Saturday, September 26, 2015

My 45th Birthday Party in the Park

Today I am celebrating my 45th Birthday with a party at Griffith Park. My buddy Erik arrived last night from Portland so he is here to help with setting up. I skipped NerdStrong this morning as I had a lot of do and figured I'd be active at the park. The party starts at Noon and I was going to have it in the "Old Zoo" section of the park as it's a cool place to hang out and fairly secluded. There is no way to reserve a section so you have to get there early to claim your spot so Erik and I arrived around 10am and to my surprise they were prepping for Halloween. I knew that they did this every year but figured I was safe since it was still September... but I was wrong.

I started to panic as the park was already filling up with other parties and I really wanted a spot that had a few picnic tables. The other thing was finding a location that my guests would be able to find. Erik was kind enough to post in the Facebook invite that the location had changed, we just didn't know where yet... so Erik and I drove around the park and over by the Merry-go-round side we saw that there were these two picnic tables close to the tennis courts and we figured it was an easy place to find and had a few tables so we would go claim them. As we were walking we noticed this couple setting up for a birthday party at a long row of picnic tables (about 12 or so). They only had table clothes on about five/six of the tables so I went up to them and asked if we could use some of the tables on the other end and they said yes.

This new location was even better then the old one as it was right in the front of the park and people could see us from the main road. I also had a large area for us to play some games and a few trees for shade and to top it off parking was ample and not to far from the location. So Erik and I started to set up the party (just bring things from car, not much to actual set up). We tossed the Frisbee around a bit as it was still an hour and a half before guests would be arriving.

At 11:30 I headed over to El Pollo Loco to pick up the food while Erik manned the picnic site and waited for guests. Just after noon folks started to arrive and the party got started. My brother and his family arrived with the corn hole game and folks started to play.

It was a pretty good turn out, we had over 40 people come and go throughout the day. We played Corn Hole, Whiffle Ball and tossed the Frisbee around. I tried to visit with everyone and thank them for coming. I even started to take pictures with folks as they were leaving. People ate, chatted, played games and laughed.... It was alot of fun.

I think the biggest surprise for me was my buddy Thomas from Northern Ireland, showing up. I had no idea he was coming.. not even a hint. He came up to me from behind and I looked to my right and thought 'oh hey it's Thomas' and then a split second later it hit me.. 'OMG.. IT'S THOMAS!!!!" I couldn't believe it. I immediately gave him a hug and a few seconds later I gave him another hug as I couldn't believe he was real.. he actually flew from Northern Ireland to come to my 45th Birthday.. and even better he was staying a week. Talk about an awesome birthday gift.

Overall it was a fantastic 45th Birthday celebration. It started off a bit rocky with us losing our picnic spot but in the end it was for the best... The skies were blue, it was a bit hot to start but cooled to the high 80's and everyone seemed to have a great time. It was six hours of awesome friends, food and fun... thanks to all who came and celebrated with me. Especially Erik and Thomas who flew in for this..  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

You can see more photos HERE.

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