Monday, 25 May 2009

How To Destroy a Birthday Cake in Six Simple Steps...

So, this is WAY overdue, but since there is no hockey today, I thought it might be nice to go about 17 days back down memory lane... back to May 8th, back to Birthday Week, back to Pittsburgh...

journée numéro trois – le 8 mai a.k.a. Game 4

This one's heavy on photos. (Just in case you're wondering why it's taking forever to load.)

You wake up.
Kylie has to go to work.
You have a shower and go down to the porch to hang out in the sunshine to wait for Lauren.
In the process, you lock yourself out of Kylie's friend's apartment. A friend who left at 4 a.m. for a conference in Maine or someplace that needs flying to.
You have no jacket, no wrist warmers (which you never leave home without even in 30C heatwaves), no wallet, no ID, no money. No way of contacting Lauren or Kylie.
All you have is you moleskine and a pen.
But hey, at least you are wearing shoes.
At least you're fully clothed.
Worse things have happened.
(Like that time you nearly drowned in the North Sea on your birthday and then got mild hypothermia? That sucked.)

Lauren arrives a few minutes later. She got stuck on the turnpike or something. Pittsburgh traffic. You have a feeling you shouldn't feel like you completely expected it.
You head to the Igloo to meet up with Ali and girls coming in from Buffalo.
You may or may not swing by the Pens store and see if you can sneak in to catch practice...
No dice. Maybe next time.
Instead, you go to Starbucks and sit in a large circle listening to the coolest fifteen year-old you've ever met tell stories about her neighbour and his lame-ass friends getting drunk and singing Britney Spears.

"Would you make me a tuna sandwich?" he once asked. Not on your life!
But I'm sure some girls would line up around the block to do so. Girls are weird. Except these girls. These girls are more like boys, only without the fart jokes.

You find out that you can get your stuff out of the locked apartment at lunch time, and, as you meander up past the players parking lot outside Mellon Arena, you see Kris Letang walking out to his car. Ali points him out. It's obviously him with his silly, white backwards hat and the way he walks. You have no clue why, but you recognize the way he walks, the way you recognize the way he skates, the same way you'd recognize your father's gait from across Tienanmen Square in the middle of a million person riot.
You shrug and figure you'll catch him later.
You have no clue why you think this. Later WHEN? You do not live in Pittsburgh. You may never actually have a chance to snag him again, and yet you keep walking because really, the reason you want to meet him is to get him to sign your Team Canada jersey and that's in a bag in a locked apartment right now.

You get your stuff.
You drive up into some neighbourhood that none of you have ever heard of and try not to get yourselves horrifically lost trying to find the place where Kylie's Margarita's & Manicures thing is.
Seven girls get manicures and talk hockey for two or three hours.
The woman who does your nails says 'yinz' in a sentence the same way you say eh all the time without realizing how horrifically you are falling into a stereotype.

Somehow the day disappears amidst a million laughs.
You all check into a hotel down in Station Square. It's your least favourite part of town so far, a bit too touristy. That said, you still LOVE it. It has a path along the railroad tracks that run alongside the Mon.
You're going running tomorrow morning :)

By 6 p.m. you are all hauling your cute behinds down to Mellon Arena with the cool half of Pittsburgh.
Let the party begin.

I had this whole plan to bake Lauren a birthday cake. Didn't happen. Oh well.
Instead, Kylie picked one up at the grocery store between us all going for our charity manicures and heading down to Mellon Arena for Game 4 festivities. Some guy was kind enough to lend us his lighter.

Don't ask us what we were wished for. If we tell you, it won't come true.
I can't speak for Lauren, but you want what I was wishing for to come true!

Dig in! So, the whole 'eating the cake out of the box it comes in thing with no regard for plates or cutting it into pieces' thing? This was a tradition begun in my university residence. Only we did it with DQ ice-cream cakes. So we'd always end up with a pile of vanilla ice cream collapsing in on itself after we'd all gone for the chocolate and fudge parts of the cake... Ice cream cake would have been great if we'd had a refrigerator, but we didn't so normal cake it had to be.

No one has swine flu, right?

"Excuse me girls, what's in the green bottles?"
(It was Ale 8, Kentucky's version of ginger ale, courtesy of Ali!)

That last photo's blurry... but it was documentation of the following occurrence...
"You know who hasn't scored in a while? Max Talbot."
So he made a point of scoring us an insurance goal.
Chicka chicka yeah Maxime!

Now, all our photos of this were crud, so here are the professional shots Kylie found...

All in all, the best birthday party I've had in years. The last one I had that I remember being really happy for was my 22nd, wherein my Palmerston House-mates (particularly my friend Honor) and I drank several bottles of wine and watch the fireworks down at Ontario place from the balcony of the 16th floor flat I was subletting prior to moving to B.C.

This birthday was even better. I always seem to have moments of disappointment, where I am saddened by someone bailing, or by a plan going awry. Maybe it's because everyone made it there in one piece, and because our plans went off without a hitch, and because even the things we couldn't control worked out the way we wanted: I mean, the Pens won that night. We got to ride the post game high all the way back to our hotel where another surprise was in store (well, it was a surprise to everyone but Kylie and I.)

Val, in her supreme wonderfulness, sent us a few little things to celebrate (as she is responsible and has a life and couldn't join us in our ridonkulous escapades). She sent champagne and sparkling grape juice (for the wee ones), FAR more chocolate than we could eat, and some faboulous Wisconsin Hockey shirts, as modeled below.

Back row: Cari, Mer, Ali and Kylie; front: Lauren, Kim and Clare.

We are adorable. I love you girls.
(I think it's a little scary how much Clare and I look like we could actually be related in this photo...)

The day winds down amid much chocolate munching and plan-making for the following day.
Everyone is beat, but happy as they collapse into bed.

Another wonderful day in Pittzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Sweet dreams y'all, and thanks for the best birthday party ever.


Val said...

sssshhhhhh! Don't tell anyone, he/she could think I am nice!

Cari said...

SOOO much fun!! xoxo!

ali said...

17 days ago? Wow.

I took my family to Primanti's yesterday on our way home from Chicago, and pointed to the table we sat at... it was a bitter sweet moment... So much fun, but sad that everyone was scattered around the continent again.

I miss you all!

Kylie said...

Sigh. I want to have more days like that.

I miss you girls terribly!

@Val - Thanks again for sending us all of those fabulous treats! That picture is one of my very favorites from the weekend and it wouldn't have been possible without you.

Clare said...

It was such a fun weekend! I can't wait to see you all again!

Lauren said...

Can we go back? Life that weekend was just the way it should be - wonderful.

@Val: Thanks again for the incredible surprises! I wish you could've seen the shocked look on my face as I repeatedly asked, "Are you serious? Did she really do this?" :)

@Ali: That comment made me want to burst into tears - did you happen to see the snotty waiter too?

mer said...

@ Val: Lauren's not lying, she was in full-on shock for like half an hour. It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen!

Anonymous said...

So when are we doing it again? It had better be soon I don't think I can wait too long...

lauren said...

Birthday party again next year? Or the year after? Why not just make it an annual thing? I have to finish school at some point, right? :-)

mer said...

@ deets - I think Lauren and I may have to make it an annual event! (I know I'm down for it, and when there's playoff games to be watched, the party will be centered around hockey...)

lauren said...

@mer- it's going to be really crazy if you and I both end up going to grad school out east. At least then you won't get stuck in O'Hare while there's a game going on!