Trying to top last year...

It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since my time in France. Which also means that another birthday has come and gone, throwing me into the second day of my 33rd year. The pressure was strong this year to top my last birthday spent biking around the Burgundy Valley in France and dining in Macon at a French restaurant. Since Laura's birthday was just 4 days prior to mine, I included her in the birthday topping celebrations.

It all started on my birthday eve with a trip to Philly.

Here we are starting off the fun.

I got tickets to the Sixers game in Philly, and the best part is that our seats were on the floor... this close to the players and the action.

The Sixers were playing the Nets. It was a really good game, even though it was only preseason... they went into over time with the Nets winning by 1 point.

We were three rows from the action. Man, were the slam dunks better when they are done right over your head!

Laura was hoping that we'd be close enough for one of the players to sweat on her. I think that's just disgusting, but we were close enough to see the sweat beads!

Here we are just before we rushed the court holding signs that said "Kiss me it's my birthday!" Okay, no we didn't rush the floor or hold signs, but I'm sure Laura thought about doing it. I did get to meet 3 of the players after the game and got their signatures... wooo, Big Fan!

The only injury of the weekend was to my finger. It happened while reaching into my suitcase, my razor bit me. Very dangerous, a razor cap is a good idea!

Saturday, October 13th... The Big Day!

I managed to get us a good deal on the W Hotel in NYC, so early Saturday morning we jumped in the car and switched cities. Here I am crashing in our hotel at 10am-ish, only for about 1min. cause there was a whole city waiting to be explored.

The W Hotel... directly across from the Waldorf Astoria.

Part of our plan was to see the Broadway show Wicked. Slight problem with the "plan" was that the show was completely sold out for the weekend and we couldn't afford full price tickets. You may think that this would be an impossible "plan" but that would assume that Laura and I had normal abilities. See for each show the box office reserves 28 seats for a lottery drawing and sells them for $26.25/each. So Laura and I made our way to the theatre at 11am and waited in line for the 11:30am sign-ups to begin. We put our name on a green slip of paper and then went to the street fair around the corner to wait for the 12pm drawing. There were about 100 - 150 people that had put their names into the lottery, so the odds were very slim for us to get tickets. However, we had a backup plan... called come back at 8pm and try the lottery again. Bracing ourselves for disappointment, while at the same time arming ourselves with cash and ID for the possible win, we waited as the names were called.

Then it happened... four names into the name-calling we hear "Laura Deller." She was so stunned she couldn't even move for about 15 seconds, causing the guy to yell her name again. We actually had tickets... yeah! Then a statistical anomaly happened - my name was called too (keep in mind they are only calling 14 names). I'm so shocked that the guy had to call my name twice (yeah, we're not too quick on the name recognition thing). We ended up giving the extra tickets to the family that was in line in front of us visiting from Utah. They were SO excited and thanked us about 5 times, waving to us every time we saw them.

Here we are getting ready to enter the theatre. Notice the scarves, these were purchased at the street fair... cashmere for $5. Can't beat street deals! No, they weren't bought out of a suitcase or black trash bag. Did I mention that our seats for Wicked were in the front row, yep noticed every actor that spit while singing! We rounded out the birthday day with shopping and dinner. I love the city!

Sunday, October 14th

We headed over to the Meadowlands to work at the Jets game handing out ice cream. Turns out the Giants were at the practice field right behind us. Here is a picture of Eli Manning, okay only his back but still... okay we were behind a really high fence and the only way to get a picture was to zoom between the fence slats, but still. See #2 seemly approaching us in this picture, he was yelling at us to watch a real game on Monday night. He also said something about college games being on Saturday, but there was one more college game going on at the stadium between the Jets and Eagles. I thought he was mad at me taking pictures, so I didn't want to say anything smart back to him... he's 3x my size and the small fence wasn't enough of a barrier. Then he started laughing at his comments, those 3rd string qb's are so funny. Turns out that my Uncle Thom and cousin, Adam, were at the game, but we didn't see each other. They had tickets, we didn't. What are the chances of us being at the same stadium... apparently with Laura and I chances are good!

Truly a memorable birthday weekend!