Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dada's 40th birthday

Almost caught up with blogging! This was another summer trip -- for Dada's 40th birthday. BT's work has made it difficult to plan things in advance. Usually I have to just go ahead and plan something, and hope it works out for him, or we have been planning things totally last minute. For the weekend of his 40th birthday, there were multiple elements to consider. One -- he couldn't take any extra time off, like the Friday or Monday surrounding the weekend. Two -- we had been invited to two events down in San Diego for the same weekend -- one was inland a bit, and the other near the airport. Three -- it was Comic Con weekend, so many hotels were sold out and those left, no matter how far away from the convention center, had exorbitant prices.

We hemmed and hawed about what to do. I kept looking at hotels, and was surprised when two weeks before our trip some rooms all of the sudden popped up at a place I have been wanting to stay at. Actually, it is a place I knew of from when I lived in San Diego, but seems to have reinvented itself in recent years. Growing up, the Rancho Bernardo Inn was for wealthy golfers. It was a special thing for my parents to go to any event there. It was most definitely not a place for kids. Well, that seems to have changed. A lot of popular southern California bloggers I follow started staying there and promoting the place (just for the record -- they were comped, I was not, lol). All of the sudden, kids are the focus -- there is a kids club, a summer fun package,

Summer package includes free meals for kids, free golf at putting range, a mini golf course, scavenger hunt with prize, movie at the pool in the evening, buckets with toys for each kid, and other freebies.
a "s'mores and snores" package,

S'mores and snores includes the use of a pop up tent and sleeping bags, and then baggies with s'more ingredients you can take to several locations at the resort to make, and an animal and glow sticks to keep.
kids eat free promos, etc.

The kids loooove room service after this summer
I was so excited to stay there, and booked our room immediately.

Ok -- now we had a place to stay. How to work out other elements -- getting BT there, celebrating his birthday (which was on the Friday of that weekend) but also participating in the other activities we had been invited to, and avoiding Comic Con. I decided I would still drive down on Friday to spend some time at the hotel with the kids and avoid traffic (our use of the T word, "traffic," was an entity onto itself that weekend -- every plan we discussed included some mention of the T word and how to avoid it). BT drove from work to a nearby train station, and took the Amtrak down to San Diego. We met him at the train station with a sign Hank made, birthday cake shaped glasses, and noisemakers.

This added a fun unexpected element to celebrating him that day. Afterwards we went to a brewery, of course -- you can't take a beer guy to San Diego on his 40th birthday and not let him partake.

Are we having fun yet?
Getting back to the room, BT saw one of the reasons I wanted to get down there early -- we set up some decorations in the room to wish him a Happy Birthday. I got stuck on this lumberjack theme in relation to knowing we would have a tent in the room, so that's what we did.

Purchased wood print fabric. Banner in fire colors purchased on clearance at Michaels. Pool noodle cut up and wrapped in wood print wrapping paper to make logs, and there is a Mason jar with tissue paper flames that has a battery powered tea light in it to represent a campfire.
The red solo cup battery powered lights are from Dollar Tree -- they also helped guide the theme. Plastic hatchet from the kids' dress up box (firefighter costume), and my co-worker helped give the squirrel ornament suspenders. I also brought suspenders and knit hats for the kids to wear, but too hot.

Another "figuring out" element was finding a special place to get a cake. There was a nearby bakery I vaguely remembered which worked well for a birthday cheesecake, breakfast danishes, and cookies for one of the events we went to.

Are we having fun YET?

Rancho Bernardo Inn has dozens of beautiful fountains.
Saturday we played at the pool and did some of the activities, then off to another brewery and one of the parties. There we saw this gorgeous penny wall -- so much creativity, and great location.

You can read more about the penny wall here.

Just one more activity to figure out. My high school friends, twin sisters, had flown in for the weekend to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Their mom had rented a vacation house for them that was sorta downtown, but not where Comic Con was taking place. They had invited those of us on Facebook down to the house for an afternoon of swimming and a barbeque. Most of us haven't seen each other in 20 years! Well, I knew I would never hear the end of it if I dragged BT to this event (on my birthday weekend!), so I thought and figured out an alternative. I let the girls know I would come with just the kids (they had kids as well, so it was cool -- and kids always give you an excuse to duck away if the conversation gets awkward, am I right?), but we would need to be there a little early so we could leave early and beat the Comic Con traffic (there's the T word again). Since I would be taking the truck, and for safety purposes, BT could Uber from the hotel and go to -- more breweries, of course. He was happy with this idea, and had a great time. I was glad to get to the reunion house early to connect with the people there before the whole group got there. Granted, it was super awkward as the kids wanted to get in the pool as soon as we got there, so 15 minutes after greeting people I haven't seen in forever, I am standing there in my swimsuit. Everything worked out great (and we brought good cookies, remember?), and I patted myself on the back for some expert planning.

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