Saturday, July 2, 2011

Turning 40 for Real This Time

And yep, the big day was upon me. Not the birthday year, but the birthday day. Saturday night. June 18. Officially, the cake came out. Two candles. 4 on fire... 0 on fire... I only blew one out to prove I have a boyfriend... (well, actually I married him ten years ago, but I think that still counts).

The party was perfect - a backyard BBQ get together with family - complete with a few of my favourite things:

  • My Family
  • A special performance from two of my nieces as they danced to "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond...just for me!
  • Punching balloons all around
  • Barefoot kids running around chasing each other
  • Riesling... a few glasses at that
  • Christmas lights, patio lanterns, Chinese paper lamps and torch lights all over the backyard
  • My very own PARTY TIME plastic shot-glass-around-the-neck necklace
  • Pinata full of candy and toys for the kids to whack at
  • Pinata full of candy and miniature liquor bottles for the adults to whack at
  • Fire pit surrounded by deck chairs...perfect set up for great chats and lots of laughs all night long
  • Adults eating candy and passing around mini bottles of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (tastes like heaven, burns like hell...)
  • My brother's signature appetizer (my favourite) made from smoked salmon, cream cheese and buckwheat crepes
  • Cheese puffs and salt & vinegar chips (um... actually, don't really remember if there were any...)
  • My Mom's famous lemon cake AND she made two!
  • My sister-in-law's famous chocolate flourless cake!
  • Music... all my favourites, perfect backdrop
  • Sparklers
  • Dancing with Dad to an oldie but goodie
  • A crazy white and red feather hat, wacky green sunglasses and a blue boa, just to remind me that I am 40 and my parent's daughter
  • A light rain and warm, cozy sweaters to keep the chill out
  • Pottery for my collection
  • My very own sparkly, twirly baton with tassels
  • Hugs and kisses from everyone

The best present was that I didn't have to organize anything, decorate anything, cook anything, clean anything or drive myself home. Ah..... bliss.

So, did I feel any older?  My son Paris was my designated driver for the first time ever, so that was kinda weird and wonderful at the same time and yes, while sitting in the back seat I did reflect on the fact that at one time, a long long time ago, he was just learning to walk and now he's driving and that transformation doesn't happen overnight.  But after celebrating my birthday year for six months and 17 days already, the actual day felt a bit like a water station half way through a marathon (not that I have ever run a marathon or plan to, but you get the point, right?).

It was just a day to celebrate all that has been and all that will be. And what a perfect way to do that! And so.... on to the rest of my Turning 40 year. This is when the fun really begins...

Erin & Kevin Wedding Engagement Photography

Some people are just naturals when the camera gets turned towards them. Erin is definitely one of those people and her fiance Kevin complements her well, making them the most photogenic couple I have ever seen together. We spent a sleepy Sunday morning revisiting the Lost Lagoon site where he proposed to her for the second time... and it was like I wasn't even there. Thankfully the lens caught the moment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pop the Glock

Yep, that's right. Time for another 40 birthday party away from home. This time, Vegas!

My friend Rob wanted his "over the hill" party in Vegas, complete with late night blackjack, beer buckets at the pool, 60 oz football beer from Fremont Street and succulent scallops at Mon Ami Gabi. And in true Vegas style, only in the U S of A, he wanted to shoot some guns.

So in the spirit of "doing what I want, when I want and paying for the fun when I'm 41" hubby and I were in. In for Vegas. And not just Vegas, but in for Paris, Vegas. In for football beer. In for beer buckets at the pool (actually we were in for enough beer buckets and chi chi's that our pool bill almost matched our hotel room bill). And of course, we were in for the Uzi, the Glock and the M249 SAW.

Despite being a west coast peace & love kinda gal, I must admit I was actually a bit intrigued and excited about doing something in Vegas worthy of a milestone birthday.  Something I normally wouldn't do at home (not that I wake up every Saturday and hang by the diving board with tropical drinks and beer buckets). And shooting an AK47 sounded more my style than well... getting married at the Elvis chapel or hiring a few hookers for the night or squeezing my body into a teeny-tiny tube dress and 4 inch heels to line up for hours in front of one of the exclusive nightclubs.Wait, let me rethink that.... Na, Elvis would win...

Whatever. Here's the deal. You are greeted at the door with a menu outlining your "gun rental" choices. The World War II Package. The Zombie Package. The Ladies Package (guns painted pink) or for the connoisseur, the Shoot the Wall Package including 11 different machine guns. The one that blew me away (pardon the pun) was the Kids Package complete with a souvenier THE GUN STORE t-shirt. Have these guys not heard of Columbine?

You then head inside the bunker-style concrete building to pick up your ammo and targets and pay before lining up for almost two hours.

I selected the full size AK47 and the Glock 19. And yes, it feels odd to be able to say that as smoothly and easily as mentioning I sipped a cup of chai tea before yoga this morning.

So we all shot our targets and it was loud and noisy and we laughed at ourselves and our big guns and all the ammo shells on the floor. It was quite surreal.

On another note, have you seen the movie It, based on the Stephen King book about a sadistic clown? It was one of the scariest books/movies I have ever read/seen in my life. Let's just say I took great satisfaction in selecting my "Pennywise the clown" target and shooting it dead in the heart multiple times. And yes ladies, I got it dead centre in the "Pennywise package" the crotch... in one shot. (This is when I blow my proverbial smoking gun...)
Turns out I'm quite a steady hand on that Glock. Who knew?

And photos:

Should I pick the Zombie package?

Up-sell and cross-sell: Try a rifle, pistol or shotgun


Accessorize with Ammo


Target Practice

Yep, that's me and Pennywise. A bit blurry...


PS. Dear all future employers and friends. Please disregard above.