Who would have thought I would celebrate my 60th birthday in Beirut, Lebanon? But, indeed, here we were! While it was wonderful to have Brittany here with Sharon and me for the big day, the fact that we did not have Kate and Ben with us diminished the celebration a fair amount.
We spent the day showing Brittany Beirut. We walked Hamra as well as the downtown area. Having taken the walking tour of Beirut, we showed Britt the war ravaged Holiday Inn, located just down the street from us, as well as the old Jewish quarter which is now largely desolate. We stopped at the ruins of the Roman bath and The Place d’Etoile, where we enjoyed a snack and beverage.
The real celebration came when we went to dinner. It was a beautiful evening so we were able to sit outside at Bay Rocks, a Lebanese restaurant directly above Pigeon Rocks, one of the icons of Beirut. We enjoyed a Lebanese meal, then topped the night off with our first experience smoking nargilehs. (water pipes).
We were all pleasantly surprised at how mellow and unlike cigarettes the nargileh tobacco tasted.
When ordering a nargileh you get to choose a flavor, and we all chose lemon mint. We laughed and giggled as we tried to blow smoke rings, blew smoke out our noses, and generally acted silly. We had a blast. Most birthday celebrations are less than memorable. I think I will remember this one.