My sound guy, Matt, helped me take off my mic. My wardrobe stylist, Kristin, helped me out of my jacket, while my makeup artist, Molly, handed me a wipe thing to get my makeup off my face.
Anne stood up from the audience and said, “we have something for you.”
“Dude, I don’t want anyone making a big deal about my birthday,” I said, “especially at work.”
“Well, it’s too late. I got you Batman cupcakes.”
From behind the green screen, my stage manager, Roger, handed me a chocolate cupcake with a batman cookie on top of it. It was pretty awesome.
“Holy shit that’s amazing and I’m so glad you did this!” I said. “Please don’t sing.”
“Nobody is going to sing. We also got enough cupcakes for the whole audience and crew, too,” Anne said.
I turned to the audience and told them. Someone shouted out that they knew, because they’d been let in on the secret while I was changing my wardrobe earlier.
I walked out the stage door, and saw boxes of cupcakes set up on a table. For the next few minutes, I thanked every person who came to the show, and handed them a cupcake and a Sharknado toy that our friends at Funko provided to us to give away. My crew and the show staff gathered around and wished me happy birthday, Kristin gave me some Star Wars Vans, Molly gave me some craft beer, and my writers gave me a card that was accompanied by even more beer. My people just get me, you guys.
After I changed into my normal clothes, Anne and I drove up to Santa Barbara — well, Anne drove while I drifted in and out of sleep — to spend a couple days for my birthday. Traffic was surprisingly light, and we got to our hotel early enough to watch the gorgeous sunset over the Pacific Ocean. We had a wonderful dinner, shared a fantastic bottle of wine, and fell asleep before 10pm.
12 hours of sleep later, we woke up. After five exhausting days at Comicon and a taping of The Wil Wheaton Project, I finally felt rested.
“Happy birthday,” Anne said to me as we stretched and tried to convince ourselves that getting out of bed was a thing we should probably do.
“Thanks,” I said. “It’s totally my birthday.”
“All day long!”
We had breakfast, and then took a long walk on the beach. There weren’t too many people out, and most of the people who were there had adorable dogs running around. Anne and I are dog people, so we got to stop several times to throw a ball or scratch a scruffy neck.
“You know what I think would be awesome?” I said, as we reached a sea wall a couple miles away and began our walk back to the hotel. Before Anne could answer, I continued, “I think we should go to the spa and get massages.”
“That’s the best idea you’ve ever had,” she said.
“I know. I’m kind of amazing.”
We got back to the hotel,found out that we could book into the couple’s massage room, and got 80-minute massages in a beautiful room with windows open to the ocean, the sound of gently breaking waves carried in on a soft ocean breeze.
After our massage, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner … but first I had to take a nap, because when you’re 42, that’s how you spend your birthday.
I woke up two hours later, and got ready for dinner, which would be at one of my favorite restaurants in town. I looked for my nice shirt in the suitcase, and discovered that, in my exhaustion a day earlier, I had forgotten to pack it.
“I’m not as amazing as I said I was earlier. I forgot to bring my nice shirt.”
“It’s okay,” Anne said, “the restaurant isn’t fancy.”
“But I wanted to look nice for you.”
“I don’t care how you look,” she said.
“Even if I look like a hobo?” I said.
“You can’t look like a hobo, because you also forgot to pack your hobo bindle.”
“Dammit!” I pulled on a black t-shirt that was at least more appropriate than the Tabletop T-shirt I had been wearing.
We got to dinner, and it was awesome. I had all the food I wanted, and the restaurant even gave me a chocolate souffle with a candle in it, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY WIL written on the plate in chocolate. I’m always excited when someone spells my name correctly, and then I was even more excited when I found out that they knew how to spell my name because the servers were fans of The Wil Wheaton Project. I blew out the candle, and wished for the show to get picked up for more episodes, because I love working with the people who make it happen.
We went back to the hotel, watched the show I’d taped the day before, and almost immediately fell asleep afterward. We slept for another 10 hours, and took another long walk on the beach before we got back into the car to go home.
It was an absolutely perfect, beautiful day. There were some high clouds, and the sun was very warm, but the breeze off the ocean kept us cool. We were so happy and content, we didn’t want to leave, and by the time we got back to the hotel we realized that we’d walked almost eight miles.
On the way home, as we neared Ventura and were about to turn inland, leaving the ocean views to memory, I said to my wife, “This was the best birthday trip, ever. I feel totally rested, completely relaxed, and like I got all my hit points back. I really needed this. Thank you for making it happen.”
“You’re welcome. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”