Friday, January 13, 2012

Champagne Flowing

It's official: I am a quarter of a century old.  

Last weekend was my 25th birthday, and I must admit that it was by far the best birthday of my life.  And it's all thanks to my wonderful friends in Martinique!

Saturday morning a group of us woke up and drove over to Le Robert on the Atlantic coast to go kayaking.  We went on a lovely little trip to a small îlet around the bend to explore some old ruins and search for iguanas.  Apparently Martinique used to have iguanas and parrots, but some genius brought over mongooses, and they ate all the iguana and parrot eggs.  So now iguanas are very rare, other than on this tiny island off the coast.  Parrots, on the other hand, are nonexistent here.  

Parked to explore the island

Team Awesome

The one and only iguana we spotted

Close up

Crazy tree with crazy roots

This tree literally devoured a house.  If you look close you can see bricks through the roots.

They used coral with bricks to build the walls

Chicken sleeping in a tree.  Totally normal

After exploring iguana island, we kayaked to the point where there is a small beach.  I ran into my tutrice, who invited us to have a drink on her floating bar (literally a floatie with holders for your rum and cups).  After our little happy hour drink, we made the 45 minute trek back to enjoy a nice planteur to celebrate our mad kayaking skills.

Floating bar

The girls enjoying our free drink

Celebrating with a planteurs

After kayaking, my dear friends had a lovely evening planned for me.  Everything was a surprise; I was only told to dress up and be ready by 7.  A few people came over to have a couple glasses of champagne before they took me to meet some others at the casino.  No, not for gambling.  Unbeknownst to me, there is a really nice restaurant upstairs that has a buffet and open bar.  Open bar on my birthday = perfect idea.

Bottoms up!

Birthday Girl (in a hat that we stole from a table downstairs.. Don't worry, we took it back)

After a lovely dinner and several drinks, I was taken to the dock at a nearby beach, where they surprised me with a birthday cake and more champagne.  

Lighting the candles

Mmm cake

To top off an amazing evening, we decided to end the night at the bar next to the beach.  Hey, it was my birthday, so why not try to get some free drinks?  And that we did.  While the guys sat at the bar and kept to themselves, all of us girls decided to mingle.  We ended up meeting a few groups of guys who all bought us drinks, but we spent most of the night with two men who were two of the highest rated jockeys in France and their agent.  They bought bottle after bottle of expensive champagne.  As soon as our glasses were empty, they were immediately refilled.  Literally, champagne flowing.  

Way too excited for champagne!  

Boater, Joelle, agent, jockey

All in all, I have to say that this was the most amazing birthday I could have asked for.  I thought that turning 25 would be a difficult age for me, but I couldn't be happier.  I actually don't feel old at all... After all, age is only a number.  

Without a doubt, I know that 2012 will be one of the best years ever.