Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Birthday Surprise!

This smile never left my face!

I barely know where to begin. But my birthday was A-mazing! I loved it all. It had mostly lows--except that it came to an end.

Here's how it all went down...

Jeff left at 10a to go to Enid for a special trip for Pop (step dad) and also to take the kids so they could play with Enid grandparents for a few days while we were away. While he was gone, he'd scheduled me a massage, lunch with my dad and my grandma, and an hour at the race tracks for go-carts for me and my friends. There were about 9 of us or so and we had a blast. I don't have pictures yet from that (but there were some taken). I had an absolute blast. I (randomly) got the fastest car he had and I was killing people. In one race I lapped my friend Kara 4 times! I asked the guy if I was in the fastest car and he said, "yes, but I have never seen it go that fast"--nothing could have made me happier at that moment! I have this thing about going fast! :)

Anyway, I got some cards and flowers and phone calls and emails and such from friends and family. And my mom and dad got me a massage gift certificate and some money too. Really sweet and lots of fun!

Jeff made it back from Enid and we left to start the surprise trip that I didn't know any details of. So we ended up in Broken Arrow, OK at a B&B named Stone Creek. It was the most fantastic place ever! I loved it. The hospitality was phenomenal, the food was great, and the cabin was fantastic! There wasn't anything I didn't love about it, but I will say that I couldn't stop talking about the sheets at this place for days. They were chenille/plush heaven-sent goodness. I now know what I want for Christmas...these sheets (and maybe another night at the cabin :)). The only thing the slightest bit negative was the horrible weather we had that night so we couldn’t enjoy the hanging bed outside to watch the stars! Check out the website for pics of the place. We also had reservations at my favorite restaurant in the WHOLE world (Shogun Tulsa). It was a great experience and the food did not disappoint, but it never has...
We got up and had our breakfast that was really good and then got dressed and got in the car and headed to Wichita. On the way we ate at Dairy Queen, complete with chocolate dipped cone & Butterfinger blizzards! On the way there Jeff is telling me a few details, one of which, a Castle was in store for our sleeping quarters that night! I was so excited. The Castle Inn Riverside is where we headed to drop off our things. It was really neat.
The place is a historic landmark (nationally and locally) and so it was a crazy with details and fun things and history. We stayed in one of the two biggest rooms and it was fun. This was on the roof of the castle
What is a castle without a gargoyle?

This is actually at the Exploration Place but it was fun to sit in the King/Queen chairs with another castle behind us.

After we dropped off our things we went to The Exploration Place and that was fun. There were several things broken/not working and one entire exhibit closed but it was fun and it was free! (There was a RiverFest event going on that lasted for 2 weeks and that was part of it).
There were, however, lots of other things we ended up playing with! This is a balance machine/timer. I had none, and Jeff was above average with close to 3 seconds. I was lucky to get .64 seconds without it falling This was so cool. My kids would have loved it because they love bubbles so much! You were INSIDE a bubble. Such an easy, yet very creative concept for kids. I think I was the oldest one to enjoy it (by actually doing it). Then we walked around outside where there is a beautiful new bridge, and this Indian statue and a ring of fire. It was a gorgeous day out! I was being silly. It was so fun! I could let go of being “mom” for a little bit and acted like a kid myself! I made Jeff pose like this because I thought it was funny!
After we played around some more and explored some more of the city, we went to eat. We found a place called Scotch & Sirloin and it was pretty good. I got a birthday picture and a piece of cake (Snickers Cheesecake that Jeff ate). It was a Polaroid so I don’t actually have it for the post. We ate dinner SOOO late every night and stayed up way too late enjoying each other’s company and runnin’ around town, but we had a blast!
Friday we slept in till the lady called us down for breakfast (about 9:15) and we ate a “hoity-toity” breakfast. Then we got dressed and ready for the day and packed up our things. We went to our new hotel to drop off my breast milk we’d been carting around with us (and stored every place we went in a freezer). Then we went to Botanica. It was so pretty. I loved the colors and the fragrances and the weather was again amazing! Jeff took lots and lots of really great pictures with our camera.

I almost fell in that little creek while he was taking this picture! We stayed at the gardens for a little over an hour and then left to go to the Wichita Art Museum and had a ton of fun! I love art museums. I really like the Realism Collection that was there. I love abstract art too and really colorful things like this glass work by Karg. Umm….seriously this was amazing. I was laying on a floor for the second floor which also was the ceiling for the first floor FULL of blown glass by Rollin Karg. The chandelier was also done by him. Can you imagine that? It was enormous and a bit over-the-top crazy, but wonderful at the same time! I bet it was about 15 feet long!
This is a “painting” I made of Jeff on a Zen board in the museum store!

We went to eat a cool place (that we forgot to take a pic of) called TJ’s Burger House. It was awesome. Probably the best burger to ever cross my lips! They were huge too!

From there we were very excited at the opportunity to go see Karg’s Art Glass shop about 15 minutes from Wichita. It was hard to find, but we had a lot of fun there. We left empty handed although we both really wanted to buy a piece. Everything we loved was just too expensive after a weekend getaway like we were in the midst of. Maybe next time!
The shop had thousands of pieces and they were all fantastic.We got to go out in the “studio” to watch them blow glass. It was really neat. It is such a detailed thing and takes forever! We were out there for 30 minutes and not sure when they would have finished. But it was cool to see.

From Karg’s we left to go back to The Hotel at Old Town and check in. It was a cool old hotel in the heart of downtown Wichita. There were bars and restaurants all around (that partied late late into the night). All of our rooms (each different place) had Jacuzzi’s in the rooms, but this one was like a pool it was so big! We were the corner room on the top floor. It was a fantastic view. And the room was HUGE! The biggest hotel room I think I have ever stayed in. It was the King Suite. And I felt like a Queen. We stayed and watched TV for a little bit and I started my new book (the last of the Restoration Series) Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock (my favorite).

Then we headed off to the Old Cowtown Museum. I wasn’t excited about this until we got there and I really enjoyed it. It was fun. We walked around 47 buildings in this “town” of what Wichita was like in the early 1900’s. It was very neat. Our camera batteries were low and so I don’t have many pics from there, but here is Jeff on the old railway. After we left there it was late and we went to find the Warren Theater. We finally go there and realized we hadn’t eaten dinner and if we went to a movie at that time we wouldn’t have the opportunity to eat afterwards because most things would be closed. But it put us close to PF Chang’s and even though our goal was to avoid places we could eat in Oklahoma, we ate there anyway. It was very good. (Albeit expensive). They used to do the Great Wall of Chocolate for birthdays which was the deciding factor to eat there. When we got there our waiter informed us that they had these new desserts that I could choose one of for my birthday. I was so disappointed in that. We were going to get the Wall anyway in addition to the little shot glass cake. However, our waiter took FOREVER to come back. When he did he said they were OUT.OF.CHOCOLATE.WALLS. I was so bummed about that. But he surprised us with 3 little shot glasses of mini chocolate walls. I was happy again! It wasn’t quite the same, but good enough. Then about 15 minutes later, he came back and said, “as if you aren’t spoiled enough” and handed us THREE more. We got 6 shot glasses of chocolate walls. Then the manager came up to us and apologized emphatically and told us to go ahead and take the shot glasses home with us (we were so STUFFED). We ate all but 2 and took those two with us. They are in my refrigerator now J we’ll have them later!

It was a great night’s sleep after a very full belly. We got up and had a great breakfast again this morning (at 10:45a). Then got packed up and headed out after one quick stop at the Farmer’s Market that popped up overnight outside our hotel. We bought some dried pasta that was fantastic and I can’t wait to make it! We drove home and Jeff went straight to “work” with all our graduates and events this weekend. (*and next).

The greatest birthday ever! I am spoiled, blessed, and very grateful for my hubby and for my 28 years on earth.


jeff said...

'Pop' by the way got the 'Pride of the Plainsmen' Award which is a big deal and we were so excited for him!!

I LOVE YOU Honey!! You're the best...

hyperactivelu said...

Looks like a fantastic time! So jealous! Happy Late Birthday!

Maria said...

Looks like an awesome trip. I have to admit, I am jealous too. I'm quite sure Kevin would never plan something like that... much less pull it off. Oh well.

khowze said...

sounds like a great time! In my defense, I don't like to go was more of a scenic drive for me!

Marci said...

Sounds like an amazing trip!! :)