An Overseas 21st Birthday Celebration

It’s been a month since I’ve hit the big 2-1. Now that the day has come and gone, it’s funny to think about the fact that I’ve been excited for this birthday since I had the first big milestone at 16. Forget the excitement of having a driver’s license and being able to purchase lottery tickets. Forget the (theoretical) purchase of a pack of Black & Milds and the knowledge that I’ve been able to legally drink in Canada (a mere 1.5 hours away) for the past two years. The exciting day has come, a day that is consistently hyped up in American pop culture. I can now legally drink and purchase alcohol on American soil.

Sums up my thoughts leading up to the big day.
Image courtesy of tumblr.com.

Now, if you had asked me at age 18 if I would spend my 21st birthday studying abroad in the Czech Republic, I would have laughed at the idea. I pictured my 21st like every glorified scene in a B-rated movie. I’d be downing shots with a group of friends at a bar, stumble home, and sleep off my hangover the next day. This picture, thankfully for the sake of my liver, did not get painted here in Prague.

Let the birthday festivities begin.
Image courtesy of alissaerin.blogspot.com.

Instead of downing cheap shots of alcohol, I went out for dinner and drinks with two friends who happened to not be traveling on my birthday weekend. It was, for lack of a better word, a “classy” 21st birthday celebration, one that kept my dignity intact and kept the alcohol that I did consume in my stomach and not in the toilet. I ventured to two new places in Prague and to the town of Kutna Hora outside of the city, none of which disappointed.

Since I’m now 21 and a legal adult whose supposed to be open to new experiences, big decisions, and exciting new adventures, I figured I’d try a different formatting style with this post. So, without further ado, here’s a timeline of events that occurred on a Saturday in early March, a Saturday that did not disappoint.

8:45am – 6pm

Day Trip to Kutna Hora

My friends and I traveled to Kutna Hora, a town outside of Prague, with our study abroad program. Although we weren’t jetting off to other countries like most of our friends, we were at least able to step outside the confines of our apartments and see a little bit more of the Czech Republic. I’ve written a previous post about the city which you can check out here.

12pm

E-card from Mom

I checked my email in Kutna Hora and discovered that my mother had sent me not one, but three e-cards to celebrate the day. She also informed me that she and my brother had gone to Pour Coffee Parlor for breakfast, my favorite coffee shop back home in Rochester, NY. A twinge of homesickness hit but soon passed.

Glad to see my mom still has a sense of humor after putting up with me for 21 years.  Image courtesy of someecards.com.
Glad to see my mom still has a sense of humor after putting up with me for 21 years.
Image courtesy of someecards.com.

8:30pm

Dinner at Luka Lu in Prague 

I had been seriously struggling the two days before my birthday as I tried to find a nice but affordable place for my birthday dinner. After scouring TripAdvisor, I discovered Luka Lu, a restaurant in Prague 1 that combines the cuisines of Italy, the no-longer existing country of Yugoslavia, and Croatia. The restaurant website’s “About Us” section explains the history in greater detail and is worth the read.

I took a liking to the place as soon as I walked in. The aesthetic of the restaurant was bright and colorful, with trinkets and knickknacks stuck on the walls. To top it off, our waiter shared a birthday with me and provided us with a free shot of Croatian liquor. Although it was a tough one to get down, it was something I couldn’t pass up.

A glass (or three) of Rosé and a dish of stuffed calamari with prosciutto later, and I was ready for the next birthday festivity.

My birthday dinner of stuffed calamari with prosciutto and Rosé.
My birthday dinner of stuffed calamari with prosciutto and Rosé.
In addition to lights, Luka Lu's ceiling featured an upside-down table complete with dolls and food.
In addition to lights, Luka Lu’s ceiling featured an upside-down table complete with dolls and food.
The only picture of me with the free shot of Croatian liquor. Gotta love Snapchats.
The only picture of me with the free shot of Croatian liquor. Gotta love Snapchats.

11pm

Drinks at Anonymous Bar 

When I traveled to Budapest back in February, my friends and I had met two travelers at our hostel who proceeded to tell us about Anonymous Bar in Prague that we had to try. They explained the concept of the bar as being a place where you could specify the flavors you like in a drink, and the bartenders will make you a special, creative concoction. The bar also boasts (or keeps it anonymous) a secret menu that can only be accessed by a blacklight if you provide a certain code. I found a great article about the bar’s concept that dives into greater detail here.

My friends and I decided to forgo the menus and ordered based on flavor profiles. I asked for something sweet and fruity, and my friend asked for a sweet and sour drink. We did the right thing by trusting the bartenders because they were the best drinks I’ve ever had. We ordered another round and also received free shots from the bartender. It pays off to go out on your 21st, even in the Czech Republic where I’ve been legal for the past three years.

The interior of Anonymous Bar. The lighting was dim and contributed to the underground feel of the bar. Didn't do well for the photo quality, however.
The interior of Anonymous Bar. The lighting was dim and contributed to the underground feel of the bar. It didn’t do well for the photo quality, however.
My sweet and fruity drink at Anonymous Bar. I wish I could recall the exact ingredients, but all I know is that it was a vodka-based drink.
My sweet and fruity drink at Anonymous Bar. I wish I could recall the exact ingredients, but all I know is that it was a vodka-based drink.
For my 2nd drink, I expressed my love for coffee to the bartender and was brought this lovely concoction complete with actual coffee beans.
For my 2nd drink, I expressed my love for coffee to the bartender and was brought this concoction complete with actual coffee beans.
My roommate and I enjoying our drinks at Anonymous.
My roommate and I enjoying our drinks at Anonymous.

2am

Back at the Apartment

I made it back to the apartment safe and sound. It was a successful and “classy” night.

-Morgan

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