It’s been sixteen years since I graduated from Kermit High School in Kermit, Texas, America. SIXTEEN YEARS. I’m not quite sure why I look at my age with my high school graduation as a determining factor, but I’m guessing it’s because that’s when I became an adult. It was June 1999… seventeen years old and in my own apartment. Good times were had.
Now, I’d say, I’m adulting quite well. Married, four kids, dream job, dream home, dream car, dream city… ha! No really, life is great. I have no complaints that would hold water, so let’s focus on the awesomeness that was my 34th birthday weekend. I tried to take it all in and take pictures so that I could write it down to be remembered some day later down the road.
My dear husband tells me to “Get ready, we’re going to dinner at Lindsay and Jason’s house.” Sweet! I don’t have to worry about dinner! We’re mid-meal and Lindsay hands me a little gift bag with a piece of paper in it. It read:
Birthdays are special, just like you. So the 4 of us knew we had some planning to do. We put together a list, and made it quite quick. Vegas didn’t make it, but we will still take a trip. Telling you is no fun; a mystery is better. A weekend has 3 days, so for each day a letter. So if Friday is A, where should we stay? We selected a place that is a dangerous play. You might need a knife, so keep it close. It could save your life. Can you guess what it is?
I’m not sure how I guessed, but I did! I have never done a murder mystery or been to a bed and breakfast, so I was excited! Our story was set in 1948 – ‘Murder in Washington Post’. Before leaving Tulsa, we went to a couple Goodwill stores to put together our 40’s costumes and headed to Guthrie, Oklahoma. We pulled up to a stately 1907 Victorian Mansion called The Stone Lion Inn.
On our way there, per a recommendation in the introduction email, we watched this YouTube video called “The Stone Lion Inn: An Investigation,” to get into the haunted house/ghost-hunting mood. At 5:25 in this video, a particular haunted room is discussed and upon arrival we were assigned to that room! It was exciting!
At 13:56 in the video, it tells of the embalming table that was used in this house when it was Smith Funeral Home in the 1920’s, still being present here. We were intrigued by that, and sure enough – there it was in the entry way, being used as a table to hold drinks and setups!
They gave us our character clues and information during check-in and we were sent to our rooms to dress for dinner. I was Angela Worthington, a married woman who is in love with her husband’s more adventurous twin, who prefers sleeping late and spending most of the day at the spa being pampered and shopping.
Dressing up was half the fun! I had to refer to YouTube to try and figure out how to do a victory roll, which I found to be extremely difficult by the way, but I think we pulled off the year quite nicely.
Dinner was neat! We were strictly told to STAY IN CHARACTER the entire night, so a candlelit, four course meal with a group of about 20 people made for some fun conversations. Some were quiet and nervous, but some were having a ball and playing their roles perfectly! Sometime during dinner, I was to loudly tell my husband that I wanted a divorce and that I was involved with his brother. I was so nervous! I finally did it and as soon as I finished, he fell in the floor and died! The mystery played out for the next three hours until it was finally revealed that my real life husband was actually the killer! We waited until everyone had gone to bed and we went on a ghost hunt on the third floor of the house, but I wasn’t scared. After we went to bed, a hat fell off of the wall and hit the floor. I jumped up so fast! After a brief investigation, it was determined that our fan caused it to happen… or did it? Guess we’ll never know. It was such a fun night and a different experience for me! I’d definitely like to do this again!
After breakfast, we loaded up and Kelly, Jason, and Lindsay gave me a new gift bag with a piece of paper in it. It read:
Next on the list is B, that stands for Saturday. The next surprise is fun, but very hard to say. You’ve done this thing before. You liked it quite a lot. I hope you have some sunscreen – it might even get quite hot. But if you don’t have money, that should be ok. There’s plenty here at this place, that’s what I’ve heard them say. You better bring a swimming suit in case water is found. And take lots of drinks, but make sure that you don’t drown! When it comes to sleeping, this place has got you covered. Nothing could be sweeter, the perfect break for a perfect mother!
I knew immediately where we were heading! For my 32nd birthday, Kelly got us a suite at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma and it was literally the best birthday I have ever had. I talk about it all of the time and I just knew that’s what we were doing. We drove back to Tulsa, reloaded, and headed to the casino! He had the same suite for us this time!
I was even more pumped to enjoy a day at the pool without children to tend to. We relaxed in the sun and had beers, bloody mary’s, and electric blue lemonades.
After swimming all day, we had dinner and gambled a little. No big winners this time, but I finally got to play the new Goldfish 3 slot machine that I’ve been waiting for! After that, we played Cards Against Humanity and took shots of something that tasted like Hot Damn. It was a fun ending to a great day!
The third gift bag’s riddle read:
Today we reach the end, the last of our fun days. So this is letter C, on the list of fun and play. Today could be quite dangerous, and it’s rapidly approaching. If you don’t survive, your body may be found floating. Miles will be traveled, but not on rock or sand. You’re up a river with no paddle if you’re hoping for dry land. So get ready for an adventure, and do not be afraid. The best is only yet to come, on this, your special day!
A river float trip! I haven’t floated the river in years, so I was very excited about this! We set our alarms and got up at 7AM to head to Tahlequah, Oklahoma to float the Illinois River. We had a six-man raft and a cooler full of goodies for our twelve mile ride.
No one was tossed overboard and we only lost one paddle so, I’d have to say it was a successful river trip! Great friends, great conversations, and great memories.
Turning 34 was done in a very simple, fun way and I wouldn’t trade that weekend for anything.