One year previously, we were sitting in the LAUB studying for Chudoba’s test. I was clueless it was his birthday. Fortunately for me, I had brought Sour Patch Kids and flavor changing gum to share. It definitely made a good impression. But this year I was prepared. I carried on the tradition by providing him with similar treats. They would have been the exact same, except for the fact that flavor changing gum no longer exists. It was kind of a flop. I also gave him gift certificates for some paddles for his raft. To our surprise, his friend Arnie just gave him a few paddles. So, yes, I still owe him a birthday gift. Nevertheless, I had a fun filled day planned out in advance. The morning started out right with waffles, whip cream, and syrup. It was a discovery we made on our cruise and has withstood the test of time. After a lovely breakfast, I sent him off to work with a lunch filled with some of his favorite foods. After work we were going to brave the storm and go kayaking. It was going to be my first real kayaking adventure. I had tried once in a river before, however, it was on smooth water with no rapids. Therefore, it doesn’t count. This was the true test. I passed! I made it through the entire section without rolling over, rapids and all. I was pretty proud of myself. The next time it was not quite as successful but we will get to that later.
After a successful and exciting river adventure, we tried a local Chinese restaurant on Main Street in Logan. I had gotten a gift certificate there, so it worked out nicely. It was really good food. Mike discovered Walnut Shrimp and has been hooked ever since. He literally will lick the plate clean, because he says it is that good! After dinner, I surprised him with an ice cream party with his pals. It is very difficult to surprise Mike because I am a terrible liar. As I was preparing for his surprise party, I had to sneak away for a while to text his friends and get their numbers out of his phone. Well he noticed I was gone for awhile while we were at his parent’s house. He asked where I was and I came up with some poor excuse. He wanted details and I couldn’t provide them because it didn’t really happen. Needless to say, he was a little irritated. It was ok though because he would be thanking me later. Several of his friends showed up and we had a great time. Chance’s entrance may have been the most eventful. As he came in the door, he kicked off his shoe and hit Mike where it counts. We all had a good laugh at Mike’s expense, poor guy. But to our defense he was laughing as well. It was a great birthday.
A couple weeks later we set out to reattempt our kayaking success of the past. We went back to the same spot to put in. For some reason I was much more nervous this time. I would later find out why. Let me tell you my crazy adventure. The CFS level was much higher this time around, meaning the river was much quicker. I was already much more nervous which didn’t make it any easier. I finally got going down the river but it was short lived. I ran right into a tree. I was hanging on for dear life. Mike was trying to tell me how to get out of the situation, but I was just not experienced enough. As I tried to follow his advice, I flipped. Luckily Mike was there to help me out. I pulled the emergency strap and came up panicking. I grabbed onto his boat while holding on to mine as well. He told me to let go of the boat. I did not know which one he was talking about. I didn’t want mine to go flying down the river and I didn’t want to let go of his. He told me to let go of mine and then he led me to safety. Now he had the task of getting out of the river and finding my boat as well. Fortunately, for him an old lady saw him struggling to get out of his boat while still holding on to mine. She helped him out, while I was trying to catch up with him on foot. To add to the stress, my finger had been sliced earlier in the week and was bleeding everywhere. By the time I caught up to Mike he was safely out of the river. The nice lady drove us to our final destination where we concluded our not-so-successful, but exciting, kayaking adventure.