So Friday was Aviva's birthday, so I planned a few things that made entry into her 27th year a little more exciting. The day started with a note and a laid out bowl of cereal, continued with a card featuring cow pies and poopsicles (Aviva loves to talk about poopsicles if you didn't know) that I left in her car.
That afternoon I left work a bit early as we managed to avoid traffic on our way down to to Cherry Hill where we had shabbat with Tanya, Bucky, Rachel, Larry, Marley, Dylan and Irene. The best part of getting to Cherry Hill, was that when Aviva walked in the door, her brand new folding bike, a Novara Flybuzz .... which she absolutely loves, although it was folded up in its carrying bag so she had no idea that it was a bike until we showed it to her. Huge thanks to her brother and sister for helping me get the bike and to her parents for setting up the surprise.
After dinner, Aviva, Rachel and I went out with some of her friends at a localish bar called, somewhat appropriately, PJs Pour house. Although we arrived a bit late, just as the live band was closing out their set, we had a nice, if slightly shortened time hanging out and selecting beers from the bar's massive local beer selection.
The next day was very calm, mostly hanging around the house and working on some wedding stuff, before we went to a Bat Mitzvah at Taylors club that evening. The rappaport's, very close family friends of the Buchmans, oldest daughter Gal was the celebrant and she gave a wonderful speech and then partied hard with her 80 or 90 friends for a good few hours. I am still getting used to attending Bat Mitzvah's as an adult, a fact that was brought home as we sat down in the adults only area and they later on got up to get drinks at the bar. I have mentioned before that Bar and Bat Mitzvahs on the East Coast are definitely different than the ones I attended growing up, and this was no exception ... although it was actually a ton of fun, with almost a hundred kids dancing all over the place, up on stages and around the dance floor. And despite that, this party was much more tonned down than the last bar Mitzvah I went to ... that one had a sushi bar and was basically a party for adults with some kids thrown in.
After the Bar Mitzvah, back at the buchmans, Marley and I finally got to play with the Christmas present I got him, a strategy game called Titan which I played a lot when I was a kid. The game lasted far too long and we finally got to bed around midnight. We woke up the next day, made brunch for everyone and spent some time with Bucky and Tanya prepping for the Aufruf before heading back to New York. We had a great time and Aviva loved her birthday ... I gotta say, New Jersey is growing on me, we always have such a great time there ... could be the people though.