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College Buddies, Free Food, & Petting Snakes

January 5th, 2015

Joe had to work on Friday so I spent a good portion of the day spending time with the rats and cleaning all their cages.

Before doing that, though, I called an old college friend of mine and we had a nice hour long conversation. We hadn’t spoken since last July when I drove out to visit her and meet her kids. She’s very busy with three young kids and doesn’t do social media so it’s tough to keep in touch. I sent her a Christmas card which had triggered her to write me a very sweet letter that included asking me to call her. She thought I had changed my number since she had texted me awhile back but didn’t hear back. I never got those texts though so I’m not sure what happened. I wish we were able to see each other more often. She’s one of the very few people I feel comfortable enough around to be myself and not feel weird.

Saturday it was alternating between raining and snowing so we spent most of the day at home just watching stuff on Hulu and Netflix. We got a free two month trial of Hulu for buying the Chromecast and I signed up for a month trial of Netflix. Neither seems to have any current movies we haven’t already seen, but they are great for binge-watching old TV sitcoms and clips from SNL. Netflix is especially great for watching comedy specials, so we watched the latest from Chelsea Peretti, Aziz Ansari, and Bill Burr. We also watched a movie called Peep World that wasn’t as good as the trailer promised. So many familiar faces too, but it seems like that’s how most of the IFC films go. For instance, I had been dying to see Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wig and Bill Hader ever since I heard about it, which we rented it from Redbox the first week it was out. While it was better than Peep World, because it actually had a plot, it still was pretty disappointing. I guess I just prefer action and comedy movies instead of weird independent film dramadies.

We did leave the house briefly to get some groceries at Aldi, pick up Joe’s repaired sweaters from the tailor, and grab some Qdoba. They sent me a BOGO coupon for my birthday and a coupon for free chips and guacamole because it was also my anniversary signing up for their rewards program, and they let us use both coupons together which was nice. They were also extremely generous with the food portions, almost too much. I decided to try the pulled pork burrito bowl and there was too much pulled pork in it! It’s been awhile since we’ve eaten there so I was surprised to learn that you can get their three cheese queso and guacamole on your burrito for no extra charge. Needless to say, I had them load mine up and I swear it weighed a pound! It was so filling that I didn’t end up eating dinner, though, so that helped a bit with the calories.

Our first stop on Sunday was at Jamba Juice so I could get my free birthday drink. I also got two $15 gift cards from Groupon for only $15 total, so we used one of them for Joe’s drink. Then we headed over to the arboretum since we had always talked about seeing it after a fresh snowfall which had happened the night before. The road in the arboretum was a bit slippery in places and one of the cars ahead of us actually got stuck. Everyone in “line” had to back up so they could back up to try and make it up the small hill they were getting stuck on. Three bicyclists who were sharing the road actually had to push their vehicle to help them gain traction.

After that we decided to leave instead of visiting the other half of the arboretum. We ended up going to Willowbrook Wildlife Center. I love the two resident gray rats and got some cute photos of them.


One of the volunteers offered to take one rat out so I could get a better photo of her since their aquarium glass was smudged, but she was so hyper she would barely stay still! Her fur was so soft though! I also can’t believe how small she is compared to my boys especially since she’s full grown.


After that the same volunteer brought out a milk snake that I was able to pet. It felt a lot softer than I was expecting! Unfortunately I couldn’t get a great photo of it because it too wouldn’t stop moving.

Milk Snake

We picked up some litter from Petco, some carrier oil from Whole Foods (to be used with the jasmine essential oil Joe gave me for Christmas), and then had lunch at Noodles & Company (free bowl of noodles for my birthday). Gluttons that we are, we headed over to Red Mango after lunch to cash in my free $5 of yogurt they put on your membership card for your birthday.

So if anyone is keeping track, so far I’ve consumed the following free items for my birthday – Red Robin burger, Qdoba burriot bowl, Jamba Juice five fruit frenzy, a bowl of pesto cavatappi at Noodles & Company, and frozen yogurt. The irony? My one goal this year is to lose weight. Hahaha!

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