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Hoda Kotb, Twitter

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Let the birthday celebrations begin!

Hoda Kotb may not be turning 51 years young until next Sunday. But the Today show co-anchor started the party early when she traveled to Rehoboth Beach, Del., over the weekend with a few special people.

Joined by her mother, brother, nieces, boyfriend Joel Schiffman and beloved dog Blake, Kotb enjoyed quality time with her extended family. She also received a whole lot of love from some locals in the city.

While visiting The Coffee Mill, Kotb received a warm welcome from the staff who surprised the Dateline correspondent with a giant birthday cake.

"She was very surprised and happy," owner Mel Damascena told E! News exclusively. "She's a great friend and a regular customer. I met Hodie and her mother in 2010 and we became really good friends."

He added, "She usually comes in the morning after her run at the Boardwalk and hangs out with her family. She is just this beautiful, smart, cool and grounded lady that makes other people happy. We all love Hodie."

And Kotb is feeling the love. 

Whether putting her party hat on at family dinner or spending quality time with her boyfriend of two years, Kathie Lee Gifford's "Egyptian Goddess" is loving every minute of the festivities.

"Thx for early bday surprise Mel! @TheCoffMill #Rehoboth," Kotb wrote on Twitter while enjoying an early birthday party. "Gotta love a surprise #Nieceswaiting."

She added, "Party on! Xo."

(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family)