Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One for the books

I knew I wanted to throw boyfriend a surprise birthday party this year. Last year we had just moved to New York. Things were crazy and we didn't know many people. He made my birthday amazing still, as usual (still need to put that post together...its too much mushy love for a quick photo dump). BUT I pretty much failed so it was time to make it up to him. I started early - thought about the venue. A friend's house seemed too chill. Bowling was too expensive. Full-on renting a space in NYC would be way too expensive. Lucky for me, I know what he likes.

He's been really into craft beer ever since San Francisco. I think he's always been a connoisseur on all things taste, but we've really built a palate these days. Especially after our Oregon trip. There are tons of breweries literally everywhere nowadays. I called about 7 in and around the city, decided on Big Alice. The guy was so helpful and very supportive of the whole surprise part of it. I got a private tasting and tour for up to 15 people for less than $300. Pretty amazing! And he said we could stay as long as we like and they would play into the surprise however we need. Next came the hard part. To continue click below...

It was easy to make sure boyfriend didn't make any other plans for his birthday. I made sure all of our friends would say they were busy with something or another. I knew he'd be cool to just hang with me for the evening. My plan was to take him to a BBQ place I found that's near the brewery. Then say "oh! There's a brewery around the corner, want to have a birthday beer?" (something like that). I was worried he'd say no since it's all the way in Long Island City. So, I brought in our friend Payton. He said we should go this BBQ place to meet his cousin. Perfect! Boyfriend and I planned to hang out in LIC until dinner time since we'd never seen that area of NYC before. Beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline from across the east river, LIC was pretty nice. It seems like a tight knit community since the main area is only about 4 square blocks. I could see renting a place over there - just a train ride from the island...a bit desolate though. We had a great time wondering around and watching the sunset. We had a drink at a local spot and watched some sports. Not bad for the start of a birthday evening.

Payton met us at the restaurant and his "cousin" conveniently bailed last minute - darn it! haha
P was really great. I'm so glad he kept it cool. I was SO NERVOUS! Trying to make sure the time would turn out okay for when everyone was supposed to be there, keeping the mood up so boyfriend would be down for a second place. We have a close relationship. I knew he would find it strange if I'm sitting there texting through dinner. I think I went to the restroom like 4 times! He swears he didn't know what was going on, whew. I still can't believe it all worked out.

After we were done eating, P was saying "we should have another beer, I can hang out for a bit longer" and I said "well let's check out somewhere else" -- pull out my phone, pretend Googlemaps search -- "there's a brewery right around the corner! Let's check it out".
Boyfriend: "yeah, cool".

Aw, all the feels.
Boyfriend Birthday Surprise from Ellie Stephens on Vimeo.

That was it! So relieved. We walked over and I tried to play it that I was checking something in my bag so he'd open the door first. The man behind the bar said "woah man, we're closed". So, boyfriend says "alright, no problem" and turns to leave. Then the guy said "well, you guys can have one if you like" -- he walks over to flip a light switch -- BAM everyone jumps out and yells and shakes the little hand clappers I had a friend bring to the party. They also got balloons. It was so perfect! We had Brooklyn friends, boyfriend's co-workers, and our New York Family. He was so surprised. So sweet. He never gets really excited about anything. It makes it even more special to see him really happy.

I think it was extra special for me since boyfriend threw me a surprise 25th birthday party before we were even dating. He got me a cupcake piñata and made a cake! The madness of this person. And he's in my life. Speechless.

After the guys at the brewery talked through the tastings and gave us a tour of the space, we hung out for about an hour and talked. So fun. I planned to take the group to Bushwick Country Club after to have some more drinks and meet up with other friends who couldn't make it to the surprise. It was a bit out of the way, but closer to our apartment and supposed to have a fun atmosphere, cheap drinks, good hip-hop music. It sounded just right.

Everyone had fun with the birthday glasses. Who needs a real mustache when you can wear a plastic one?

I'm so thankful to everyone who came to his party and helped me make it a surprise. I could not have done it on my own.

Cheers my love. I hope we have so many more birthdays together.

Much love,