Big Birthday Weekend

First, thanks to all for the birthday wishes and cards, it was truly a wonderful weekend spent with my best friend in the whole world. Friday I tried to skip out of work a little early, and I guess I technically accomplished that when I signed off at 4:00pm. I made my way home where Jen and I spent the evening with pizza and video games, which on the surface may not seem like it's all that different from any other Friday, but we got a one hour earlier start which meant more game play.

Saturday morning was spent sipping Caroline's with a little coffee over Dutch Baby. Over breakfast, Jen, who was about to burst with excitement, presented me with my birthday present. I can usually always count on one traditional gift, one she has gotten for me on every birthday prior to this, my Hallmark Star Trek ornament. Although I get these every year, I am still always tickled to open them up. This year's ornament is the Reliant from Wrath of Kahn (KAAAAAAAAAAHN). In addition, she also got me a BSG WTF? (what the frak) t-shirt and an army of Cylon centurion action figures (not dolls...action figures) from ThinkGeek. To quote Jen, "one cylon does not an army make", so I got two (one made it out of the packaging and is currently securing my desk at the office). It was geeky fun and I love this woman for getting me toys. After breakfast, I spent a few hours in the garage preparing some turning projects for Sunday before we ventured into town. We needed to complete a bit of light shopping before the highlight of the evening, sushi. I am a sushi junkie, and anyone who knows me is well aware this. I often get my fixes at a local Asian buffet. While not what I would call quality sushi (more of a carrier for soy sauce), it tides me over until those special occasions when I get the good stuff. On the recommendation of trusted co-worker, I made reservations for Jen and myself and our two good friends Dave and Kelly at a new Japanese hibachi/sushi restaurant called Sakura in Toledo. We checked out the menu, and while the hibachi sounded like fun and certainly looked tasty, the sushi menu trumped all (plus the other group of people who were seated with us ordered from the hibachi, so we got a fun show from the chef). I had Jen order an appetizer roll, the Spider roll, which was not only served at the perfect temperature, but was a wonderful combination of flavors. We ordered the "Sushi for Two" which was 16 pieces of sushi/sashimi and 3 rolls. I forgot about the ick factor Jen has with large chunks of raw fish, but the rolls were all fully cooked and she seemed to enjoy those (she is such a trooper for having sushi with me, I know it's not her favorite, but she never complained once...I love that girl). The presentation was spectacular, with rich and vivid reds in the tuna and salmon. The pieces were enormous and almost bested me...it was all I could do to contain the food-tourettes. After dinner, all four of us headed out to the Toledo Zoo for the opening weekend of the Lights Before Christmas. While it was a very cold evening, I was still shocked at the lack of crowds (and very pleased). While Christmas before Thanksgiving generally goes against my principles, I can make an exception in this case as we were able to wander about the Zoo, sipping hot Cocoa and singing carols, with the park practically to ourselves. This is much better then years past where we would wait for 30 minutes just for a parking spot. We bid Dave and Kelly a good night and headed home. I think the adventures and excitement of the day took it's toll and both Jen and I, as we were asleep not long after walking in the house.

On Sunday I spent most of the afternoon at the lathe working diligently on Christmas presents, and spent the rest of the evening playing more Champions with Jen (the game has excellent replay value). A weekend with my best friend playing games and having fun, that's all the birthday present I ever need....