Well last weekend was a big birthday for me. I turned a round number and my wife got give me a hard time for it.

My wife and I have wanted a vehicle that would make moving people and things easier for a long time. I have also been pretty unhappy with the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta I bought. Volkswagen made a beautiful car when they redesigned the Jetta for 2011 however they stripped down the inside and went cheap everywhere they could to bring the price down in an effort to increase market share. So I had a beautiful car on the outside that was not very modern or well put together on the inside. I had also gone with the 5 speed manual transmission in an effort to keep the cost down. I thought I was getting an inexpensive car and instead I got a cheap car. Volkswagen really damaged their reputation with that car.

The car I traded in on the Jetta had a manual as well so I was used to driving one. The manual transmission was a problem for my wife though. She hasn’t driven a manual transmission vehicle in years and didn’t want to relearn how.

I spent a week driving cars and small cross over SUV’s from various manufacturers before going out to the Toyota dealer the day before my birthday to look at the RAV4. I had seen the dealer had a red one online and I wanted to drive it. I drove it and liked it. I also drove the newly redesigned Camry and I liked it a lot as well. I took the RAV4 out by my wifes work to show it to her and get her feedback. She was really jazzed by it since it meets our needs and is a pretty cool vehicle. I ended up purchasing the RAV4 and I have enjoyed driving it everyday since.

On my birthday we took the RAV4 to Schaumburg to do some shopping and enjoy a fancy birthday dinner. I have wanted to replace the computer desk in the house for a while and I got the pieces to do so at the IKEA. So I now have a smaller version of the desk I have at work at home.

That evening my wife and I ate dinner at Shaw’s Crab House in Schaumburg for the first time. This was a real splurge for us since it’s very expensive. However I ate the largest meatiest crab legs I had ever seen and it was wonderful. My wife and stayed in the Marriott in Schaumburg and it was a nice stay. We ate the hotel’s buffet breakfast the next morning before we headed back down to Central Illinois to pick up the kids from my parents house.

We had a very low key birthday celebration with my parents and the kids. We hung out and talked and I enjoyed it. Then we went over to the new house my father-in-law built for dinner. This was the first time my wife and I had seen the inside since it was finished. We had another low key get together while the kids played then it was time to head home.

I had quite a scare while driving home though. We were on Interstate 74 headed east and about five miles from our exit I noticed a deer standing in the middle of the left lane along with the second one standing in the ditch. Thankfully I was in the right lane. However I had a version of the old story of having your life pass before your eyes happen. I had a version of the next few seconds of my life flash before me as I drove past the deer in which the deer decided to jump in front of my new SUV. Once we were safely past the deer I was able to calm down however I was eagle eyed for those last few miles until we got home.

This was one of the most eventful birthday’s I have ever had and it was a lot of fun. For the next round number birthday I hope to have as much fun with my family.