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Happy Birthday, Dear Matthew

Submitted by Bethany on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:00

This week we celebrated a big holiday in my family - my brother's birthday! Just like me when it comes to my birthday, my brother Matthew thinks his birthday should be not just a family holiday, but a national one. He will happily tell any and everyone he meets it's his birthday for basically the entire month of June. So this week we celebrated in style!

His actual birthday was Monday, June 10th. On this day we celebrated with a pizza party with all of his friends at a place in town called Papa Keno's. Mom and I went all out wearing pizza leggings, and you can't tell from the picture, but we even had matching pizza earrings!

Papa Keno's is a pretty typical specialty pizza place except for one thing - they make gigantic 26-inch pizzas. These humongous pizzas really set them apart from the crowd - when all boxed up for to go orders it is hard to get it through some doorways! Here's a picture of Matthew with one whole pizza so you can see what I mean. 

We had a crowd of about 15 people for dinner, so even one giant pizza wouldn't do. We ordered three giant pizzas! We went with the works (supreme), the carnivore (basically a meat lover's) and the industry (double pepperoni, double cheese). I tried all three and all were delicious. The crust is thin but not too thin, with a really nice bite. 

For our party, they cut the pizza into squares which gives you manageable pieces to eat. At lunchtime you can order by the slice, and cut into traditional wedges, the slices are "as big as your face!" If you don't believe me, check out this cheese slice we ordered special for one of Matthew's friends. 

On Wednesday we celebrated his birthday again, this time with just family. We went to a place near Madrid, Iowa (not pronounced the same as the one in Spain) to a place called Watcha Smokin' BBQ and Brew. We, of course, had to announce it was Matthew's birthday, and lo and behold they give out a free slice of pie for birthdays! The banana creme pie came out before our meal, so Matthew had dessert first. [Fun fact: our grandma Ruby (dad's mom) always ate dessert first, just in case she wouldn't have room for it later.]

For our meal we ordered a family style platter with brisket, sausage, turkey, and a full rack of ribs, as well as side dishes of coleslaw, cheesy potatoes, tomato and cucumber salad, and mac and cheese. There were 5-6 different BBQ sauces available and some of them were some of the best I've ever had. I have no pictures of our food because I was hungry and it was so delicious we gobbled it all down before I even though of taking pictures. Whoops! 

After all that food we headed out to the High Trestle Trail near Madrid to ride our bikes. Here are Matthew, Dad and I all ready to go!

The High Trestle Trail is unique because it is an old train track that was turned into a bike trail. The bridge on this trail is a half mile long, 13 stories high, and is said to be one of the longest trail bridges in the world. 

As if that wasn't awesome enough, the archways over the bridge are an art installation that lights up at night! Dad and I made sure to bike far enough and long enough that when we returned, the bridge was lit up for the evening. I'm sure the pictures would be even cooler if it was darker out, but it was already 9:30 and I was fighting both a food coma and tiredness from riding my bike. 

It was a fun week of celebrating my brother while enjoying good food and good fun. I'm sure the celebration isn't over for him as we still have the rest of the month of June to go, so feel free to wish him a Happy Birthday below! 

XOXO, Bethany