There’s something about going through birthdays that make people sometimes cringe. I completely understand now, why women start lying about their age. No one ever wants to grow up. And for my birthday, part of me didn’t grow up.
I went to pick up my sister at the Beirut Memorial, where she was going to be leaving her car for the day. I had forgotten to call her on the way there, so while she was on her way to meet me, I decided it was a good time to take some photos. They had added a new section for the Vietnam Veterans, which had me really emotional just standing there.
You can see more of the images I took here: Broken Shutter Photography
My sister finally arrived and the festivities started with a two-hour drive with my sister to Raleigh. It was a nice time to catch up with my sister since we haven’t seen each other since Christmas. We met Elizabeth at a Holiday Inn, which surprisingly was the same one we had used for Ron’s brother’s wedding. Elizabeth and I had been scheming up this trip for a few weeks now. My birthday was on the 21 and her’s is on the 31, and we always talk about spending it together, which I am so glad we did.
After arriving at the hotel and chilling out a little bit, we decided that growing up that very moment would not be an option for either of us. So what did we do… went and saw Beauty and the Beast in theaters. Not even 3D, just plain old regular 2D Beauty and the Beast. We didn’t think that anyone would be there. I mean, how old is that movie? Lots of people have them on VHS and whenever Disney releases it, on DVD. But surprisingly, there were a few people in there. Two women with little girls… a girl with her boyfriend [amazed that he sat through that] and woman by herself and then there was me, my sister and Elizabeth. Giggling through the previews, a wave of excitement hit us when the movie began with the first glimpse of the castle and the story begins. No matter what, Beauty and the Beast will always be my favorite childhood story. The movie was almost ending… Belle and the Prince are dancing around the ballroom floor, then out of no where they cut the movie off. Didn’t let it roll to the credits or anything. And who were the ones complaining… that’s right, all the adults in the room. Lol.
We make it back to the hotel and start to get ready for the main reason of our festivities which was the Rembrandt exhibit. We get there and there are crowd’s of people. Respectively so. It was such an amazing feeling to see such works. I mean, I’ve only seen his work within my art history books…. so to see it… close up. Breathtaking. We make our way through the rooms, inspiration flowing. You could get headphones with a device that told you about the works. It was like watching the history channel, only you are walking through it and seeing it live. As a photographer, I have learned the importance of Rembrandt and his lighting techniques that we use in photography today. There is something magical in the way he lights a subject and the intensity of the portraits themselves. To even find out that Rembrandt would sign works of art that weren’t his but those of his students, kind of caught me by surprise.
Me wanting to see Rembrandt and to drag along my sister and best friend was purely for my sister. I wanted her to see and be inspired by the creations of this master painter. I’m not entirely sure it inspired her or depressed her. But none the less, you couldn’t walk out that exhibit without feeling a little part of you be sparked by ideas. My sister is a wonderful artist… and like me, we both often feel like there is so little time in our days to do the work that we want to create. Part of me hopes that she will pick up her pencils again and just start drawing… just to draw. Practice makes perfect, and even if the image is not to your liking… it is still your image that you created. We have to learn to be proud of it. [I’m learning this on a daily basis with my photography.]
After that, we go to the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant. My sister has never had the experience of cooking her own food like this, and Elizabeth and I really liked it the last time we came, so we thought it was a good idea to finish off our birthday weekend. It was every bit as good as the last time I had been there. And by the sounds coming from my sister’s mouth, she enjoyed it as well. If you have never been to the Melting Pot, they serve four courses. Keep in mind, it’s fondue… so you start out with cheese dip with breads, apples and veggies… there could have been something else but I can’t remember. Then it’s on to your salad… just a standard salad. Next is your main meal, the meats! Beef… chicken… shrimp… tuna… all cooked by you. So if you end up with food poisoning… that’s your own fault for not listening to the times they tell you on how long you should cook everything. lol. When you are all stuffed from that… you move into the best part of the four courses… dessert. You choose what kind of chocolate you want and what goes in it. They serve it with strawberries… marshmallows… bananas… brownie bites… My favorite ended up being the marshmallow with the chocolate.
By the end of the night, we were ready for some magic pillow time. We relived our childhood… cultured ourselves… and then stuffed ourselves full with delicious food. Who says you have to drink and party on your birthday to have a good time? Considering I hardly ever get to see my best friend… and even my sister sometimes, I say this birthday was indeed successful. It made me realize that just because we’re getting older… doesn’t mean we are our age.