I woke up yesterday to birthday wishes and some perfectly selected presents. From Rachel and my mom, I got a new camera! It’s a real beauty and the photo quality is amazing. Rachel knew I would never get one for myself; I have been wanting a nice camera for a long time but felt like the purchase was too expensive without enough justification. Already I can tell that I won’t have to struggle to take good food pictures easily. The boy was in on the secret and got me another lens designed specifically for taking shallow depth in low light, which sums up the lighting situation in most restaurants. We took the camera to Huckleberry for a test run, and she passed with flying colors.

We lucked out with a short wait and a table near the front windows. Huckleberry is just the cutest place, with lots of light and small touches, like bright paint, big chalkboards with the menus, and fresh flowers on the tables.

Coffee for me, latte for the boy.

I was so tempted by the egg/greens/pesto dish again, but I decided on tomato, soft baked eggs and white beans instead. I didn’t realize the meal came with bread but it was the perfect addition. The tomato sauce was slightly sweet, which tasted really good with the other savory elements.

I also ordered a homemade english muffin with jam on the side. After eating this last time, I knew I would have to get it again!

The boy got a maple bacon scone, which was as amazing as it sounds.

He also ordered the fried egg sandwich. I gave it a test bite, but I liked my sweet tomato sauce and beans much better!

We managed to do a decent amount of damage.

The camera was a big conversation piece! The couple at the table next to us asked about the model and I had to confess that I had only received it 30 minutes before. I thought it might be awkward to use since it’s much larger than my point-and-shoot but it was actually less so. Having something so hefty in my hands made me feel more like a legitimate photographer, if that makes sense!

We lucked out with a short wait and table by the window, but decided that next time we’d just get pastries and lattes, since the maple bacon scone and english muffin were our two favorites. Their chocolate croissants just scream “dip me in coffee!”

The sunny morning didn’t last and by the time we made it out to the Malibu pier for more photos, the rain had started. Don’t worry, that didn’t stop us from snapping away! I’ll be back later with more pictures and a recap of last night’s drinking and dancing (and tiara-wearing) at Copa d’Oro. When the night ends at Swingers (a diner, what did you think?), you know it’s been a good one. Oh, how I love birthdays!