May 15, 2011

War Games: A Birthday Story

This weekend a group of us went down to Richmond to celebrate my friend Angela's birthday. Most of us got in late on Friday night, so we all chatted for a bit, ate Angela's first birthday cake (Virginia-shaped, even), and then went to bed.
And on Saturday the real fun began. Of course, it started with a birthday cake/orange roll pull-apart baked by Russ and Cara.
Very tasty!

Chippenham Hospital
This is where Angela was born, and she hadn't been back in the 26 years since.
After trying to make it in time for lunch in the cafeteria (sadly, we were too late), we grabbed some ice cream out of the vending machine, played with the face masks, and headed to the nursery to see her first ever tanning salon -- yay for jaundice -- and bedroom.
Dang, we make masks look good.
Be careful. The birthday fun is communicable.
Angela recalling her first moments here on earth.
Just down the street, a street carnival was in action, so we couldn't pass up that opportunity. We took a leisurely ride on the ferris wheel, almost puked from the g-forces on another ride, and did our best not to focus on the "small hands, smell like cabbage" folk soliciting our money on rigged games.
Matt getting hornswoggled (after I got bamboozled by the same fellow)
Riding the ferris wheel!
Ready to take out some aggression
Angela and Matt attacking each other with their prizes
These would come in handy later. Keep reading to see how.

Picasso? Sorry, No
The VMFA was in its final days of hosting the traveling Picasso exhibit, so we wanted to go check it out. To our chagrin, the exhibit was 100% sold out -- even with extended-til-midnight hours). Since we were there, we got our culture on by checking out the American art, including the original "Outlaw" cowboy statue by Remington (buy a copy here).

Richmond has a cool little street that sorta reminds me of Old Town Alexandria, VA and/or Park City, UT. It's called Carytown and is appropriately on Cary Street. There are lots of trendy clothing and food spots all along the "mile of style". First, Matt took us to For the Love of Chocolate, which maybe wasn't the smartest on empty stomachs (for our wallets, at least).
For real food, we continued down the street to Carytown Burgers and Fries where we got our much-needed grub on. Then we made a quick stop at CVS for some supplies and hula-hooping competitions. Cara was dominant. She made it look effortless.
Shakira would be proud of Cara's hip action.

War Games
Due to copious quantities of rain and a power outage at Matt's house, our plans for a bonfire and watching a movie were nixed. But never fear; when we stopped by Target for the ladies to get matching pajama pants, the fellas prepared for war by snagging a whole bunch of $5 Nerf assault rifles and plenty of batteries. We played three different games:
  1. Hold the fort: Two teams. One team tries to invade and take out the other team. There was some great innovation with this game: use of mattresses as shields, going around the house outside for a sneak attack through the side door, etc.
  2. Zombie invasion: Not sure why we called it this, maybe just because it's catchy. One person starts and all others hide. When you're found and shot, you join the zombie crew. Quick game, but fun trying to hide and/or run from the zombies before being shot, then joining the zombie in hunting.
  3. Predator: By far my favorite. One person (the predator) is downstairs with a soft plastic club--acquired at the carnival earlier in the day. All others are upstairs, and are sent down individually at one minute intervals with only 2 bullets. Predator tries to club you; you try to shoot predator. Loved feeling like you're being hunted and trying to be ready for an attack at any moment, then the rush in the midst of the assault.
Don't mess with this rowdy crowd

Exhausted from the excitement of battling and hunting and clubbing and shooting, we had some home-mixed shakes and hunkered down to watch Matt's favorite movie on a laptop (still no power) and then catch some zzz's.
On Sunday morning, we woke up, got ready, and ate some delicious crepes and waffles for breakfast--thanks to Angela, her cousin, and her parents.
Finally, we finished the weekend off with one last "cake" (see below; it was a buttercake, get it?) for Angela. Apparently there's some inside joke about this, but she was so happy about it that I got a kick out of it, too.

Then she opened some presents we'd bought for her at the VMFA and some of her own stuff that we'd found and wrapped up.
Thanks for such a fun weekend, Angela! We're glad you were born!

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