I haven't had a big birthday party in many years. But it felt good to have one yesterday.
Hitomi and I worked hard to put on the event. And everyone all helped out in their own way, which felt better in some ways than getting any number of presents. Thanks to Kevin & Stacey for setting up the grill. Carlos and others for manning it. My parents for bringing a table. And others who helped transport those with no cars, or load things, or unload things. (And to a few people who tossed in some dollars for pizza, which was appreciated–$50 for two pizzas!?)
Having it at the house would have made it easier. Cutting down the number of guests would have made it easier. Not having to transport kayaks would have been easier. And telling everyone to go home at 5PM would have been probably a good idea…
It was interesting how many people knew each other. Or had shared interests. Hiroaki, who I didn't know so well, might be coming with us on a few hikes. Or maybe Trent and Kristen would go with us on a kayaking trip?
A lot of people took to kayaking fairly well, even though it was their first time. Unfortunately, a few people got pretty wet. I should have brought some towels. Also, a lot of people got their feet wet and I should have said to bring sandals. Matthew's Beach is much better than Magnuson Park for kayak launching. But there's not a whole lot of interesting destinations nearby. Saint Edwards is just across the lake but a little far for a beginner's paddle.
Somehow, I had a chance to get out there for a long paddle. It was really the only time I had to relax during the whole day. I don't really relax so well when there's a lot of people around. Still, even out paddling, I paddled pretty hard; I'm noticeably sore today.
The after party went on until about 12PM. Many of us played Magic. Ian, who was taciturn the whole day, got a chance to show off his cards, which I think he was happy about.
Next year, who knows?