Tuesday, January 13, 2009

big house in the little woods

Originally our idea had been to go camping for AK's 33rd birthday, but as seasoned camper Christine pointed out, you can't camp anywhere north of Mexico in January. So we found ourselves at a "cabin" in Idyllwild that featured cable TV, a jacuzzi tub, a fireplace, a kitchen island, two garbage disposals, a pool table, and a small collection of creepy porcelain dolls, none of which I have at home.

Some members of our crew schlepped up Rock Band and Guitar Hero too, and whenever there was a debate over whether a Boggle word was a real word, Amy looked it up on her BlackBerry. So you can't really say we got away from it all, but I think it's safe to say we had fun.

Some highlights:

The decor. Oh, the decor. It was sort of B&B meets chainsaw.

A bottle of Riesling that AK and Pedro found in town. As any discerning wine connoisseur knows, all the best vintages come in bottles shaped like pets.

Veggie chili in the super-deluxe kitchen.

Pedro's specialty drink: tequila plus Squirt plus salt plus a funky pre-seasoned clay mug called a cantarito. Stephen kept calling the mugs "camarones," which means shrimp. The drink did not taste like shrimp; in fact, it tasted better than the cat wine.

Games galore. Christine and Jody did their best Bush frowny face using Stephen's Bush-as-pinup-girl playing cards as a model. (One more week! One more week!)

Hiking the Deer Springs Trail. So what if the route was a little confusing? And snowy.

Making a human totem pole/cheerleading. (I did attend cheer camp in Idyllwild the summer before my junior year in high school. So maybe something was coming full circle. I'm proud to say that this time around, I did not come home with the world's worst '90s-slouch-sock tan.)

Looking chummy despite some throwing of snowballs.

Birthday celebrations! Check out the portrait of AK by Pedro.

Amazing food cooked by people who own their own whipped-cream-making canisters. Amy looks a little stressed out here because she was having some doubts about her potato-and-greens Indian dish made with SPICES SHE GROUND HERSELF. Her doubts were not warranted.

More birthday celebrations!

Discovering that the local antique store carried our favorite childhood toy. (Some people might be bummed to see toys they'd played with billed as antiques. But AK and I were just like, "Snoopy! Awesome! Make me a snow cone!")

Reserved parking for squirrel lovers. Kimberly had just been talking about her dream to have a little squirrel ride around in her pocket, so I think she qualified.

And of course Rock Band. Even when it quickly dissolved into a band meeting.

Lots and lots of Rock Band. (Thanks, Christine, for the video. Thanks to everyone for a great time!)


Michael DeAntonio said...

It looks like you guys had fun. I wish I was invited.

Tracy Lynn said...

Happy birthday to AK!

Peter Varvel said...

Wow! It looks like it was the perfect birthday weekend getaway.
Happy Belated to AK!
And Wow: The Sequel! to Pedro's artistic abilities - does he do that for a living?

Cheryl said...

MV: Well, if you leave lots of comments about how awesome AK is, she might put you on her list for next year.

TL: I'll pass on the b-day wishes.

PV: Thanks! Pedro actually works for a non-arts nonprofit, but I agree he's got skills to spare. I think he might have a career switch on the brain.

Claire said...

Happy birthday, AK!

those videos are awesome. I need to check out some photos of my fam trying rock band at xmas.

Cheryl said...

Video doesn't lie. As Jody said after watching them, "When we were playing, I thought we were pretty great. But now I KNOW we rocked."

Ms. Q said...

About five minutes after the second video, I entered that room in my fuzzy bathrobe and pink sock-slippers. I am grateful that video has not made it onto YouTube.

Laura and the family said...

Awesome pictures! Sounds like it was a worth birthday trip for AK! Please give her our belated birthday wish.

Laura and the family said...

(P.S. besides this, I mentioned your name in my blog, "The Next Writer.")

Cheryl said...

Ms. Q: AK did say, re: one of the videos, "Look, there's Amy crutching by in the background!"

L: Thanks, I'll check it out!