Yup – I am officially the big 5-0. Still trying to wrap my head around this one. But hey, if the start to my new decade is any indication – I’m going to LOVE being 50! My 50th celebration was just perfect! “What did I do?” you ask. I went into Philly for an overnight excursion with a bunch of my closest friends. We enjoyed great food, visited some fun local bars and… did an ESCAPE ROOM! Yup, five 50 year old women locked in a dimly lit room trying to escape before time runs out – with a 25 year old Escape Room host as our guide. Let me just say, it may not have been exactly what we were expecting, but we had a blast! We were either engaged in “laser-eyed focus” OR laughing so hard we could barely stand it!
As you can imagine, none of us had ever done an Escape Room before. So, when we first arrived we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew only one thing – that we were DETERMINED to succeed at getting out of that room! Five intelligent women with quite a few years of life experience behind us – this was going to be no problem at all. Then the 25 year old host arrives. He sits us down in the lobby and starts talking at 100 mph (I kid you not!) Listing all the specifics of the game. How to play, the back story, all the things we shouldn’t do – i.e. “If you can move a piece of furniture with 1 hand, you may move it. If it takes more than 2 people to move the furniture, it is not meant to be moved. Please do not pry up the floor boards – they are not part of the game.” WHAT?! Pry up the floor boards? People do that? “Do not stick your fingers, or any metal objects, in the electrical sockets. Do not unscrew any items on the walls. Please do not remove any of the light bulbs….” We were laughing so hard at this poor young man standing in front of us, we were in tears. We couldn’t understand half of what he was saying, and then when we could actually understand him, we wondered who in the world usually played this game! This was about the time that we realized his “typical” customers were not 50 year old women.
We were then told that he would be monitoring us the entire time, and that we were allowed only 3 hints during the game. AND that all of us had to agree to receive that hint. He explained that if we heard the doorbell ring, that was him coming over the T.V. screen to tell us (most likely) to stop doing something we were doing. We had to pay attention to that doorbell.
We now had all of our information (ha, ha) and we were ready to enter the room. In we went. It was a dimly lit (very dimly lit) room with just a few basic pieces of furniture, and lots of “odds ‘n ends” on the tables and walls. A T.V. screen was hanging on the main wall. We had no idea what the heck we were supposed to do, or how to begin. But off we went, each one of us to different parts of the room. We were super focused. Looking around, lifting things up… trying to get just the tiniest idea of what in the world we were supposed to be doing. We did find some little boxes that clearly needed a key or a code… but no idea what to do with them.
Then after about 20 mins or so, we heard the infamous doorbell. “Ding Dong!” Ut oh – we better pay attention! Our host appeared on the T.V. screen (actually, his typing appeared – it was like an open chat). He clearly was concerned that with only 40 minutes left, we needed some assistance. So he gave us our first hint (unsolicited). We were a bit irritated! We didn’t ask for a hint. We certainly didn’t all confer and agree to ask for assistance. But we must admit, the hint helped. So we tried not to take it personally. A few minutes later… “Ding Dong”! Another hint. Then…“Ding Dong”! Another hint. “Ding Dong!” “Ding Dong!” “Ding Dong!” Ok – now we ARE taking it personally! What happened to our initial instruction – “You only get 3 hints and everyone must agree to wanting that hint?” We were apparently so bad at playing this game, the poor host just had to take matters into his own hands.
After a slew of hints, we were now in the groove! We’re starting to understand “how to play” this darn game. We’re beginning to solve the puzzles and find the codes and the keys. But a new problem emerged. At 50, most of us use readers… and in the dimly lit (maybe I should really say – downright DARK) room, we may have figured out the puzzles and obtained the codes… but we couldn’t see the numbers on the lock to enter the codes! (More laughter!!!) Thank goodness our eyes participated in the end… but just barely!
Now we’re really getting somewhere – bookshelves start moving, new rooms are opening up. But the clock is still ticking, less than 5 mins to go! No worries though, the doorbell is still ringing constantly (lol).
The final key was found. The plaques on the wall were set up in the right order. The lights did a final flicker and we were OUT!
Ummmm… but we were out in some hallway of an office building. We had no idea where to go. Is it only because of our advanced age that we feel lost in this hallway?! Doesn’t anyone else need some direction after escaping the ESCAPE ROOM?! More laughter ensued!
We finally DID escape the Hallway… and headed straight to the next bar!
Keep Having Fun!