Lee is not a big birthday person, but since this is a landmark day, I felt like I really wanted to do something for him. Months ago Deb had reached out with her travel plans and with a little tweaking we worked it out so she and Steve would be visiting on the big day. I was really excited about this because we spent my 50th in Alaska with Kelly, Bill, Jo, and Ben, and I wanted Lee to be with friends for his. It’s really amazing how wonderful our RV family is and how often we manage to be with each other for those special days, despite traveling all around the country. And since we tend to do things big when we are all together, we had to have the pre-birthday dinner. Deb made teriaki flank steak, rice, and green beans (which were yummy) and then brought out a homemade cherry pie she bought at the fruit loop. After tasting it Lee decided cherry pie with a crumble top was his new favorite, so all of you who are keeping pie score take a note 🙂
Afterwards we went down on the lake with the propane fire pit and watched the sun set. It was our first evening down on the lake, and we really loved it. There were tons of bats swooping along the lake surface and we had geese, ducks, and could see the fish jumping. It was beautiful and serene and we all just chatted and chilled until a group of young kids came along with flashlights who were looking for crawdads in the water. Since we have 7 kids between us, we really loved talking to them as well and it was a perfect pre-birthday celebration warming us up for the main event.
On the morning of Lee’s birthday Deb and Steve invited us over for breakfast. I took some signs, which long time readers may remember, and Lee got his presents from Steve and Deb. They bought him alcohol because they think my alcohol budget is too stingy (just kidding) and we had a fantastic breakfast with some Portuguese sausage that tasted different than any sausage I have ever had.
After breakfast we took a little break and then met up again at 2pm. We headed into Portland for Lee’s birthday wish, which was to try an escape room. Deb and Steve had tried a pirate themed one a few months back, but Lee chose an assassin themed room since he’s a major spy buff. His one request was that we do it with just the four of us, and Steve called the company Hour to Midnight . We paid for 6 (it normally holds 8 people) and they guaranteed us a private room, so although it was a little pricier than we would have liked it was worth it to have the room all to ourselves. The outside of the building was pretty unassuming, but inside was neat as a pin and the room itself was fantastic. There were multiple clues and multiples puzzles and the theme was to diffuse three different bombs. We all loved it, and Lee said as soon as he was done he wanted to do another one. High praise from him. We solved it in an hour and 6 minutes (6 minutes grace over the hour because we were so close) and it was really thrilling. I highly recommend trying an escape room if you haven’t and I especially recommend you do it with close friends. It was really cool how each of the four of us brought something different to the party, and how many clues were only solved when we combined wits. Big fan and we definitely plan on doing it again in other areas we visit.
After the escape room we drove across the state border to Vancouver, Washington, and had a Chinese buffet. It was nothing special, but the company was great and after the event we were all really hungry. The day held one more cool moment though when we stopped on the way home at the very first geocache ever. Deb and Steve are huge geocache fans, and have done at least one a day for over two years now. The very first cache is a special place and even had a plaque to memorialize it. Turns out the first cache is in the middle of nowhere, but also pretty close to where we worked last year, so it was fun to see it, especially because it meant so much to our friends and was a perfect way to cap off Lee’s birthday.
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