Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Great Cold American Birthday

We're not yet done with our posts on Brazil but I'm jumping the gun here abit. And I've a good reason to - Dan celebrated his (thirty) fourth birthday yesterday!

As mentioned in my birthday post, it's really hard to make any detailed birthday plans in advance because we're not quite sure where we will be on a certain day. While I managed to pinpoint our arrival in Flagstaff, Arizona, in time for Dan's birthday and New Year's Eve, I could only make vague plans for the day itself - and no, they didn't involve any surprises at all. We didn't have the advantage of being in the office and away from each other this year to make secret phone calls to restaurants or do secret shopping during lunch time for gifts.

So the only surprise element for both our birthdays this year was location location location - and we couldn't have celebrated our big days in two more different places. Dan was nice enough to bring me to a dry, warm place earlier in October - nevermind that it was on the driest spot on earth, the Atacama Desert.

And what did the poor guy get in return? A cold wet snowy birthday in Arizona, in the height of winter!

That's not a white studio backdrop by the way

I had planned for us to visit the Grand Canyon - which he affectionately terms as The Big Crack - on his birthday, thinking that it would be the highlight of our time in Arizona. After all, it was pretty much the only thing we came to see here. It was a good thing that we decided to go a day earlier instead - it would have been wrong to ask the Birthday Boy to give up his warm possum-fur gloves cos his wife insisted on wearing her pretty but useless mitts which soaked up tonnes of icy-cold snow.

With the grand feature done and dusted on 29 December, what were we going to do for Dan's birthday? Think, wifey, think....

Well, we went back to basics and headed out for a simple brunch-movie-dinner date! While that may have been nothing special if we were celebrating back home, it's a pretty big deal if you haven't been watching movies on big screen in the last 9 months.

First stop - to IHOP to fuel up against the neverending snowfall.

All psyched up at the thought of birthday pancakes!

Strawberry New York Cheesecake Pancakes!

Since I'm the only one whose around to sing Dan a birthday song 'live' this year, I felt great responsibility to keep singing throughout the day on behalf of everyone back home. Thankfully, the staff at IHOP stepped in to help!

Their version of Happy Birthday wasn't quite the traditional one though. It was sung to a different tune altogether and started with "I don't know but I've been told, somebody is getting old...."

Well, it sounded good anyway!

The happy man enjoying the sight of a line of chorus girls belting out a birthday song just for him

Birthday sundae on the house!

It's his birthday so he can take a photo with our pretty waitress if he wants to!

Totally stuffed from our pancake brunch, we took a walk down memory lane and indulged in a few arcade games together, something which we used to do while dating. We tried out Dance Dance Revolution just for laughs - although I couldn't find the breath to laugh much after scuttling around on the platform like a drunken spider on Speed. Never, ever choose the crazily-fast Japanese songs on DDR.

I say hip, hop, a hip hip hop, a hoppy hop hop, hip hip hip hop. (Okay, I've no idea what made me write that)

For my birthday, Dan brought me to the moon - in the form of Valle de la Luna in Chile. I couldn't let him just stay on earth on his birthday, could I? I wanted to bring him to another planet as well, specifically, Pandora. So it was to the Harkins Theatres for the movie of the year - Avatar in 3D! Being used to choosing our seats when watching movies back home, we weren't used to the free-seating system in the cinemas here. We went in a tad too late - all the good seats at the back were taken up. We survived in the 3rd row from the front nevertheless. We got to keep our 3D glasses, which we're going to personalise with blingblings (okay, at least my pair will be shiny) and tote them around for all the 3D movies back in Singapore (can't wait to watch Alice In Wonderland already!)

All ready to board the space shuttle to Pandora (whaddya mean that's just the cinema?! Rubbish!)

Surprisingly, all that space and time travel didn't make Dan too hungry. So we hung around Barnes and Noble for awhile (finally, a bookstore that isn't filled with only Spanish or Portuguese books) then went to find some ribs for the birthday boy to gnaw on at Chilis.

Baby got Back! And some boneless buffalo wings too.

My husband asked me to look pretty for a photo. So I obliged.

Then came another round of birthday songs and complimentary cake, this time from the Chili's staff! (I took a video but it's taking forever to upload - check back here for the footage soon.)

After note: it's HERE!

(yessss, you did hear him say "looks like a giant nipple" at the end before he proceeded to tongue the ice-cream)

It was a HUGE warm molten chocolate cake!


Yeah. It was a really simple birthday celebration. A far cry from last year when I gathered his friends and drove him blindfolded to his surprise birthday party at MacDonald's. And catered to his Jedi fantasies by presenting him with a really cool Lightsaber (which he promptly used to poke his wife with.)

But a very special birthday celebration nevertheless.

Dannie letting you know that he enjoyed his birthday thoroughly!

Happy Birthday baby. May we have many more happy years celebrating our birthdays together.

I love you.


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