The mrsguy birthday season, that is. Ordinarily we have a quiet dinner somewhere and go home to open pressies. But this being the "kick, stretch and kick" birthday, it seemed foolish to let it pass without doing something more. I took two weeks off and people called it my staycation, but I did anything but stay. And now I'm recovering in my sick bed (more accurately sick couch) and waiting to go back to work. Whew.
Phase One: Operation Meeting of the Moms
Seems odd that we've been together for over 20 years, married for 17 and our moms have never met until now. We finally made it happen. Picked up the grand mamoo and took her for a ride down the coast to meet the tiny mamoo. Of course they liked each other. We ate lunch and took a tour of tiny mamoo's home town, which was super fun.
Phase Two: Pretend You're Huell Howser
Earlier in the year, big sis, the mamoo and I talked about meeting in the middle of the state to visit the sights seen by the estimable Huell Howser on one of his shows. We finally did it, and it was very fun. We went to the oldest A&W Rootbeer and had carhop service. What are you supposed to do with your milkshake once you have it?
We went to Micke Grove and saw the Japanese Garden. Not as tranquil as we had hoped! A photographer, his buddy, a child and two ladies made up as I-don't-know-what (flappers? it involved a lot of tulle, sequins and cloches) were doing a photo shoot there. The ladies would sit on a rock and stare at each other theatrically for the camera, notice that the child was not in viewing range and shout "Buddah! BUDDAH! Get back here where I can see you". Buddah, the child, had been happily assaulting the koi with small rocks.
Anyway, Micke Grove also has a zoo with little deer called pudu. I really want to see my cats play with a pudu. After the zoo, we looked for the crane habitat but were unsuccessful, so we went back to our hotel. Perfection. Three beds in one room, and a plastic and very dusty olive tree. But I loved it. Successful trip.
Phase Three: Sumo Saturday
Birthday was celebrated with friends on Sumo Saturday. This consisted of my ordering tamales from a neighbor and decorating the house with sumo-themed bunting (yukata fabric created for sumitori or their sumo stables, that I bought on ebay). People seemed to like sumo more than I thought. They asked great questions.
Phase Four: Disneyland
Yeah. Had to do it. Spent all day and part of a night at California Adventure. Ate at Napa Rose. Saw an adorable little kid named Daniel using the guardrail in line at Soarin' as a personal jungle gym. Then he liberally tongued the handrail. Yep. We're doomed. Stayed with mrguy south one evening, which was delicious, and I spent as many hours as my battery would allow cropping photographs in our moving vehicle as we sped back home for Thanksgiving.
Phase Five: Guygiving
But it wasn't Thanksgiving this year. It was guygiving. A one-time-only event celebrating my birthday and my brother-in-law's. The family gathered, the brother-in-law and I put together an overly-long slide show which people seemed to like, and then we went out to dinner. I'd fallen victim to the handrail-lickers earlier, and by guygiving I had almost no voice. It felt like I had cystitis of the throat (imagine gargling with broken glass and tabasco), but I had such a good time. Private room, much good cheer, no birthday singing. It was awesome.
Phase Six: In Which I Retire To My Sofa With Cold Preparations For Days On End
I'm still here. Been here four days. Wicked cough. Voice still very wiggly. Except for the illness, all-in-all a success. Plus, a friend sent orchids yesterday, extending the occasion.
I will never do this again, but man was that enjoyable. OK, parts of it I'll do again. Ordering tamales from my neighbor and having people over for sumo I'll definitely do.