A Photographic Journey Through My First Day as 31

Well, in the spirit of documenting my thirties, I suppose it’s only appropriate that I post a couple photos and reports from the big day.

People were all telling me to “go and get free shit” on my birthday. So, I decided to take advantage of at least one of these offerings. I lead a pretty busy life, and I’m not into clipping coupons or running all over town just for the sake of getting stuff I don’t really need for free. However, apparently you can get free drinks at bars, free bowling, free burgers at Red Robin, a free taxi cab ride (!??), and free breakfast at none other than Denny’s! The latter is exactly the bit of gratis birthday swag that I decided to pursue.

So, as I was still going to work on my birthday, the day started out at 6am from home with a trip down to Denny’s with my sister in-law, my brother in-law, and Christine. My best friend, Josh works as an electrician and is always up early in the morning so I invited him to come along. He was most certainly the most awake of all of us…

In fact, Josh had two cups of coffee in him and had half finished his “Lumberjack” breakfast when these “Pancake Puppies” arrived at the table.

The concept here is take pancake batter, form it into a ball and deep fry it. Serve it with “maple syrup” (read: maple-flavored corn syrup  product), dip and enjoy. I ate half of one in order just to try. Maybe it was the fact that I have a wheat intolerance or the fact that it was still 2 hours before sunrise or the fact that pancakes should not come in ball form but these puppies just didn’t sit right with me.

I did however order a Birthday Milkshake, which Josh and I quite enjoyed.

After my Grand Slam, we still had some time before we had to shower and go to work, so we took a drive to Mount Tolmie. The sun was just starting to come up and it was so beautiful. I recalled that this time last year, it had been snowing (we are having such a mild winter thus far!). Now, Denny’s I could do without – but this was something free that was worth getting up for early on your birthday!
Mount Baker from Mount Tolmie

The views of the coast mountains and Mount Baker were amazing. It was starting to look like today was going to be a pretty darn good day. We could even see Mount Saint Helens in the distance! I’ve only ever seen this mountain one other time from Victoria and never at sunrise.
Mount Saint Helens from Mount Tolmie, Victoria BC

There was still time left before life took over, so we made a beeline to Willows Beach and watched the rest of the sunrise. I was happy and felt like 31 was going to be a pretty alright year.
Willows Beach, Victoria BC

Willows Beach at sunrise, Victoria BC, January 11th 2012

Willows Beach at sunrise, January 11th, 2012 – Happy Birthday to me.
Willows Beach at sunrise with Olympic Mountains in background, January 11th 2012

When I got home, I found that my dad had already been by with a bottle of wine that was waiting on my doorstep! I was wondering what the heck he was doing up so early, but accepted the wine all the same. This was a little bit of a toned down surprise from my last early-morning birthday surprise from him.

I went to work and discovered that my co-workers had decided to surprise me with a birthday breakfast too, at my desk… McDonald’s on top of Denny’s before 9am – I did feel like a “special” boy! Ah well, it’s the thought that counts and it meant a lot to me. I chewed manfully. If you guys are reading this, thank you.

The day went off without too much stress at work and just two more surprise cheesecakes. Christine wanted to take me out for my birthday, so she got Kim and Johnny and we went out to Stage.

I had these potato dumplings and pheasant. It was so good. Stage is really one of my favorite places to eat food. I’m going to try and replicate the dumpling recipe. It had this really good sauce with like parsley, olive oil and maybe chives.

We returned home where I opened a few gifts. Christine’s folks got me these little guys – scotch rocks! Although they are just pieces of soapstone, these things are amazing technology. You put theme into the freezer and let them cool then, like ice, you add them to your scotch except these rocks won’t melt and thus won’t change the taste of your scotch! Scotch on the rocks! Perfect!

We played some Call of Duty on Kim and Johnny’s new Xbox and killed a few zombies. Then I was presented with an another amazing thing: a DQ ice cream cake. I believe that I had requested this be my only birthday gift in June. I was pretty full from all of the food that I had eaten throughout the day but this Reese PB ice cream cake had to be sampled!

I blew out my candles, killed a few more zombies, got just drunk enough to have a hangover the next day, and went to bed. It was really one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had in my 31 years on this Earth. Thank you to all who made it that way.

31, holy shit.

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