JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Happy Birthday to my Miloš!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MILOŠ!

Today (October 7th) is Miloš’ birthday!  I thought I’d celebrate the life of my amazing man here on my blog, since we can’t be together today for his special day. (His ship is currently on it’s way to the Black Sea, sailing along the Danube on the border of Bulgaria and Romania.) Consider it my attempt at our own little virtual birthday party, and you are all invited to celebrate with us!  (Don those party hats, everyone!)

Awhile back, I asked Miloš if he wanted to celebrate his birthday before or after the big day.  (He was in Vienna a week ago and he’ll be back here in a week and a half.)  He said he wanted to celebrate before, so the plans were made and I got to work on some little surprises for him. 

He’s a man with an appetite, so his biggest request was to go to what has become his favorite restaurant in Vienna: SteakPoint.  Miloš just really loves steak, plus the homemade soup here is among our favorites.  (It’s made with a beef broth and has a semolina dumpling in it.  I grew up eating soup with these kinds of dumplings, although in our family, we tend to use a chicken broth instead of a beef broth.) 

It's now become a tradition for us to get our pic taken at Stephansplatz with the cathedral in the background.  We do it every time Miloš comes through Vienna.  So before dinner, we made a quick stop to get our pic!

It’s now become a tradition for us to get our pic taken at Stephansplatz with the cathedral in the background. We do it every time Miloš comes through Vienna. So before dinner, we made a quick stop to get our pic!

 

At Steakpoint, enjoying the soup!

At Steakpoint, enjoying the soup!

 

At Steakpoint, enjoying the soup!

At Steakpoint, enjoying the soup!

 

My delicious meal of steak and pumpkin gnocchi

My delicious meal of steak and pumpkin gnocchi

 

I also wanted to surprise him with something different – a nice little present that he wouldn’t expect.  I first thought of ordering cupcakes decorated with a Star Trek theme, but then found out that the wife of one of my students is exceptionally talented when it comes to making extraordinary cakes.  (She really does awesome work!  CLICK HERE to check out her blog and see her other creations.)  Instead of cupcakes, she suggested a small cake with the original Star Trek design that I had wanted.   

Since Miloš and I are primarily TNG Trekkies, I decided on a TNG combadge design with the rest of the cake a solid red color to match Captain Picard’s uniform.  I also sent a link showing the font design so that we could have the writing done in Star Trek style as well.   (FYI – TNG stands for “The Next Generation”, which was the series on from the late 80s to mid 90s starring Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard – just in case some of my readers are not up on their Star Trek terminology.  The TNG cast was also used in several of the Star Trek movies.)

The cake was a HUGE success!  When I told him we had to make time to do his birthday cake, he had NO idea what to expect.  When he saw it was a Star Trek cake?  Now, that just put it over the edge into complete awesomeness!  He loved the cake – the design AND the actual cake itself – it was really tasty!  I didn’t get a chance to buy any birthday candles, so I lit a decorative scented candle and put it next to his cake so he could blow it out and make a wish!  (Haha! Improvisation!)

Our Star Trek TNG Combadge cake

Our Star Trek TNG Combadge cake

 

Live long and prosper!

Live long and prosper!

 

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday!!!

 

 

 birthday candle...

Improvised birthday candle…

 

Make a wish!

Make a wish!

 

Cutting the cake...

Cutting the cake…

 

Dig in!

Dig in!

 

 

And every year, I create a staged photo for Miloš’ birthday – to be able to post on his Facebook wall when October 7th hits.  This year was no exception.  Two years ago, I made ginormous signs for my friends and I to hold up for the camera – so we could really give him a HUGE birthday surprise.  Last year, I ordered a cake from the local bakery with his name on it (while I was still all the way in the USA), and got all kinds of purple party decorations (purple is his favorite color) to set up for the birthday photo.  I even wore purple for the pic.  But with the distance, my parents and I had to enjoy the actual cake all on our own. 

This year?  My roommate (Sonja) and her boyfriend (Marc) are awesome photographers, so they helped me put this year’s photo together.  I borrowed a gorgeous blue gown from my friend Rebecca, then had a photo session right inside our apartment with Sonja and Marc.  The photo is actually me lounging on our living room couch!  Marc photo-shopped out the floor and wall and brightened the photo up so it looked like we used studio lighting.  Pretty cool, huh? 

(Below are the pics from all three of his birthdays since we’ve become a couple!)

2012 - helped out by my friends and former colleagues, Jordan and Anne.

2012 – helped out by my friends and former colleagues, Jordan and Anne.

 

2013!

2013!   Purple!

 

2014!!!  This year's pic!

2014 – This year’s pic!

 

 

For the almost-four days we were together during our little early birthday celebration, we had a wonderfully amazing time – in Vienna, Bratislava, and even Budapest.  Alas, the time came to an end and I had to leave Miloš’ ship in Budapest and get back home to Vienna.  He and his shipmates got ready to sail along the Danube all the way to the Black Sea.  (I tell ya, the good-byes are always hard.  Always, always, always.  I cry every time – even after all this time.)  But also as always, we treasure the time we do have together and eagerly count down to the next time we’ll see each other.  And the cruise season is quickly coming to an end, so we won’t have to be in perpetual countdown mode anymore pretty soon.  (Yay! I can’t wait!)

Here are some more pics from those few days together….

2nd day in Vienna at our regular photo spot!

2nd day in Vienna at our regular photo spot!

 

Sailing away from Bratislava

Sailing away from Bratislava

 

Budapest

Budapest

Budapest

Budapest

 

Together in Budapest!

Together in Budapest!

 

Budapest

Budapest

 

Budapest

Budapest

 

Sun going down on our day in Budapest

Sun going down on our day in Budapest

 

And to the love of my life, I see another birthday as another year of the amazing life we are building together.  Hell, we both kind of hate this whole getting older thing, but at least we get to do it together.  This is the greatest adventure of all, and I couldn’t imagine a better person to be by my side for the journey.  🙂

I love you, Miloš!  Happy Birthday, baby.

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Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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