Turning 40 – 5 Days of Birthday Surprises

Some of the most important things in life are easily forgotten. Forgetfulness becomes an epidemic when life get’s hard or doesn’t make sense.

Sometimes events can serve to rescue us from forgetting what’s important. Since I am forgetful at times, writing things down is helpful. Thus is the purpose of this update today. My hope is that it might inspire others, even you.

In March I celebrated what some call a milestone.

I don’t ‘feel’ 40. Wait. I guess I don’t know what 40 feels like unless I’m there…which I am, so I do feel 40. Better stated, 40 feels great.

Turning 40 – 5 Days of Birthday Surprises

Details as to why may follow in a future post. For now, I want to share what happened to me in the midst of turning 40.

My wife is exactly 6 months older than me. I shared with you about what happened on her 40th here. She did me in over a period of 5 days. Yes, 5.

Day 1 of Turning 40
We had been working out in the mornings. This particular morning she wanted to stop by a local coffee shop and have some ‘quality time’ with me. As we walked in I saw some familiar faces sitting at a table by the entrance.

These were guys I knew from church, and a coach from my sons baseball team. I didn’t want to interrupt their meeting, and wanted to move along after saying hello. My wife didn’t seem interested in moving on, then I whispered in her here “is this a setup”? She responded, “yes!” And she was out the door.

Todd, Glynn, Mike, Travis, Aaron, Ted, Chuck (right photo)

It was my high priviledge to get to sit down with these guys, whom I respect and care about. Little did I know they had a plan that went beyond just ‘being there’. They each spoke openly and freely of things they observed and appreciated about me. This was a bit uncomfortable for me for several reasons.

  1. Men don’t often speak with words of gratitude and appreciation of other men, let alone in a group.
  2. Knowing that many had invested in my life over the years, some of whom were sitting before me, I was the one who should express gratitude and appreciation.
  3. Unsure how to respond, I pretty much stayed silent until the end.

Make no mistake, I felt very warm, loved, and grateful for their words, and their presence. It was truly an honor to be with them that morning, and to hear their hearts. It is a visit I will never forget.

Day 2 of Turning 40

Daniel Celebrates 10 Years Just 3 Days Before Dad Celebrate 40

This day was my son Daniel’s birthday, a very special day indeed. He turned 10! It was a wonderful day, we shared laughs, meals, and a few gifts. Early in the day my sister and brother-in-law arrived at the airport. My sister came from work on the east coast, and her husband flew in from Phoenix.

I knew this was a big deal for them to be there for Daniel, they are a very busy couple and made it a point to get there. He was excited and grateful as we all were.

I learned they were to be there for the whole weekend, and Daniel knew about it the whole time! How cool is that?

Friday
This was the day of the blindfold and unveiling.

Soon after breakfast, I was invited to open some gifts. They included:

  • A “40!” T-Shirt
  • A Pin saying I’m 40 and “old-old-old”
  • A necklace with more of the same

Blindfolding and “Sporty at Forty” CD of 80s Songs for Trip to ‘Secret Destination’

Shortly after opening that I was blindfolded and walked around the area by my sister and sons for what seemed like an hour. Before I knew it, I was set in a vehicle and driven round and round. They were hoping I would get disoriented and attempts to figure out where we were going would be foiled.

Not really into figuring things out, I was having too much fun!

About an hour down the road they did pull off and we had lunch together (without the blindfold!).

Broadmoor Hotel- Quite a Grand Entrance

When I was granted the priviledge of sight upon pulling up to our final destination, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. There was a grand entrance, and flags, was this an embassy? Then they told me a name I’d never heard of before. It was a resort. Not just any resort, a 5 star and 5 diamond resort. The only one in the state of Colorado.

It was a hotel I’d never heard of before in two and a half years being in Colorado. The Broadmoor Hotel. The guys unloading the luggage from the vehicle were seasoned pros, I found out later they were there for 25 and 44 years as employees!

A Spa? Right after getting to our room, before I could finish taking in the view, I was told I had a spa appointment. Complete with couples massage. I’ve never had a professional massage, I get pretty good ones from certain 10 and 12 year olds in my house… So I was glad to hear this was something I could enjoy together with Ana Helena.

The spa was first class. There was one shower with 18 shower heads!

The massage was very relaxing. In a tranquil room there was one place for each of us, a great atmosphere of candles and music. The 70 minute signature massage seemed more like 15 minutes! We chilled out afterward in a living room with a big window and view of the mountains while nibbling on some snacks and cucumber accented water.

View from Broadmoor Room

Getting Room Service for the First Time
David and Daniel hung back in the room while we were getting our massage. My sister and brother-in-law Santi were getting an identical massage when we were done. The boys had the priviledge of receiving room service while we were out. I had no idea how much a child could enjoy room service. The report from them was that grilled sandwiches and fruit cups never tasted so good!

A Special Dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel – Charles Court
While After some relaxation time, it was time to get ready for a special dinner. Not just any dinner, but the kind you have to get dressed for. My youngest had prepared for this dinner by purchasing a special jacket just for this ocassion.

Aunt Tammy and Nephews at Dinner

At the dinner, in spite of being in a decadent environment, and overjoyed with the people I was with, I was presented with gifts. Actually one big gift in a series of packages. I received a Canon Digital SLR camera. Something I had been wanting for years.

Wow.

Now I could take some photos and get my photography groove on which had laid dormant for the last 20 years. Many of the photos in this post were taken with the new Canon.

Family Photo Just Before Dinner at Charles Court Restaurant Broadmoor Hotel.

But the weekend wasn’t over.

Saturday – Royal Gorge Colorado Train Ride
On the road again mid-morning for a mystery destination. We headed south, to what seemed to be only open prarie. We then ended up in a nice town, Cañon City. There is a train station for the Royal Gorge train. This day was the first ride of the season. We were on the train with special seats up high with see-thru ceiling.

40th birthday present, the first photos.

We had lunch on the train, enjoyed the sites, and took photos from the open car.

As you can tell by the photos, fun was had by all.

Movie Night. The Broadmoor Hotel actually has a movie theater that guest enjoy for free. Saturday night they showed the movie, “Extremely Loud, & Incredibly Close”. The story of an autisitc/aspergers child dealing with the loss of his father during the 9/11/2001 tragedy in New York City. It was a thought provoking piece that you need to mull over a bit to understand it’s complexities, fortunately the movie was enjoyable with the addition of a bunch of sugary snacks.

But it wasn’t over…

Royal Gorge Train Ride – Cañon City, CO

Sunday Morning – Breakfast at the Broadmoor Hotel
Apparently lthe Boradmoor is famous for its Sunday Brunch. Having experienced it, I understand why. They had a buffet spread like I’ve never seen before. Guests were all over the map, from jeans and a t-shirt, to ladies wearing their pre-Easter bonnet’s. The servers were there to fill your cups on a moment’s notice, and the options at the buffet were numerous.

Eggs, pasteries galore, bacon, pancakes, french toast, soufflet, omlettes, and buffalo meat to name a few.

There were even crepes, which were served with stawberry creme contained in a plastic funnel, complete with extra long and skinny spoons.

This meal was something I took in slowly, and enjoyed every delicious bite. When I found out how much it was, my wife hadn’t been revealing prices of anything to me, I was pleasantly surprised.

Enjoying each other with a nice meal.

The Best Part of this Birthday Extravaganza
It was time to go home. 90 minutes to return to reality. The best part of this whole experience for me? Being with the people I care about. The guys at the coffee shop, my sister and brother-in-law from out of town. All these activities apart from them would have been a total bore. The care they took to plan and surprise me, the anticipation …knowing what they’d do would be amazing…not because of the gift, but because of the givers.

Departing. Travis and Sanitago.

Which leads me to the ultimate Giver. The one who has given me life, breath, and my very being to experience this love. To be here for 40 years so far. To reflect on His kindness, love, and mercy over the years. To have a friend like you (you must be a friend if you’ve read this far!). Wow. He is the one to whom I’m speechless over, and the one I’m indebted to.

Here’s to another 40 years, and for the best part, here’s hoping you can be a part of it.