knowing that there would be lots of good stuff to eat throughout the day, i planned ahead and got up to do a workout that morning. jillian michaels can always be counted on for a sweet asskicking.
after i'd had a chance to shower, the old lady and the bean showed up after an early morning errand that yielded this fantastic cinnamon roll for birthday breakfast. see, i knew that workout was warranted.
and the hub brought me a birthday starbucks to wash it down.
as i enjoyed my breakfast, my watch buzzed with a text message. i glanced down at it and was really amused to find this:
when i showed it to the old lady, she was incensed. "WHAT! i didn't get one of those on MY birthday!" she said. oops.
funny thing: my birthday always coincides with national cheeseburger day. and so of course, we grabbed lunch from this place:
most of the day was spent just kind of hanging out and relaxing, which is always nice. the news of the notorious RBG's passing definitely put a bit of a damper on my mood, but i tried to focus on the excitement of the surprise that the bean had been working on. i already knew it wasn't happening till after dinner, and the suspense was killing me. the hub had made a reservation for family dinner somewhere new, and the only hint i had was that it was in santa monica. we left the house fairly early since traffic is always so unpredictable, and ended up arriving at meat on ocean a good 45 minutes early.
with some time to kill, we made our way towards third street promenade. the bean spied someone having a photo shoot and struck a pose when the hub whipped out his phone.
and then of course it evolved into a photo shoot of our own.
by then it was time to head back to the restaurant to be seated. we were shown to a lovely table on the patio overlooking the ocean - which was lovely except for the giant tree that blocked our view. oh well. close enough.
it also happened to be the last day of dine l.a., so we were able to order from the special prix-fixe menu. the only bummer was that our server was...less than hospitable. still, we enjoyed our dinner and even had some to take home for lunch the next day. and since we'd ordered from the dine l.a. menu it included our choice of dessert. i guess maybe that's why the server totally glossed over my birthday aside from a quick greeting when she came at the beginning of the meal. it's okay - it's not like i needed her to come sing me the birthday song anyway.
and then when we got home the kids all hopped into action while the hub drove me around for a few minutes, giving them time to get set up for the bean's special surprise. she'd been working frantically on it for the last couple of days, and i was super excited to see what she'd cooked up. when the hub finally got the signal via text message that they were ready, we headed back home and knocked on the front door.
and that's when the evening became truly amazing. because she opened the door like this:
the hub disappeared at that point, which i have to admit i hardly noticed because i was on sensory overload from trying to take it all in. the next thing i remember was hearing the music from the "pirates of the caribbean" ride at disneyland playing on the speakers throughout the house, and then the bean guided me towards my "boat." keep in mind that most of the pictures i took are from about ten minutes later because i opted to take video from that point. but check out my sweet ride:
there was a towel inside of it to make it more comfortable, and the boat was placed atop a blanket that the bean did her absolute best to drag me around on. alas, despite the fact that she was used to tossing small cheerleaders in the air and catching them, the weight of the box plus me was a little too much for her. and so she had me exit the boat and sit on the blanket as she pulled me through the entire house, pointing everything out along the way.
here, a mermaid and a 'gator:
and then i was slid backwards as fast as she could while she shouted "HERE'S THE DROP!" and i just lost it, it was all just so awesomely funny. and truth be told, i was half expecting someone to come and douse me with a bucket of water or pelt me with a water balloon or something because at that point, everyone had made themselves scarce. i kept expecting one of them to pop out at me from around the corner. then the skeletons began to appear:
and as the ride continued through the kitchen and around the island, the dogs made their appearance from the other side of the sliding door. they were losing their minds and barking their heads off as we passed the skeleton with the "gold."
OMG DAVY JONES!
as we made our way to the hall, the special friend was stationed inside the powder room dressed in full pirate gear and engaging in a nerf gun shootout with the old lady, also geared up and standing in the open door of the office. i tried to get pictures of them, but it was too dark. and then to my left, carlos:
i looked up and there was the filthy pirate with the dirty foot dangling over my head. just amazing.
the girls cracked up later as they pointed out the rather...vaginal appearance of the flames. i swear, i wouldn't have seen it if they hadn't brought it to my attention. and of course, now that's all i can see.
the jail appeared to my left, complete with another skeleton and the dog with the key around its neck:
and the piece de resistance: my very own captain jack sparrow at the end of the ride.
the bean was so relieved to have pulled it off, and before everyone pulled off their pirate costumes we stopped and got a couple of group photos.
so it's really dark and my cackling is in full effect through the whole thing, but here's the whole ride from my point of view. with the entire family in on the shenanigans, this is the only video we were able to get.
lest you worry that i wasn't serenaded with the birthday song that day, worry no more. the mysterious errand that the girls had gotten up early for that morning turned out to be a run for cupcakes from my favorite spot...dots, of course.
and they'd found a way to make it even more special than it already was - an edible birthday candle made of milk chocolate.
if you were in the l.a. area that night, you'll know what happened next. the old lady stopped dead in her tracks, looked at all of us and said "wait. was that an earthquake?" and as soon as the hub scoffed and smirked as he said "um...no," we felt it. turned out to be a 4.5, centered in nearby san gabriel. i don't think the hub was aware of it until that night, but the old lady has always had somewhat of a sixth sense when it comes to earthquakes in that she always feels them just before they happen. and actually, she's always been a bit of a clairvoyant aside from the earthquake thing - it's hard to explain without sounding kooky.
oh! and of course, there were presents. i actually got to open them in the car on the way to santa monica:
there was a pair of super cute kate spade x disney earrings i'd had on my birthday list, along with a very nice collection of high end knitting accessories. i'd discovered a danish company called muud living on instagram, and they specialize in beautifully crafted leather bags and needle and accessory cases. i'd resisted ordering anything because the shipping from denmark was kind of outrageous, but they finally hooked up with a retailer in the U.S. about a month or so ago. i'd not-so-jokingly thrown the link to the whole collection on my birthday wish list and hoped for the best - and they came through big time. i'm the proud owner of a sweet project bag, a zippered needle case and a scissors case that had turned into an inside joke that probably wouldn't be funny to anyone but us.
i also received a really cute little "friends"-themed book that the girls had filled out for me, and if all that wasn't enough i opened the last wrapped box and found this:
so apple typically releases a new iPhone every other year, conveniently right around my birthday. while that didn't happen this year, i was super duper excited that the hub had upgraded my iPhone X to the newest 11 pro max. the camera on this thing is INSANE, and these aging eyes really appreciate the larger screen.
whew! it was one hell of a birthday, amirite? delicious dinner. quality time with the ones i love the most in the whole wide world. super awesome presents. tons of sweet birthday online messages from friends and family. and the most amazing, thoughtful, touching surprise from my little family that brought a piece of disneyland to me, when it's been months since our last disney fix and i've missed it so much.
at the risk of sounding cliche and basic as hell...i am one lucky, blessed girl.
uh...i'm staring 50 in the face at this point. i guess i've lost the right to refer to myself as "girl" forever, huh? whatever. i don't care.