to break it into 2 lines so that everyone knows who is the recipient of the cake".  Because this is what it looked like:
but it tasted damn good - I think he actually cooked the frosting INTO the cake - it was a gooey mess. But why should I expect him to know how to deal with mixes and pre-made frosting. He'd never seen the likes of it in his life.  We couldn't get the candles to light since we were right at the beach and the wind was nuts.  But it was a nice cake and we shared it with all the staff and Pedro and his wife Tracy (scuba folks) and thanked the chef with a big piece for himself (not that he didn't already take a huge piece by the looks of the thing!! haha)
  •  Then, the BIG finale -birthday Hibachi on the BEACH before heading to the airport. I found this resort place down the road that advertised Hibachi on the beach. So i called the week before to ask about pricing, etc. They said it was actually closed down since it was low season. But I managed to get the head chef on the phone, who is from Nairobi. He said that since we were coming ALL that way ( 45 minute flight??) that he wanted to help. So, he said, weather permitting, he'll set it up for us. I called him the day before and committed to being there- he bought the stuff and we made it happen!  It was amazing! He assigned some staff and a chef , cleaned off the hibachi table, set it all nice, and hosted us the whole evening - and he made it all happen in the amount of time we had before we needed to leave. It was over the top. Just Sergio, me, and Scott sitting out in this beautiful place. Sergio was really happy and pretty much admitted that it was the best birthday so far.  It's one thing i love about Africa. Things can be accommodated for you..things aren't so strict. I mean, I did hook him up with a little buksheesh for being so cool...but still, it's the African hospitality. I love it.
Look how prettttttyyyyy

View from the hibachi table

Three Amigos go Japanese

It was perfect timing - We arriving when the sun was still up to enjoy the beach view and the sun was setting as we wrapped up.

    Then we took our taxi straight to the airport and got home right about midnight..the close of Sergio's birthday.  Happy BIRTHDAY BYU! XOXO

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