Birthday Festivities

The birthday weekend has come and gone, and this year did not disappoint. The weekend started with a delicious dinner at Agora Churrascaria.. and the best part was that dinner came with a show!! About halfway through our meal, the gauchos (meat servers) came swinging down from ropes hanging from the ceiling. Then they started sword-fighting Zorro-style with their meat skewers.. it was AWESOME!!! And you must know by now that I am completely joking.. 😉  but that didn’t stop us from imagining it (and dreaming about it that night). Dinner was delicious with 16 different meats and a full salad bar and good wine courtesy of Anh Thu.

No clubbing or late night bar-hopping after dinner. Mostly because I’m an old fogie who sleeps at 9PM and doesn’t like to party anymore. Actually, that’s not completely true. I like to party.. but I’d rather not have to pay for it or dress up for it. And I’d rather spend a night in with friends having good conversation then hanging around skeezy old men in loud bars. The other reason is because Minh and I needed to get up early for the SHARE Poker Ride the next day.. which brings me to…

Pick a card... any card...

Saturday was GREAT! I haven’t truly been mountain biking in A WHILE. And it kind of bums me out that I don’t really get to mountain bike as much as I would like (for whatever reason) so I was really excited to do this ride. It started off easy enough with some long, gradual climbing. But that easy riding didn’t last long, and there were some hike-a-bike sections and some skid-a-bike-down sections that Minh and I weren’t ready to conquer yet. Actually, there were some sections that I don’t think Minh and I will ever conquer (in both directions). Here’s a picture of us before the ride (you can tell it’s before because we’re still smiling).

I was able to handle the ride ok, but I was definitely not prepared for it, physically or nutritionally. I had a bottle of Cytomax in the cage, a bottle of water in my jersey, and two GUs. Minh had two bottles of water. That was it between the two of us. We were out for about four hours (about two and a half hours of actual riding time). So you can imagine that we were pretty starving (at least I was) at the end. Grabbed a Powerbar and some more water from the Rock’n’Road tent, which was magical (almost), at the finish line. We also had a banana in the car that was still cool enough to eat.

On the way back to the car, Minh rode ahead and took some cool picturs of me on the mountain bike. Some of them turned out pretty good.

After the ride, we headed home, cleaned up and inhaled some Powerade, then took a quick nap while we waited for Scott and Laurie to go to lunch (not a good nutritionally).

We had lunch at The Counter in Irvine. For all the hype I’ve heard and read about this place, I was afraid I would be disappointed with this place. I don’t know if I was crazy hungry or what, but my burger was DELICIOUS.. as were the fries (regular and sweet potato) and all the sauces.

50/50 fries and sweets

I ordered a 1/3 lb beef burger with Danish blue cheese, grilled onions, organic greens and shredded carrots, and garlic aioli on honey wheat bun. I could only eat half of it (as a result of one of my debilitating stomach aches that was a result of not eating immediately after the ride… or during), but it was still good.

Blue Cheese Burger with Garlic Aioli

The rest of the weekend as relaxed. Dinner and a movie with mom, Anni, and Morgan. Sunday running errands and hanging out with Minh. We made eggs for brunch and chicken for dinner with the Sous Vide Supreme (I’ll post more on that later) and watched Food, Inc.

Overall, it was a good weekend and a good birthday. My glass is raised to a long and fulfilling life with friends, family, and love.

Enjoy the GALLERY…


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