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.
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!)