A new Chick-Fil-A opened on my birthday, which meant we headed to the campout the day before. I was getting over an obnoxious cold and it was in the low 20s that morning, so we were a little worried. Despite the temperature, there were about 165 people there and so everyone froze their toes off while waiting for the raffle. I didn't get drawn but Nathan did.
There wasn't a surrounding parking lot so people had to take turns pulling up next to the CFA to unload their stuff, then go park elsewhere. Once we were set up and got our breakfast, Nathan took a nap hogging all the pillows, so I used him as a pillow.
Our old tent had served us well but had dead poles and a broken zipper, so we bought a new one. I like it but Nathan decided during this campout that he doesn't like it. It will be nice in summer to give good ventilation but wasn't nice in the winter. It had lots of screen areas and a big rainfly to cover the whole tent. These little windows don't allow for privacy. I joked about making tiny curtains. :-)
I was wearing three pairs of PJ bottoms - two flannel and one fleece. Two pair of socks and my warm boots. (This is my attempt to show all of my lower layers.)
This was NOT a pleasant experience for me. I had work to do, so I took advantage of CFA's wireless and spent some time on my laptop. They tried to keep a constant supply of hot cocoa, which was much appreciated. This campout didn't have a DJ at night - not sure why, maybe the cold? Maybe the neighboring motel? Our friend ditched us at the last minute, I was sick, we had annoying tent neighbors, and other than a few hours during the day, it was just COLD! Thankfully the cold weather somehow stopped me from coughing as much.
CFA tried to make it a great day, as they always do. They played a few games, did some giveaways, fed us tasty food, and weathered the unexpected like when a breaker tripped prior to the evening movie showing. Nathan spent his waking hours in "the game tent" that a group of guys had set up, complete with big screen TV.
We survived the night in our double sleeping bag with a fleece blanket, and hoods pulled over our heads. There was ice inside our tent in the morning. Before everyone got their meal coupons, Nathan arranged for them to announce my birthday and sing to me. He ran over to bring me a rose and the cow gave me a hug.
We packed up and Nathan drove me to the TRAX station. We have locker rooms at work so I was able to shower and change before starting training. It's been busy at work and I didn't feel I could take two days off in a row, so I had to work on my birthday. I haven't done this in awhile.
My boss brought pies, a few coworkers sang to me and gave me a giant candy bar, and my coworker Kyle really went above and beyond. He made me a CFA themed poster and a new cubicle name plate.
At the end of the day, we grabbed our friend Seth and went to use free food birthday coupons. At IHOP, Seth decided to sign up for the birthday club. When he saw how many spaces were allowed for your first name, he went a little crazy.
When we were tired and couldn't eat any more, we headed home, where to my surprise I had two packages! Birthday packages don't really happen as an adult but an old friend and his wife decided to surprise me with a bath set, and my sister Jaime threw together all kinds of goodies. Look at all these fun things that were individually wrapped for even more fun!
That weekend, we had birthday dinner. I made another batch of elk chili with cornbread. Then we made homemade ice cream. My mom handed down this hand-crank ice cream maker years ago and my intentions to use it finally came through.
We had a few last minute additions to our group and I was worried there wouldn't be enough ice cream, so I threw together peach cobbler too. I was trying to duplicate an ice cream flavor we'd bought a few months back. It was banana ice cream with cherries, crushed pineapple, chocolate chips, and swirls of dark chocolate. Tasty!
All in all, it was a good birthday. I really appreciated everyone's help in making it good. I'm a little burned out on CFA campouts for awhile, especially because I end up washing all the dirty or wet blankets and sleeping bags after. Oh, and it's been about 4 weeks since my cold started and I still can't lose the occasional cough.