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Friends of Nate eat pizza, cake, climb all over stuff

by Nathaniel W. Turner last modified Jan 02, 2011 05:48 PM
This past weekend (27 Jan 2007), Mel and Jen organized a great party to celebrate my birthday.* Thank you to all who came; it really made my day to see you. For those of you who couldn't come, here's how it went down.

Pizza and other food things lured friends to our house, where they were then coerced into eating and having conversations.  I, being dirty and just-home from the bike shop, took a shower.  Then I too ate and conversed, and drank a delicious stout.  Eric and I discussed his new bike project.  Justin and I discussed gardening.  A great many other things were discussed.  I'm sure I'm forgetting the best parts.  Then Mel brought out the most delicious candle holder you've ever tasted.  It was baked in the shape of a carrot cake.  After removing the offending candles, I used my skills in math to cut it into enough discrete pieces for 21 people to eat it without getting in each other's way.  Did I mention that it had delicious cream cheese frosting?  (That Melanie sure can cook.)

At about 7:30, with some herding by Melanie, we all got into motorcars and headed off to the Rhode Island Rock Gym.  Awesomeness.  This place is super cool.  That's how I felt when I walked in and saw all the sweet climbing walls.

Tim tries on a climbing harness.  In the background: blurry climbing stuff.After some doing, all 13 or so of us signed waivers, took off our shoes and coats, and put on climbing shoes and harnesses.  Then we all learned how to tie a figure eight knot, a double figure eight, and a safety knot.  Then we learned how to setup and use a belay device.

After training and testing all of us on this, the gym sherpas let us free to climb all over the walls.  (It's true that all that setup did take a good chunk of time, but it was totally worthwhile.  We had plenty of climbing time, as the place was open until midnight.)  It was suuuper fun.  It's a great feeling when you are half way up a wall and your forearm muscles stop working.  No really.  And it's fun falling off a wall when you're tied to a rope.  Wheee!  We will be going back.

As we were leaving (a process that took some time, as we had to do the reverse of the shoe/coat/climbing harness process from earlier), we asked the rock gym dude what local eateries were open after midnight.**  I guess spending four hours signing waivers, tying knots, pulling rope through belay devices, and yes, climbing up things had given most of us a right jolly appetite.  At the suggestion of the rock gym dude, we all piled back into the aforementioned motorcars and motored our respective ways to Johnny Rockets on Thayer Street, where we consumed many delicious burgers*** and shakes.  And listened to actual classic rock.  It was swell.  Then we all went home and went to bed at around 2am, and probably overslept the next morning.  (Except Jen, who is crazy and got up wicked early.)

Ok, that about wraps it up.  I hope you had fun actually climbing or at least reading about it.  Until next time, cheers!

* Actually, I think they organized it quite some weekends ago, but the actual implementation was this past weekend.  Saturday, to be precise.  My birthday (#28) was actually on the 10th.

** Not being a college student anymore, I am somewhat out of touch with this kind of essential information.

*** Johnny Rockets will make any of their burgers as turkey burgers, if you ask.  That gets them double bonus points in my book.