Monday, September 14, 2015

Why I Had The Best Birthday Weekend Ever

Hyperbole is the best thing ever!  So was my birthday!  Thanks so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and celebrated in person and in spirit.  Lots of fun.  Some free stuff, too.

Eddie planned my birthday celebration, which was the major part of my gift from him.  Then it was kind of a surprise and kind of not.  He gets excited about planning things, so not long after planning, he came into the living room one night and was like, Wanna know what we're doing for your birthday?  Then another night: wanna know who's coming so far?

From past discussion, he gleaned together an interesting night: dinner at the Ninja restaurant and then Escape the Room.  This?  Sounded like a great night.  And it was.  It totally was.

The Ninja Restaurant
You go inside and go into an elevator and then ninjas get all ninja-y on you.  You get poked with swords.  You get terrified to go to the bathroom.  You get magic.  You get told to break a board with your head.  I did not break a board with my head.  I did, however, get a free ninja headband.  We saw ninja turn throwing stars into chocolate mousse cake.  We saw things bubble and foam.  We saw things set on fire.  And the whole time, ninjas jumped into the room yelling at us and we jumped every single time, even when we saw it coming.

Escape The Room
These escape games are all the rage, but I think Escape The Room NYC is the original.  We did one before and lost.  I was pretty sure we had better chances with a bigger group.  We chose to do the theatre-themed room with eleven people.  I was completely lost the whole time.  There were codes and numbers and letters to figure out.  There were keys and locks and doors.  There were those of us who were catching on quickly and then there were those of us who were moving around the room seemingly with purpose but really having no clue as to what to do other than repeat the same number we figured out in the first five minutes in the hopes that it would be useful.  Perhaps I was in the latter group.  We did not escape the room, but the key master clue keeper person told us that we came so close.  When she revealed the actual solution, it did not seem as if we were that close at all.
Also, I almost got locked in the bathroom, which was a very long room with a full-length mirror behind the toilet, and I found it so odd that I took a picture of it.  Then I pulled and pulled on the lock until it finally moved over and let me out.  Success!  I escaped the bathroom!
Sidenote: Twice, I've gotten stuck in a stall in the Penn Station bathroom.  S and AK had to come get me.  The first time, I had no service on my cell at first so I dilly dallied until I did and they came and found me.  The second time, they were less impressed with my cell-phone stealth and were like, Where are you this time??  It hasn't happened again.

Free Stuff!!!!!
On my actual birthday, Eddie woke me up super early because he was excited to give me gifts.  These were gifts I didn't think I was getting because I told him that planning my birthday was gift enough.  But he likes to give gifts.  Early in the morning.  They were so great!  We have a plan to go to a museum next week.  The guy listens!
Then, after stopping by my parents' house for birthday wishes, we headed to the mall.  I hate shopping, BUT I had lots of free coupons.  I got something free from Sephora.  Then I got a free drink from Cinnabon.  Then we went to Macy's and used a gift certificate and some discounts for Eddie because he needed stuff and he didn't want to go on my birthday but I was like, I don't want to come back to the mall so part of my gift is that we can get shit done today, and he was like, I love your birthday.
The mall is actually really pretty.
We stopped at the food court for lunch. I had a free salad and free water (I'd had an issue with a salad place there cross-contaminating the ingredients in the food, so they'd sent me a coupon for a free salad).  We used gift cards on Eddie's meal, so that was also free.  In between, I'd stopped off for samples at Teavana and David's Tea.  Teavana now has someone standing near the sample station, which is a huge bummer because then I've gotta listen to the spiel about buying something.  Ha.  Buying.  What is this thing called buying?
You know, a healthy lunch.
Model. Clearly.
Rebel. Clearly.

I was down for the count for a few hours because I never really drink caffeinated sugary drinks, and the large mocha thingie I'd gotten from Cinnabon sent me for a loop and a half.

I rallied by dinnertime, though.  We took my parents to IHOP where I got a free meal.  AND they got a senior discount.  How much do I love my birthday?

A Few Days Later
DSW had sent me a $5 coupon for my birthday, and then sent me a $20 coupon because I hadn't shopped there in a while.  Little did they know, I'd planned to buy new boots and sandals anyway.  So, I bought one pair of sandals and one pair of riding boots for the grand total of $21 after coupons and gift cards.  Then I got an email offer the next day to receive a free bag with purchase, so of course I emailed them to see if I could snag the offer since I'd just made a purchase.  Fingers crossed.

I also had a yearning for pretzels the other night, so off to the mall we went in search of a PretzelMaker.  Eddie spotted it first, so we went over.  I showed them the coupon and was like, I'd like to use this.  The woman, who'd been leaning her butt against one of the counters--not near the food but still, a little gross--looked at the certificate, looked at me, looked at the certificate, and then looked at me again and said, No, I don't think so.  Eddie was about to say something, but I was like, Yes, it has your address right on it.  She looked at it again and then reluctantly asked me what kind of pretzel bites I wanted. Plain, please!   Then she asked what kind of drink I wanted.  Coke, please!  We paid for the Coke with a gift card, so free! (the deal is that you buy a drink and get pretzels for free, so it's not really free, but it kind of is).  The entire transaction took about ten minutes when it could have taken maybe three.  Eddie said something really witty about running in reverse gear and it's totally not witty how I'm retelling it right now.  Dammit.  Anyway, the pretzels were good.  Because they were free.
Over the weekend, I also stopped by a Baskin Robbins and got a free small frozen yogurt.  Usually Eddie gets a soft serve ice cream--my birthday treat to him--but he didn't want it.  He'd eaten an Applebee's lava cake earlier in the day, and I'd skipped any kind of dessert, so this one was for me.

I have a Starbucks drink and a $3 coupon to CVS left along with a slice at Sbarro's and a salad from Au Bon Pain.  The first two I'll use soon, but the second two will probably expire before I get to use them.  But that's okay.  There's always next year.

Birthdays are the best days.
Celebrating with family and friends was the best part, but here's the second best part: the stuff.

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