Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sara's Surprise Birthday Picnic

Jill and Sara's husband, Nate, planned a surprise picnic for Sara's 30th birthday.

We gathered at Fort McHenry in Baltimore and waited for the guest of honor to arrive.

We set up our picnic and threw the frisbee and football around while we waited.

Then we waited some more.

Then, after an hour, Jill called Sara to wish her a happy birthday and to ask what she was planning to do for her birthday. (Isn't she so sly?)

They were still about 15 minutes away.

This would not have been a big deal except for the fact that they lock the gates of the National Monument promptly at 8PM.

They finally arrived and we hurried and ate our very yummy chicken salad, fruit salad, potato salad and chips.

Then 'Ranger Rick' and his posse pressured us out of the park. They are serious about wanting to close that gate on time!

The festivities continued at small park down the street where we talked and passed around the frisbee under the park lamps.

Happy Birthday Sara! Hope your little froggy is doing well.

55 Gallon Aquarium Update

It's been a while since I posted any pictures of the Aquarium. In fact, the last time, it was looking nearly incapable of ever sustaining life. Well, here is proof that all is well.

When Matt and Cami moved to Richmond, they decided to not try to move their 30 gallon aquarium. Instead, most of it is now in the 55 gallon tank. That helped the tank look much more lively. The additional fish, coral, clams and anemone really added a lot.

Mom and Dad, I'm sure, are thrilled that they now are taking care of this without the help of Matt of Cami. Thanks a lot guys. I promise I will move it out (along with all my stuff filling up your garage) as soon as I get a place back in Utah!

Here are some more pictures.

A little higher to the left, please.

I forgot to post about Maya's recent visit to the doctor. After about 4 years, her doctor felt like it was time to re-test her allergies.

They tested different plants, cat, dog, feather, dust mite, egg, peanut and few others. Peanut was by far the largest reaction. Look's like she still can't (and probably never will be able to) have any PB&J sandwiches.

Maya was a really trooper. She only cried for a few moments! But it was very obvious that she was extremely uncomfortable.

The doctor also tested her asthma and was more concerned about keeping that under control than the allergy results.

We left the office with a stack of prescriptions and information.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tara's 30th Birthday Weekend

Several months ago, Tara began telling me about her grand ideas for her 30th birthday. In order to distract her from the reality and terror of turning 30, she was looking to somehow celebrate in a big way. As the actual day approached, the size and extravagance of the event got gradually smaller. The guest list (and those that could actually attend) also got smaller.

It started out as a Greek Island Cruise, then a weekend trip to Montreal (or was it Toronto?), then Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, then Atlantic City, and finally landed on Virginia Beach.

Jill, Tara, Erin and I drove down to VA Beach on Friday evening. The traffic gods smiled on us while driving there and returning. That alone makes it a pleasurable trip.

Tara spent most of the drive fully engrossed with her DVD player in the back seat as she continued her Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. Erin checked her email and blog stats with her laptop and satellite card. Jill entertained us with 'What if...' and 'Would you rather...' questions. And me? I just drove (Oh, and answered the questions).

We had a great view of the ocean from our 9th floor beach facing room at the Holiday Inn. We left the door open so that the sounds of the waves could lull us to sleep.

Saturday morning we were very slowly served breakfast then we packed up, checked out of the hotel room, parked the car and went to the beach. The weather was wonderful, the people were interesting, the waves were small but fun, the walk on the beach was great, and the water was refreshing.

I wish I had my camera for a couple of moments while walking along the beach with Jill. We witnessed a little boy (maybe 3 or 4 years old) playing the waves. Then he quickly whipped it out and started releasing his urge in our general direction as he sprayed the incoming waves! Then just as quick as it began, he was done and off to play some more.
Another moment was this cute elderly couple standing almost waist deep in the waves. They were holding hands and reacting to the cool waves splashing up their bodies. The smiles and surprised looks on their faces left me longing for that someday.

After getting sufficiently burned we changed our clothes in the parking lot and headed for the shops. First stop - Haagen-Dazs. Followed by Henna Tattoos, cheesy tourist shops, and jewelry shops.

The final beach event was the jungle themed miniature golf course. There were several Hole-in-one's scored including Erin on the very first hole and I think Jill got 4!

Here are more Virginia Beach pictures.

On the way back home we stopped at Pierce's Pit Bar-B-Que near Williamsburg for dinner. Mmmm! Delicious! Highly recommend this slight detour.

On Sunday the fun continued with a Surprise Cake and Ice Cream party at Tara's house. There were moments of panic when we discovered that Tara was at work and was not planning to be home until late. Jill's idea to get her home on time was to tell her that we had broken-up and that I needed to talk! But I don't play around with that! So other idea was to tell her that Jill wanted to say Happy Birthday before she drove back to Baltimore. Anne was also working out her plan of coming to visit Tara. Luckily, Tara was home and entertaining us by about 7:45. Just in time for Tara's official birth time of 7:46PM!

As Jill and I walked up to the house, and were talking to Tara's mom, Karl pulled up! I had to quickly divert him down the street were he had to wait for the others to arrive. Anne, Jill, Tara and I were talking inside the house about important topics such as Reality TV when suddenly Tara got up because she was ready for ice cream and cake. As she walked past the front door we suddenly heard a roar of Surprise! and the singing of Happy Birthday.

We enjoyed catching up with friends, some of which we have not seen for a couple of months (since the Duck Beach trip) and of course stuffing our faces with sweets.

Here are more party pictures.

I hope it was an enjoyable birthday for you Tara. Thirty really is not that bad. I hope that 30 proves to be a great year for you and not your scary year as you have feared.