Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30th Birthday Celebrations

Ummm don't mind my absence from ye olde blogsphere lately. A very busy couple of weeks at work, my 30th birthday weekend, a trip to NYC, and my lingering case of the Debbie Downers have all come together to form a perfect storm of non-bloggery. This is my first attempt at pushing myself to post something again, so why not make it about something cheerful - my birthday!

My actual birthday was Saturday November 8th, but since there were a couple friends who were going to be busy/away that weekend, my fraaaaands organized a night out for pizza and bowling together on Thursday November 6th. We hit up Sacco's Bowl Haven/Flatbread Company - a combination pizza joint and candlepin bowling alley in Davis Square in Somerville. The pizza was phe-nom-e-nal. We ordered two of the Jimmy's Free Range Chicken pizzas ("Oven roasted free-range chicken, black beans, organic cilantro tomatoes, roasted corn, whole milk mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and sour cream lime drizzle and some jalapeƱo peppers") and one pepperoni pizza. Don't sleep on the "plain" pepperoni pizza at this place - it was the best pepperoni I've ever had on a pizza. The pepperoni was a smaller, thicker cut than the big floppy red slices you typically see. So good!

After pizza was onto da bowling, which is located just at the rear of the restaurant area. We bowled a hot couple of games, and while I was certainly not the winner, I was mos def better than I was the last time I bowled. So, I still consider myself to be a winner, in that respect.

The next night (Friday) I spent the evening in, packing for what I'd be up to the rest of the weekend - a trip up to New Hampshire with some of my girl friends! My friend Abigail and her family own a house in Bristol, NH that they use for getaways throughout the year, and she was kind enough to invite a few of us up to the house for a weekend of birthday relaxing. We loosely planned some hiking and movie-watching and food-eating, but the focus was mainly on just getting away and unplugging, which sounded absolutely perfect to me.

On Saturday morning (my birthday!), Abby picked up Kara and I, and we headed a couple of hours north to the house, which is situated not far from Newfound Lake.

After arriving and properly sating ourselves with some snacks, the three of us headed out for a walk in the woods around a section of the lake, admiring the hilly views and what was left of the autumn foliage.

Newfound Lake, New Hampshire

Trees around Newfound Lake, New Hampshire

Hiking through the woods near Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire

Island in Newfound Lake

After our walk through the woods, we picked up some lunch at the truly adorable Cardigan Country Store - a country market/deli/gift shop run by the owners of the locally renowned Cardigan Mountain Orchard. Here, Abby, Kara and I each ordered a cup of a scrumptious homemade butternut squash bisque as well as some sandwiches, which we took back to the house to eat while we waited for our friend Jenna to join us.

As we were pulling back up to the house, we discovered a surprise visitor on the premises...

Wild turkey

A huge wild turkey! It scurried back and forth in front of that fence for a bit, trying to figure out an escape plan before it clumsily made its way off the property. It was the perfect dose of wildlife for us for the weekend haha.

Eventually Jenna joined us too, and the four of us spent the afternoon relaxing, chatting, drinking wine and eating junk food around the house before ordering some pizza for dinner. We finished our evening with tiramisu ice cream, popcorn, and a sleepy viewing of Sin City before calling it a night and retreating to the bounty of beds available at the house.

The next morning Jenna fetched us some bagels and cream cheese and Abby made some coffee, and we all enjoyed both while we tidied up the house a bit. Jenna had to leave early to head back to Massachusetts for a family birthday party, so Kara and Abby and I headed out for another walk through the woods. En route to our trailhead, we stopped at a local treasure - Cardigan Mountain Soapworks. CMS is a homemade soap business run by a woman named Lilly, and her soaps are incredibly rich and beautifully scented. We each picked out some soaps and were pleasantly surprised to discover that a promotion running for local businesses that weekend meant we'd get to select an additional full-sized soap for free! I ended up with Fields of Lupines, Wisteria & Lilacs, Sweet Pea & Clover, and Eucalyptus Spearmint. I adore the fabric cloths in which these soaps came wrapped... though you can also purchase un-wrapped soap chunks for a reduced price. But how could I pass up this super cute wrapping??

Soaps from Cardigan Mountain Soapworks

So far I've only used the Eucalyptus Spearmint soap, but it lathers up creamy and rich, and the scent of it makes me swoon. I can't wait to open up the others!

Once we left Soapworks, we continued on to our hiking destination, which - if I recall correctly - was taking the Manning Trail from the Cardigan Lodge towards Welton Falls for about 30 or 40 minutes before we turned around.  The hike through the woods was easy and pretty...

Hiking near Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire

Hiking through the woods near Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire

Crossing a stream while hiking in the woods near Cardigan Mountain
 Hiking in the woods near Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire

Hiking in the woods near Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire

And here's a view of Cardigan Mountain...

Cardigan Mountain
After our hike, we made a final stop back at the house to clean up and get our things before heading back down to Massachusetts again.

I have to say that this was probably the best way for me to ring in my 30s. Bowling and pizza are right up my alley, and so are relaxing and hiking and eating junk food with my girlfriends. It was a great reminder that although I might not have everything I need in my life right now, what I do have are some amazing and loving friends to help me get my smile on.

Stay tuned for an eventual recap of the trip to NYC that I took this past weekend!



  1. HAPPY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, FRIEND!! In all honesty, I actually thought about you just before I fell asleep last night (in the most non-creepy way possible, promise). I just worried that i hadn't seen you around blogland and hoped you were okay and felt like I missed you!!! Glad to see you back!!

  2. Happy belated birthday!
    The hike looks like it was a lot of fun!

    1. Thanks Britt :) I always love getting out into the woods for a walk through nature :)


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