Well, my birthday’s coming up. It’s tomorrow… in Australia. And then I will celebrate it until it’s over in America. You can’t stop me. I’ve been thinking a lot about past birthdays lately. How they are very definitive days to remember a year by… I guess that’s what they’re for…
Where I was on May 16th throughout my twenties [thus far]…
I was in Thailand. A very simple day. I was actually there with a group from my church, we were teaching English in the younger schools around Chiang Rai [no, I don’t know much Thai]. I talked to my mom on the phone and she told me how dad had woken up and turned to her in bed and said, “Our baby’s 20 years old.” It made me cry. The legal drinking age is 20 in Thailand… but I was there with a church group. So I took a beer from the mini-fridge in the hotel we were staying in that night. Drank it by myself, danced, wrote, went to sleep. Good birthday.
Competed in an Adventure Race. There was running, mountain biking, kayaking, orienteering… it was all a blast. Our team finished in just over 16 hours [my team being Jessica Studinka, Amy Vessels and some guy I cannot remember] and we won! We won on my birthday; it was great! The teams started a campfire to celebrate, but I drove three hours home to say goodbye to my family before I left for Yosemite the next day. I arrived at home at midnight, mom was still awake. She went and woke Ryland and Dad up and we had my birthday dinner – ribs… they were delicious. Dad and Ryland were zombies. I opened gifts, there was cake, they sang “Happy Birthday” then Dad and Ry went to bed and Mom and I ate cake [homemade: chocolate with chocolate – the best]. Left for Yosemite at 6am the next day with my friend, Jolene Pool.
Celebrated my last day as Production Intern at Alpinist Magazine. It was a good day, but I realized I was a lot more upset about leaving than I thought I would be. Around 3pm, Dan Long and Erik Lambert gave me a birthday card containing the first clue to the most amazing scavenger hunt ever. Clues that led me all over Jackson Hole, including Anna Davis’ house, and then to Trio for a bit of a surprise dinner party. Then to the Wort, where I think Wayne Roberts and Anna had some kind of drinking contest – unclear. Then back to my scavenger hunt, which led me to Dan and Erik’s. We played a drunken game of Four-Square that ended up being too embarrassing to talk about. The night ended with some uber-hilarious stories and face-hurting smiles. Great birthday.
This was the year of the Week-Long-Rachel’s-Birthday-Celebration so I have a hard time remembering the actual May 16th. Let’s see… I believe Dan Long kicked this one off with a BBQ at his place. The amazing night ended with a Four-Square game that put the previous year’s to shame. “Old School Rules.” Oh, it was precious. Then [on my real birthday, I believe] there was dinner at Trio with loved ones, of course. Delicious as always. Then the next night, I believe there was a No-Pants Party. Mom, Dad, Ryland, please forgive me. It was one of the better parties the Swamp House had ever seen [in my humble opinion]. People checked their pants at the door, we danced, we played flip cup, Four-Square, people I didn’t even met showed up, I loved it. Amazing birthday week.
[And I will spare you from the No-Pants Party pictures because: a) I haven’t gotten waivers signed from all the Pantlesses, b) my mom might cry and c) I’m almost 24 now… look how responsible I am…. even though the pictures from that night are amazingly hilarious.]
This year I’ll be keeping my pants on and probably won’t play Four-Square… I know, so boring. I’m getting old, folks. Tonight I’ll celebrate with the Parkers… I hear Bink’s got some performance she’s been practicing for weeks. She won’t let me watch her, but I keep hearing “Super Freak” playing from her room.
Then tonight, I will sleep in my bed with all the presents that people have sent so I can open them up as SOON as I wake up. You think I’m kidding. Then off to Sydney to hang out with my favorites, the Andersons. I’m sure there will be soccer, coffee, bookstores, etc. Then to a new Indian restaurant for birthday dinner with Mark and Tamsin. To bed early because the next morning Mark and I are running the Sydney Half Marathon. Woot! Should be great times, so so excited about spending the day with the Andersons…. though I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t say that part of me wishes I were going to Trio for dinner with the Swampies and Co. and family and then Momma’s chocolate cake and, of course, Four-Square.