Ever had raw oysters? I ate them for the first time ever a few nights ago. They’re not great. Well, they’re not too bad either. Salty, to say the least.

Wednesday’s mussels with Marissa were definitely enjoyable. And cooked, to boot. In a whirlwind of birthday celebrations with various friends, I’ve been doing quite of bit of “cultural tourism.” That’s probably not the right word, but somehow the phrase “trying new things” just doesn’t bear the same significance.

Apart from all the shellfish, Esther introduced me to one of the best bartender’s I’ll likely get to meet, Margaret-Ann at the Old Ebbit Grill. This week I’ve also been to a gay bar, swing danced the night away, and been treated to that flaming drink I’ve always wanted. All this celebration and generousity reminds me just how great of friends I’ve been blessed with.

I gotta say, though – the best part of the flaming drink was the story afterwards. I was telling my co-intern Katie: “So I went to a Tapas bar last night.”

“REALLY?!?” she said, sounding a little bit more dramatic than necessary for hearing about Spanish cuisine. “What was it like?”

“It was pretty chill, and Marissa got me that flaming birthday drink that I wanted.”

“And it wasn’t weird? With all those half naked women around?” Katie asked. I raised an eyebrow and looked at her, puzzled.

“Oh!” she said, responding to my stare. “Not Topless! Tapas!”