Thursday, December 22, 2005

Left Out

i know, i know you all have been waiting for me to post something more about david's birthday weekend. well okay maybe hearing david, "when are you going to write about the weekend on your blog?" a few times finally got my fingers typing.

here's the back story that led up to the weekend.

about 1 year ago ...
i really wanted to find a way to surprise david. what could i get him that would be perfect for a 40th birthday present. you see david is a collector of all things Kaiju (Kaiju is Monster in Japanese, i think). he has tons of godzilla, ultraman, and other Kaiju-like models and toys.

here's a picture of some of the toys.
Kaiju Group Shot

our garage is filled with lots more (lots is truly an understatement).

i honestly wanted to get him something other than another Kaiju toy. “perhaps i'll get him an iPod?”

about 6 months ago ...
david, "i really want to get an iPod." keith, "great you ruined my surprise. i was going to get you an iPod for your birthday." david, "sorry honey. i'll wait so that you can still get it for me." i was actually shocked that he thought of getting one on his own. david is a bit of a technophobe.

less than 6 months ago ...
could i possibily pull off a surprise party? i really wanted to take david to vegas to see "O". maybe i could organize a bunch of friends from nj/ny to meet us there without david knowing? ken knew someone in vegas that could get us into "O" and maybe free tickets to another show with seats in the production area. well that fell through too. it wound up being to costly.

about a month before the party weekend ...
ken, eugene, david and i thought a weekend trip to the russian river would be a great idea. it would definitely be more economical and people could join us for a day or the weekend since it was close. would it still be possible to throw in some element of surprise? i tried to get a close Kaiju-collecting-friend from ny to come as a surprise but he had plans that he couldn't change. so i finally gave up on trying to surprise david.

after lots of research (because i wouldn't be me without beating the research to a fine pulp) i landed on a nice weekend rental in guerneville that allowed dogs, wine tasting and dinner on saturday at the river's end restaurant that overlooks the ocean. some friends were going to spend the weekend and others would meet us on saturday for winery hoping and dinner.

a week before david's birthday
i order david's nano iPod from the apple site and have it engraved with "Your Very Own uPod! Happy 40th! xo ... Keith". nope "uPod" was not a typo. you see i have had an iPod for a few years. it was supposed to be for both of us. it was clear after a few months that it was really mine based on the music collection. lots of female singers that to david all sound like tori amos. david wisely called it a uPod!

november 28th - david's birthday
david's nano hadn't arrived in time. so the day before i cut out a picture of a nano with the engraving on the back and put it in his birthday card. he was surprised and laughed when he saw the engraving. hurray finally a successful surprise!

the finale - the party weekend ...
we spent the morning having brunch and shopping at trader joes and brand new safeway in alameda (we love alameda). david, trixie, and i hit the road (sans soft crate) around 1:00 p.m. and after lots of traffic arrived in guerenville around 4:30 p.m. i prepared dinner using the easiest pasta casarole recipe we got from trader joes. and then david and i relaxed in the hot tub before brian, ken, eugene, haley (ken and eugene's dog), and dan (our good friend from nj/ny) arrived.

we drank lots of wine and stayed up until 3:30 a.m., which if you know me was quite a miracle since i usually hit the hay no later than 11:00 (11:00 is unusual even). oh, and i had a breakthrough. i was in the hot tub with others and i was 'au natural'. mind you it was pitch dark except for the blue glow of the hot tub light. it will probably take wild horses to drag me in naked in daylight.

we all go up around 9:00 (eugene and i were up earlier). i made scrambled eggs, bacon and english muffins. at around 11:00 lisel arrived and we headed out to meet max and desiree at ferrari-carano in healdsburg. what a beautiful vineyard! what a pretentious wine tasting. at least it started out that way. it turned out that the guy that was pouring had a very, very dry sense of humor.

we then headed out for lunch at a place i can't remember that had fabulous sandwiches made with good italian deli meats.

it was getting late and we had to be sure to be back at the house to let the dogs have some play time out of their crates. so we decided to go to hop kiln winery and then head home. the atmosphere at was a lot more inviting. so much so that the tasting room forgot to uninvite the fruit flies; they were everywhere. it turned out to be fruit fly season. we had to keep cards on top of our glasses in order to keep them from swimming in wine. it makes sense that there were so many:

winter in wine country + vineyards + rotting grapes = fruit fly heaven

David's 40th - Outside Hop Kiln
the group in front of hop kiln.

all good so far.

fast forward back at the house. david decided to relax in the hot tub before dressing for dinner. keep in mind that there had been wine tasting.

fast forward a bit more to our arrival at the river's end restaurant.

david excuses himself to the bathroom after we are sat in our nice little private room. he comes back to the table peruses the special menu and then excuses himself again. when he returned he looked like a ghost with beads of sweat on his forehead. here's another equation for you:

late night on friday + wine tasting on saturday + soaking in a hot tub + long winding road to the restaurant = you guessed it, car sickness.

max’s hypothesis was that david actually got light-headed and overwhelmed after reading the menu title, "David's 40th Birthday". there it was in print, confirmation that he was over the hill.

David's 40th - River's End Restaurant
david is the stunned looking one next to me (i'm wearing the red shirt) in the dark gray shirt. you can't miss his unnatural pallor.

david insisted that he lay down in the car without company. he tried to come back in after about 20 minutes. but he was still feeling unsteady. our waitress, lichee (yup that was her name), was wonderful and very maternal. she made david a special ginger tea. unfortunately, david came back too soon and the smell of the tea made him nauseous. so back to the car he went.

we felt terrible that david was missing his party and reluctantly ate our appetizers and soup.

some how david managed to pull himself together and came back. his skin looked normal and he was able to have soup, his main course and dessert.

David's 40th - River's End Restaurant
david looking much better.

so we left the restaurant with david in the front seat this time, we hung out back at the house, i went in the hot tub (naked again ... i'm so proud of myself. david passed on the tub), and we all retired relatively early (12:30 a.m.).

we packed up and a few of us went for brunch in guerenville. a group came in as we were ordering to sing christmas carols which was the icing on david's birthday weekend.

so all in all it was a very successful and memorable weekend. now david's 40th is forever immortalized in blogland.

happy 40th honey!

David's 40th - Trixie & David in Guerneville
david and trixie in guerenville.


Blogger Janis said...

Happy Birthday to David! It sounds like you planned a wonderful weekend and it really sounds fun.

9:12 AM  
Blogger riseyp said...

OMG how cool - just all of it!

The story, your research, your handmade surprise, the fun things you did, the photos...

Keep the blog rolling!!

happy 40 (gulp!) David!

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Nels said...

I can SOOOO hear David saying "uPod!" :)

Happy belated to David though. Luckily he was able to recover from the car sickness enough to eat. Whew!

6:49 AM  
Blogger Motel Noir said...

Just a random comment from
a blog surfer and Kaiju-phile,
NEVER underestimate the joy of a new Kaiju or designer toy--
collecting them is a disease, a joy, a link to the primal lens of perception lost in childhood (etc.)

blogger, collector, jack of all trades

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Mike & Nan said...

Sounds like it was quite a weekend. Wish we could have been there. Keith, kudos to you for getting away with only one birthday party for David this year. David, welcome to the 40's club!

6:43 AM  

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