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There were clues over the past couple of months, but nothing definitive to tell me that we were not going to Boston to a tech conference over Easter and the weekend before my 30th birthday. I suppose the audacity of my husband booking a tech conference for that particular reason should have been all the definitive proof I needed, but it wasn't. I could have completely spoiled it by simply looking at Chris' email on the tablet, but I wasn't going to do that. When my suspicions grew, I resigned to be surprised. I was still afraid that if I said anything, I would find out it was all in my head--wishful thinking--and that in fact, we were headed to Boston.

On the way to the airport, I was driving separately from Chris and Jonah as we were dropping my car off to have the timing belt replaced while we were out of town. Chris said Jonah suddenly piped up with, "mommy knows about Brandy." At which Chris' heart jumped into his throat as he asked, "what does mommy know about Brandy?" "That she's the tickle monster." I'm sure there was an audible sigh of relief. Jonah went on to say, "we should go visit Brandy some time." Chris said, "can you keep a secret, Jonah? We're actually going to see Brandy right now as a surprise to mommy." *in a verge-of-tears tone* "But I want to go to Boston! We can visit Brandy tomorrow." Poor kid, but he was easily persuaded to get on board with the plan.

When we arrived at the airport and checked in, my suspicions were confirmed as the lady checking our bags said, "going to San Francisco?" in confirmation of our travel plans. Chris shot me a side eye and said, "happy birthday" and I answered with a quiet "I knew it."

The trip out was mostly uneventful, except for a 45 minute delay on the runway in Chicago. I swear, every single time I fly through Chicago, the weather is freaking awful! We finally got into SFO at about 1:15am Pacific time (meaning that Jonah was now up past 4am Central time by the time we got him in bed that night/morning, although he did sleep most of the second leg of the flight). We chatted with Brandy and Michael for a bit, then everyone was unable to keep their eyes open much longer and we all turned in for the night.

We got up late and had lunch at Gracie's Family Barbecue. Then we took Jonah to a neat park with a huge slide and peacocks roaming the grounds. He had lots of fun, even when some teenagers parked themselves at the top of the slide and tried to scare all the younger ones. Jonah just said they were silly and went anyway. Way to go, fearless. We fed him some pizza for dinner and took him over to some friends of Brandy who had a little girl a bit older than Jonah for him to play with for the evening while we went to Japantown to get some sushi and then to the Filmore to a Yonder Mountain String Band show where I stood enjoying the music (though feeling spoiled by the number of truly fantastic sound techs in Nashville and weirded out by the fact that the last time I saw YMSB was on a tiny stage in a dive bar in Nashville and here they were at the Filmore with Intellibeam lights and stuff) and contemplating life, the universe and everything. Good times. :)

Sunday was an awesome lazy Easter. We got up and Brandy made a yummy breakfast of biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. We colored Easter eggs and hid some for Jonah, then made deviled eggs out of them for dinner. Also for dinner, she made an awesome pork tenderloin with a peppercorn crust and an soy sauce/sesame oil marinade which she then turned into sort of a gravy, horseradish potatoes au gratin and steamed broccoli, then from scratch banana pudding for dessert. Another of her friends with a little girl came over for dinner, but Jonah wasn't as nice this time while playing. He chased her and pulled her hair. Honestly, I think he was flirting and that's the first time we've had to deal with that. When I questioned him about why he was being mean, he said because he liked her. Awwww... but NO! He learned the importance of an apology that night even if I had to force it out of him.

Monday, Brandy woke up sick. Boo-urns! For her especially. :/ Eventually, Chris and I decided that perhaps getting out of the house so she could rest and feel better and not feel guilty about us being there was probably the best option. We borrowed their rental car and went up to Santa Rosa to Russian River Brewery, but only after stopping off at an In & Out Burger on the way. We'd never been to one, but we did our research on the unlisted menu and ordered what we thought would be good. It was okay. Definitely no Fat Mo's. Maybe not even a Five Guys. But I'm glad I tried it! It's just something you have to do. Next I guess I have to ride a streetcar. Then we proceeded on to Santa Rosa and spent way too much money on beer, coming home with a full case to attempt to check in a wine shipper on the return flight the next day (which worked beautifully, by the way. Thank you Southwest for the 2 free checked bags!)

Tuesday, my 30th birthday, we got up early and rode in with Brandy on her morning commute to work on the ferry. She accompanied us to the BART and went on her way to work as we headed to SFO to head home. Luckily, nothing got delayed. We watched the weather with great anxiety and sure enough, we flew straight through that storm that turned into devastation for the Southeast when it was probably around Arkansas, if I had to guess. When we landed, we had a couple of hours before the first thunderstorms would hit Nashville. On the flight to LAX from SFO, apparently Owen Wilson's brother was aboard, according to the flight attendants who were fawning over him. I have no idea who he is or what he looks like though, even though I looked straight at him when I took Jonah to the bathroom as he was back there talking to them. *shrug*

We had a lot of fun and it was beyond fantastic to spend Easter and my birthday weekend with Brandy instead of stuck in a city I've never really thought about visiting while Chris was at a tech conference. :) Not that I wouldn't have found awesome things to do in Boston, but it just wasn't exactly my first choice of how to spend my 30th birthday. Also, having to buy Jonah a seat is totally worth having a row of seats to ourselves.

I'm still not considering my birthday done. I mean, it is, but there are still some things I want to do in celebration. For one, I want to finish the tattoo that I started when I was 18 (it's been an outline for 12 years). Two, I'd like to go skydiving (random, I know, but there it is). Three, I still want to do my Mad Tea Party, but I might wait until next year. Spring seems like the time to do it, really and this spring might as well be spent. I could totally pull a Disney and celebrate my birthday all year. ;)

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mellymell

May 2011

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