Last Sunday, February 22nd, was a big day – my 21st birthday! Your 21st is a big deal here since you can now legally drink, but it was a bit less dramatic for me since I’d been drinking legally in Europe for four months while I was studying abroad. Regardless, I was excited and determined to make my 21st my best birthday yet. Luckily, my friends were up for the challenge as well.
My best friend from high school, Ashley, came up from San Diego just to see me on my big day. We spent Friday and Saturday watching movies, shopping at the LF sale (where I legitimately got stuck in a floral jumpsuit and the zipper had to be ripped open… awkward), and going out to parties in Isla Vista. The parties were fun and all, but the best part of our nights out was coming home and throwing dance parties in my living room. There’s nothing quite like the freedom of just celebrating life with your girlfriends as if you haven’t got a care in the world!
Friday and Saturday were crazy fun, so by my actual birthday on Sunday I was pretty exhausted. It was also a Sunday so there wasn’t much going on in terms of partying, so we decided my first dip into the drinking game would be at brunch aka the best meal of the day. We chose The Boat House at Hendry’s Beach because my house mate works there and said the food was delicious. It’s also right on the beach so we hoped we’d get a famous Santa Barbara view. After dragging our hungover selves out of bed and attempting to look “brunch-cute,” which is a phrase I just made up to mean casual but trendy, we arrived at the Boat House to sad, cloudy skies. Little did we know that cloudy skies would mean prime photo lighting! Just look at those model poses.
My gorgeous housemates and close friend, Kelly, Isabel, and Marnie joined us for our slightly-rainy brunch along the water where we sat outside so we could look out over Hendry’s dog beach (dogs!!). Then I ordered my first drink! I decided to go with the blood orange margarita to go with my chilaquiles – sort of a Mexican theme since I’ve been on a spicy food kick. The margarita was pretty strong, but lacked the blood orange flavor I was looking forward to. I think if I had opted for the added jalepeño I would have gotten the flavor I wanted. But I was finally having a drink at brunch and I felt like the super cool grown up I now was (ha I wish).
Nothing better than a margarita in the morning on your birthday. After enjoying the thrill of ordering a drink, we finally got our food and I almost died of happiness. My opinion could have been biased because of how hungry I was, but either way the food was amazing. The highlights were the chilaquiles I ordered and the signature breakfast that Ashley got.
Tell me you didn’t just lick the screen, I dare you. Anything that comes with avocado is quite alright with me. Can you tell I’m from California? The chilaquiles were warm tortillas covered with roasted pork (it could have used a bit more of that), fried eggs, sour cream, and a tomatillo sauce. Yum. Plus some amazing homemade black beans topped with queso fresco. Just look at that runny yolk. Insert heart eyes emoji here.
The signature breakfast is definitely signature for a reason. Crispy crab cakes with perfectly poached eggs and buttery hollandaise sauce. Plus you get a side of diced potatoes and, you guessed it, sliced avocado. It doesn’t get much better than eating fresh fish while overlooking the Pacific ocean. I’m personally a huge fan of saucy food, so I actually got extra hollandaise on the side (it’s really that good) but it’s definitely optional if you’re a normal person and don’t like your food drenched.
Overall, I can confidently say my 21st birthday has been my best yet. Let’s just say that I will be returning to The Boat House well before my 22nd birthday comes around.