Wednesday, August 10, 2011

29 and Holding

I have to admit: my birthday this year had me worried. I moved to a brand new town, in a brand new state, just over a week ago. I've met a few people but I don't really have any friends yet. And I'm still dealing with NOT dealing with the fact that I left such fine people behind in Texas. People with whom I've spent the last six or seven birthdays. The potential for disaster and depression was high.

The one person I do have made sure that nothing like that happened. With Nathan by my side, we celebrated the start of my 29th year with one of the best days I've had in a while.

It started bright and early, when I headed out for an easy three mile run through my new neighborhood. After the run, Nathan joined me for the now customary yoga tradition - 29 sun salutations, plus one to grow on. My yoga buddies in Nacogdoches, Albania and Rhode Island also completed salutations in my honor, and I was indeed honored. I highly recommend starting a new year with this tradition. Each salutation gives you time to reflect on years past and appreciate how far you've come - and how far you left to go.

While we were saluting the sun, the dogs were pacing and whining behind our yoga mats. As soon as we were finished we poured coffee into travel mugs and took the boys to the dog park. Our new house is only about a mile from a pretty great park - it's totally fenced in, provides plenty of poop bags, and is loaded with a variety of funny and friendly dogs. I love dog parks and living so close to one is definitely a highlight of our home.

After the dogs were worn out, we headed home where Nathan poured us mimosas and presented me with my gifts. We'd already used my birthday as an excuse to split the cost of a beautiful but too expensive desk (photos coming soon!) so I wasn't expecting much. Nathan surprised me with a great gift, especially as I start grad school in just a few weeks - a Kindle!

I've been wanting a Kindle for a while, so I was thrilled to finally have one in my hands. He also got me a Kindle case and a $50 gift card to start my e-book collection. Very thoughtful and very exciting. My boyfriend is awesome.

The next item on our Day of Birthday Awesomeness list was a trip to the beach. We live about 15 minutes from Wrightsville Beach but hadn't yet had a chance to dip our toes in the ocean. Yesterday we packed some snacks, put on our suits and headed out.

The beach here is amazing! Beautiful and the perfect temperate - not too warm, not too cold. The current was strong and the waves were rough, and we had a great and exhausting time trying to ride the waves (I'm out of practice) and swimming through the salty surf. I did learn two important things: I need to get a boogie board ASAP, and my bathing suit, while adorable and perfect for calm, East Texas lakes, is no match for the Atlantic Ocean. I had to keep pulling up my bikini or risk swimming in my birthday suit. Which, while appropriate considering the day, did not seem like the best idea.

Once we'd had our fill of sun and sand, we drove home, cleaned up and headed out to dinner at Big Thai, a restaurant that I'd read about in the local independent newspaper. (Side note: living by the beach means that there is sand on the floors of your house at all times. I shall learn to live with this.) Big Thai ended up being a great choice - we loved the restaurant and will definitely be back. Plus, it gave me a chance to take photos of pretty appetizers and entrees.

Basil rolls with veggies and tofu. I love that dipping sauce with the peanuts sprinkled on top.

I got vegan pad thai (tofu and hold the eggs) and Nathan got drunken noodles (not pictured). While Nathan's dish was more flavorful than mine, it was also a little too spicy for my taste. The pad thai was pretty great, but much more subtle. Next time, I shall try the curry.

Clearly, I enjoyed my meal. No noodle left behind. Birthdays are a great way to work up an appetite.

We were going to have a drink at a dog friendly bar after dinner, in order to test out the pups when it wasn't so crowded, but I was too tired to go out. Instead, we rented True Grit (excellent movie!) and had a glass of wine on our makeshift "couch" (two chairs pushed together). All in all, it was a great day and a wonderful way to start a fresh year.

Do you still celebrate birthdays? I always do and always will. I have no problem with getting older, especially since life only seems to improve with each year.