I always thought that when Chris turned thirty it would be a
huge party. We’d have a ton of friends
around and maybe even surprise him. But,
having recently moved halfway across the country from most of the people that
we know, it wasn’t like that at all. It
was; however, a great day.
When he woke up on Saturday, at the crack of noon, we scooped up the two girls and headed
down to our primary local diner, The Ranch House. The Ranch House is a nice place with good food
in large portions. We know the owners
and most of the waitresses personally. So it always feels really good when we go there.
We both got our usual and chatted with our waitresses, Lee
Anna & Katie, about what we were up to for the day. They wished Chris a happy birthday and told
him they couldn’t believe that he is thirty and how young he looked. Which of course made me wonder, how old does
thirty look; and if thirty is old – what about thirty five? Well, enough of that. It wasn’t my day now, was it?
Just as we were finishing up, what should we hear, but the
mangled, yet joyful sound of: “Happy, happy birthday baby”, being sung by
owners and staff alike. Yes, much to his
surprise, my blushing hubby was the proud recipient of a candle topped blueberry
muffin. Too sweet.
Kajsa, of course, having not had too many birthdays yet was
blown over by the flaming food and singing ladies. I think she just wakes up everyday wondering
what cool surprises may be lurking around the corner.
We then went home with plans to work around the house, but
first we needed a dip in Chrissy and Shaun’s pool. See, about a month ago, they decided that it
was far too hot to not do something about it. So they bought one of those above ground thingies. All the kids have been playing in it except
for Kajsa. Shaun, being a perceptive and
really nice guy, went out and got some chlorine. So we were about to take Kajsa on her very
first adventure into water. She’s always
watched us anxiously, so were very excited. Can’t you just feel it?
We all got changed into our suits and headed next door for
our dip. Chris got in. I got in. Maya handed Kajsa to Chris. Maya
got in. Huge rain drops began to fall,
as the sky turned dark and the wind started raging. I got out. Maya got out. Chris handed Kajsa to Maya. Chris got out. All people, dogs, chickens and goats began
running around like keystone cops in a frantic attempt to find shelter. Yes, monsoon season is just another surprising
element of life in Arizona.
It was time to reassess. Earlier that week, Maya had made plans to spend the night at her friend
Emily’s house in Prescott. So Chris and I figured, what the heck. We’d go check out the pool at the YMCA. We’ve been members for a while, as they have
a great rock climbing wall and gymnastics classes for Kajsa. We gathered our supplies, jumped in the car
and headed north. The soundtrack for the
ride was a couple of CD’s that Maya had gotten for Chris as birthday presents –
Rage Against The Machine & A Perfect Circle. Chris and I do not have remotely similar
musical taste, but who cared…we were going to the pool.
After a couple of wrong turns, we eventually located Emily’s
house. I hopped out to make sure that
Emily’s mom didn’t look like a mother stabbin’ father raper, which of course
she did not. She’s a nurse at the local
hospital and seemed quite able and willing to care for my 13 year old baby for
a night. Off we went, to the dulcet
murmuring from the back seat of, “Maya is?”
To the pool, to the pool. We arrived, jumped out and practically skipped inside. Once in the locker room, I got all of my
stuff out and crammed into one of those teensy lockers before realizing that
I’d left the swim diapers in the van. So
back I go, out to the hallway, where I stand outside of the locker room door
calling, “Chri is, oh Chri is.” A couple
of minutes later, freshly dressed Chris shows up at the door.
“Um, I forgot the swim diaper.”
“Well, go get it.”
“You drove, so I need
“I don’t have the keys.”
“I locked the doors.”
A bit more pausing
So I walked over to the counter to purchase a swimmy diaper,
while Chris wandered out to the van in hopes that he’d left a window down. As I stood there, Little Mermaid diaper in one
hand, Kajsa’s little hand in the other & two very large bags slung over my
shoulder – I gave myself a silent congratulation at having purchased AAA
earlier this year. As I figured it, we
could swim now and worry later. About
that time Chris came in shrugging and told me that the car hadn’t actually been
locked. Perhaps it was a mixed blessing
that I forgot the diaper, after all.
All that cleared up, we started the changing process once
more. We emerged from the locker room to
Chris’ smiling face. He just couldn’t
wait for Kajsa to play in the water for the first time. I handed her down to him and descended the
ladder. After a few short minutes of
intense clinging, Kajsa relaxed and began to enjoy her time. She played a giggly game of fetch with her
daddy and a quarter.
About the time that her lips began to turn blue, we decided
to head over to the warmer pool. It was
shallower, and had a nice slope for her to walk upon. She played under the giant mushroom waterfall
and eyed the two-story slide curiously. I
decided to brave it. I went down the
serpentining slide. Then Chris did, too. Upon his return he announced that he was going to take the girly down
the big slide. “Great,” I thought, “Now
we’ll never get her to come back to the pool.”
They climbed the stairs and gave me a pair of big toothy
grins. It was beyond my control and now
out of my line of sight. The seconds
stretched as I waited hopefully. Then
around the bend came those same gorgeous beaming faces. Oh, thank goodness! We played for a while longer. And I must say that Kajsa really did take to
it like a fish to water.
After about 2 hours we got out and dressed and went out to
dinner. Now, Chris and I have typically
gone to the Prescott Brewing Company when we dine out, as we don’t really know
of anyplace else. But, Chris had
recently driven past a place that he wanted to try out. It was a Pan-Asian restaurant named The
Monsoon Café. We stepped into the dining room and the first thing I noticed was
the décor. It was tres chic…red outdoor
lighting, nifty bamboo poles emerging from rock gardens beginning half way up
the wall, and an uber hip twenty something crowd. We may very well have not been cool enough,
but that wasn’t about to stop us.
The menu was fantastic. Not only was there a tofu option to every entrée, but they had a
separate menu just for sushi. Now that’s
not something you see just every day in the desert. We ordered our drinks and some great
sushi. I had a vegetarian selection that
was simply delectable and Chris ordered the ‘Arizona’. It was your standard nori roll with Salmon,
prickly pear cactus, jalapeno, avocado and cream cheese. There was much smacking and yummmm’ing to be
found in our little corner. We had a
wonderful time and can’t wait until we next get to visit this fantastic and
surprisingly affordable eatery.
We enjoyed a nice drive home to our little house in the
hills, during which we expressed our mutual gratitude for such an excellent
Kajsa was asleep by the time we got home and we weren’t far
I think Chris’ thirties just might be alright.
Happy, happy birthday, baby.