Yesterday was my best friend Mikayla’s birthday (I missed her day last year due to graduation, but here’s how we celebrated in 2018), so in honor of her and our past eight years of friendship, Kaiʻolu, Parker, Brandon, and I threw the birthday ultimate picnic with food and a present that took four days to make! It’s no secret we collectively love picnics (Brandon and I had one last month), but we upped the ante for this ultimate outdoor gathering. What started as a picnic between just me and Mikayla after not seeing each other for months turned into all of our friends making food and working together on a gift. After we all agreed on a time and place, Kaiʻolu made deconstructed spam musubis (aka spam with rice and furikake) and haupia chocolate pie, Brandon brought pesto pasta salad with roasted tomatoes and my favorite chocolate chip cookies (which he forgot at home and remembered once we reached Kaimuki), I made sandwiches and (my mom made) funfetti cake, and Parker concocted lemon drops and gin and tonics for us. We also picked up salt and vinegar wings from Sack n Save because those are our favorites! Thankfully, even though it was raining when we got to Hoʻomaluhia, the sun came out as soon as we started to set up the food. We ate slowly and sang happy birthday before cutting the cake and feasting on more desserts and drinks. Once we’d cleaned everything and packed up, we gave Mikayla her ultimate birthday present—a CD of her favorite songs we recorded individually and Parker edited together! In what Brandon and I now refer to as “the Garageband effect,” the two of us had the idea last week to make her a CD of us singing because we thought it would be easy to put together…which was the exact opposite. After I attempted to edit together Brandon, Parker, Kaiʻolu, and I singing our parts with a keyboard track, I gave up and handed it off to Brandon. He got frustrated with the application, so Parker tried his hand at it and, thinking the next two songs would be fine as well, gladly volunteered to finish editing the project. Two long nights later and he regretted that decision. We finally completed the gift on Tuesday night and I took it to my sister Megan’s house so her boyfriend could burn the playlist on a CD for us and I created a booklet insert of our birthday wishes and pictures, which Kaiʻolu printed and finished on Wednesday morning. Mikayla listened to the CD in her car with us (because no one has CD players anymore since it’s 2020) and cried hysterically and then we walked around the rest of the garden and took pictures together to end her ultimate birthday picnic/party!