This past weekend was Independence Day weekend, hence a long weekend, and also the occasion of my 28th birthday. Having a birthday on July 4 is nice--it virtually assures that I'll never have to work on my birthday. I didn't like it much when I was younger, of course, as most of my friends were off doing family things that day and thus I rarely had a typical birthday party. I was always surrounded by adults from my own family, and thus I tended to spend the majority of those days holed up in my bedroom, playing with whatever toys or games I had been given as gifts.
Even with my birthday aside, it was a good weekend. Unfortunately, it was one of those weekends with so much going on that, by the time it was over, I felt like I hadn't even had a weekend, the extra day notwithstanding. That's okay, though--this coming weekend has no obligations (at least thus far), so I'll be able to catch up on all the rest and general foolishness I missed out upon.
Brandi and I headed down to Troy on Friday evening. When we arrived, my parents' neighbors, Terry and Nancy, were outside, so I took Brandi over to meet them. We sat over there and talked to them for a while before Mom finally figured out where we were. She chatted for a little bit, then dragged us home for dinner.
Saturday was an outstanding day. Brandi and I had tickets for a Reds game in Cincinnati. Owing to the fact that Thursday's game had been rained out, an extra game was added to the docket for Saturday. I was psyched about seeing a doubleheader, but Brandi wasn't too thrilled. She was game, though. We got down there with plenty of time to spare before the first game started, so we battled our way through the crowded Reds' team shop for a while.
Going to the ballpark has long been one of my absolute favorite things to do, and Saturday was no exception. We had great seats in the lower section, just a little past first base and maybe thirty rows up. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ballgame (or two), with clear skies, a pleasant temperature, and a nice breeze. We didn't even have to worry about the sun, since our section was already in the shade.
The Reds lost the first game 4-3 and won the second 11-6. Over the course of the two games, we saw home runs by Rich Aurilia, Wily Mo Peña, Felipe Lopez, Adam Dunn, and Ken Griffey, Jr. (who happen to be some of our favorite players), and also a couple of really nice plays by Griffey in the outfield. Both starters, Aaron Harang and Ramon Ortiz, pitched pretty well. It was just a lot of fun--probably one of the best times I've had at a baseball game, and that's saying something. Brandi had a lot of fun, too. It definitely didn't feel like we spent seven hours there, I would have been into it if they had decided to play a third game that night.
There wasn't as much happening on Sunday, at least not at first. We got to sleep in a little bit, which was nice. After we got up, Brandi decided she wanted to go get her nails done. That turned out to be an adventure. None of the places in Troy were open, so we had to go to the mall in Piqua. We had to wait there for a while before she could get in. Afterwards, she wanted to take advantage of the jewelry store in the mall to get her ring cleaned and inspected. It was free, but for some reason the clerk decided she really needed to find my account, which apparently wasn't easy since I had purchased the ring at a different store. Ugh.
When we finally got back to my parents' place, we got to eat. I was pretty hungry by that time, and we ordered food from one of my favorite places in Troy. It's a little carryout called Ording's, and they make an incredible steak sandwich. I've never found anywhere else that makes them nearly as well, so it was awesome to get one.
Later that evening we went back to Piqua to visit our friends Amy and Doug. We just chilled out at their house for several hours, snacking and playing video games. Doug introduced me to a Lego Star Wars game, which was way more fun than it should have been. Later on all four of us played the latest iteration of Mario Party, which is a little goofy and kind of a kids' game, but still a lot of fun nonetheless, and a good game for a group to play. We finally left sometime after 2:00 a.m.
Monday was the holiday, and my birthday. The party hasn't changed much over the years--it's still approximately the same group of adult members of my family, but I enjoy them a whole lot more now that I'm an adult myself (at least technically). It was good to see everyone and have a chance to talk to them for a little bit. Since I don't live in the area anymore, it's pretty rare that I get to spend any time with them. There was plenty of good food, too. Later on, Brandi and I headed out for the Troy fireworks display, along with my cousin Mike and his fiance Lisa. It was a pretty short show, about 15 minutes, but a pretty good one.
Needless to say, it was pretty late by the time we finally got back to Bowling Green. It would have been nice to have yet another day off to rest after the weekend. At least this is a short week--the extra benefit of a long weekend. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of sleeping.