Birthday Treasure Hunt! July 7, 2009
I've had a great weekend. First off, it was my birthday! Last year's birthday was so close to Mom's death and I was out of town for work and it just sucked. I was worried that last year broke all my future birthdays, but I am happy to report my birthday mojo is back.
(Have I mentioned I LOVE BIRTHDAYS? Everyone gets to be really special for a whole day -- or a week if you're doing it right -- and everyone deserves that.)
Lala started things off Saturday night by having the house full of things I love: sweet apricots, orange tulips, buffalo mozzarella, fresh bread and more cheese (chevre), and prosecco. And she vacuumed. That's love, people.
The next day I had artichokes from the garden and a caprese for my birthday because I could and IT WAS SO GOOD.
Then to the Big Scavenger Hunt! Sisters Bethany and Christy went ALL out making it for me. It was so damn cool. A run down of how it went:
They put up a webpage that they sent with the Evite which had a picture of a mural and a google map with no identifiers. I didn't know the mural, but I know Lake Merritt, so I was right on time for the magnificent picnic.
After we all stuffed ourselves silly and directed the people who were lost to our blankets, they handed out a knitting puzzle, one in which we finally figured out that the YOs stood for letters, which directed to us a cafe down the street.
I loved this one: It was a flier on a window that was advertising lessons for Sexy Knitting (I was sad none of the little slips of paper at the bottom hadn't been torn off). There was a url of a youtube video on it. How freaking clever is that? RachelO's iPhone to the rescue: The video led us to the library across the street which was closed, but in a pile of donated books I found a copy of How to Knit a Love Song (they'd made the cover and wrapped it around a Harry Potter book).
Inside the book was a picture of this mural:
If you click to make it big, you see that in chalk is written Smith 3339. Didn't take us long to figure out that it meant Smitty's, a bar down the way, at 3339 Grand St. Yay! Break time!
But no rest for the wicked. Bethany had knitted me the most awesome scarf of the alphabet, the letters in different colors (will show photo when she's woven in the ends, still not quite done). The scarf was the decoder for the next clue which the bartender gave us (after giving us a nice G&T). Using the colors of the letters, we worked out the clue which led us down the street 45 paces and up three steps to find this:
Ooh! Gelato at Michael Mischer down the street. There we found some needles:
After a bunch of puzzling, Bethany finally had to give us this one: the Kingsman Lucky Lounge, down the street.
Celia, Maia, Nate, and Sara working out the next clue (which was a bracelet of row counters acting as a decoder ring -- that one was AWESOME but too convoluted to explain. We cracked it, though!).
The clue there led us down the block to Walden Pond Books, where in the knitting section we found:
No, Thoreau didn't write a knitting book (it was funny that several people checked the section without noticing this). Inside was a photo of another mural:
Me with the photo. That led us to the Grand Lake Theatre, where one guy nicely agreed to hold the clues, and the other douchebag later ripped them up and threw them out. Thanks, Grand Lake Theatre douche! You are now immortalized on The Blog! (But thanks, first guy who was nice.)
But that didn't matter! Bethany fished out the pieces of Sarah Palin and Ralph Nader charted for intarsia (HAHAHAHA) and figured out as a group that it was a clue for the Seranader lounge down the street. The clue there led us to another cafe, where I found a scarf with a sign that said Frog Me.
You really want me to frog it? Okay?
If you click for big, you can see me frogging away. See the blue yarn? And the boys in blue? Dude, I totally hemmed them in as if the yarn was police tape. They didn't say a word. Smart.
Down the road, the yarn ended:
How freaking GREAT is that? I had the best time. Thanks, sisters, and thank you to my guests who made my day fantastic (and to Maia for the photos!).
And yesterday I fixed our leaky faucets and started learning the fiddle. Today I'm off to take the dogs out and then to continue with the last day of my birthday weekend. But it's only a 3-day work week starting tomorrow, and then I'm on vacation, so this summer thing is working out way better than I thought it would. YAY!