Bridgette’s 11th Birthday

Our beloved Bridgette turned 11 in February! This “tween” period is so fascinating to me. In many ways, she’s still the cute, cheery child that brings an abundance of joy to our household on a daily basis. She still loves to cuddle, calls me mommy (most of the time), and does the silliest dances with her daddy to make all of us laugh. Yet, in other ways, she’s morphing into this independent, know-what-she-wants, and sometimes moody pre-teen. She adores being with her friends, is not afraid to call me out when I unknowingly have double standards, and often encourages me to share what’s on my mind so we can “talk about it.” She is a remarkable listener and has very sound advice for me from time to time.

It’s wonderful that Bridgette still allows me to be an active part of her birthday plans. Maybe it’s because I was a party planner for so many years. She tends to trust my advice when it comes to throwing parties, haha. She hasn’t had a big birthday bash for many years, and it’s because the older she gets, the more she values intimate, quality time with her closest friends. Last year for her 10th, I organized a unicorn-themed sleepover party with 3 of her closest friends in the Bay Area, took her to Hong Kong to celebrate with her best cousin and BFF Brianne, and then celebrated some more with her worldschooling BFF in Fukuoka, Japan. This year’s celebrations followed a similar pattern. We started off with another intimate birthday sleepover with a few of her besties in the Bay Area. While Alan and I had to give up our master bedroom to create a cool fort for her sleepover last year, we decided to give up the living room instead this year, and created a cute open “tent” for the girls.

We took the girls out to one of Bridgette’s favorite fondue restaurants, and the girls spent the rest of the evening chatting, playing games, and doing everything but sleeping!

A week later, we jetted off to Hong Kong, then to Vietnam for Bridgette to spend a week with her worldschooling bestie, Ruby.

After our week in Vietnam, we flew back to Hong Kong, and my sis threw Bridgette a super fun birthday party! Since we go back to Hong Kong so often, Bridgette has become good friends with her cousin Brianne’s closest friends, so they all came together to spend a wonderful day with Bridge, beginning with a picnic at Shatin Park.

Following the picnic and park time, we drove over to the Hong Kong Island side where my sis booked an art jamming session for the girls at a cool art studio call Messy Jam. True to its name, this studio encourages budding artists to get MESSY while expressing their art, which is probably every kid’s dream! The girls got comfortable very quickly upon arrival, but before they got down and dirty with their art, they spent some time playing with the resident tortoise. 🙂

For 3 whole hours, the girls sketched, painted, and expressed themselves through the beautiful world of art. There was no one instructing them on what/how to paint, no one judging them for their artwork, and no one to prevent them from freely expressing what they wanted to express through art. It was wonderful to witness the creative outcomes of such a liberating experience!

Afterwards, we cut and ate the birthday cake, and then each girl got to share with the others a little bit about their masterpiece!

To finish up this perfect day, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Amfalfitana in Repulse Bay, where there was an awesome playground right outside for the kids to expend their energy while waiting for their pizzas!

All those celebrations you just read about? Well, those were all pre-celebrations leading up to her birthday. 🙂 On the actual day of her birthday, we ofcourse celebrated some more!

We started the day off with lunch at one of Bridgette’s favorite places to eat in Hong Kong– Kowloon Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Bridgette’s grandparents and her cousin Brady joined us, and we all had a great time indulging in the all-you-can-eat dessert buffet there.

After lunch, we took Brady on his very first ferry ride, then bid the others farewell while Bridge and I enjoyed a mother-daughter celebration by ourselves for the remainder of the day.

We spent the afternoon at a carnival by the Central Pier, and while Bridgette was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t go on most of the rides with her (I have vertigo), she ultimately still had an awesome time.

For dinner that evening, I was going to take her to Cafe Deco at The Peak, as that place carried some fond memories for me from my adolescence years. I wanted to share those memories with her, but unfortunately, we found out that Cafe Deco moved from The Peak to The One in Tsim Sha Tsui. Bridgette was still keen to try the restaurant out though, so we rode the ferry back to the Kowloon side and enjoyed a lovely dinner at (the new) Cafe Deco nonetheless. Cheers to creating new memories!

Happy Birthday my forever baby girl!!

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