Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Birthday card from Erica.

I turned 30 yesterday. Whenever I thought about my 30th birthday, I pictured a huge party - tons of wine and champagne, delicious food, loud music, a house full of friends. When it came time to actually plan said party, I realized that parties are a lot of work, and that I didn't really want to spend the first day of a new decade hungover and cleaning a trashed house. Funny what getting older will do to you! 

Instead, I had a low key, romantic, thoughtful, and sweet birthday celebration. And I still woke up with a slight hangover, so it really was the best of both worlds.

Dog friends.

First: coffee at the dog park with my boys. (This is essential component of any perfect day.) Then, more coffee at home, where Nathan made me breakfast (egg and potato burritos, topped with spicy salsa). Then coffee in travel mugs and a two hour drive to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Nathan drives to Myrtle Beach once a week for work, but I'd never been, and we thought it would be a fun thing to do - different, a little weird, and a good way to commemorate my 30th. We were right.

High five!

Bodies Revealed.


Our first stop was the Bodies Revealed exhibit. From the website:
The Exhibition offers an intimate and informative view into the human body. Using an innovative preservation process, the Exhibition allows visitors to see the human body's inner beauty in educational and awe-inspiring ways. Our Exhibitions have over 200 actual human bodies and specimens meticulously dissected and respectfully displayed, offering an unprecedented and wholly unique view into the amazing body.
It was a little strange to see corpses on display, and I half expected one of them to reanimate and lurch at us, but after a while I got used to it and it was actually really interesting to see the human body displayed in such a way. I left the exhibit with a profound appreciation for my body. 

Next up on our list of Myrtle Beach activities was a secret present from Nathan, which we had to pick up. He'd been very quiet about this gift, and I had a few suspicions about what it might be. My first guess was a surfboard - I'd mentioned that I wanted to learn to surf, and it seemed like the kind of thing he would get me. He said it was not a surfboard. Then, as we were driving to the present, I saw a sign for an airport, and I became convinced that he was taking me sky diving. I got nervous and upset, which I tried to hide, and my mind raced, wondering what I should do. I had no desire to jump out of a plane, and just the thought was terrifying. Do I say not to sky diving? Do I disappoint Nathan and let everyone down? (Who is "everyone?" Who knows. I was not thinking rationally.) So you can imagine my relief when we parked in an outdoor mall, walked past a few stores, and stopped in front of a familiar door. 


For my birthday, Nathan gave me a generous spending limit and set me loose in Anthropologie. So much better than sky diving!

I don't usually shop at Anthropologie, and I'm sure you can guess why. So it was exciting to have free reign and try on tons of beautiful dresses that I could never normally afford. I ended up getting one gorgeous dress, a pretty shirt from the sales rack, and a lovely pair of honeybee earrings. AND I came in under budget, because as much as I loved those dresses, I still couldn't bring myself to spend $180 on one article of clothing. Not even on my birthday.

Beekeeping is officially glamorous.

It was a very thoughtful and appreciated gift, because I'm constantly complaining that all my clothes come from the discount rack at Target, and I don't have any nice things for teaching, literary events, special occasions, etc. And now I have two nice things, and an awesome pair of earrings. Turning 30 in style - literally. 

Obviously, spending a bunch of money on pretty clothes calls for a cocktail, preferably on a pier, overlooking the beach, with waves crashing beneath us. Check, check, and check.

Yes, we ordered a whole pitcher. Birthdays are special. And obviously, once that pitcher was empty, we were in desperate need of food. Luckily, we passed a Greek restaurant on the boardwalk while looking for a suitable bar, so we made our way back to it and placed an order.

Oh, falafel. I will never be too old for you. 

We headed back to Wilmington after eating our lunch, sobering up, and stopping for coffee, and then it was time for another trip to the dog park (two trips in one day! The dogs love birthdays!). Once the pups were tired, we cleaned up and headed out to meet some friends for a fancy dinner and drinks downtown. No more photos, because I was having too much fun and talking to too many people to interrupt myself with a camera, so you'll have to trust me when I say it was a great time. My friends are the best and most generous people (they brought gifts and cards with the sweetest messages inside - having writers for friends is awesome) and with their help, I ended the first day of my 30th year looking forward to the next, and the next, and the next. 

As for being 30, well, it's pretty great. I have more thoughts on this new decade, but I'll save them for later. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the fact that I'm older, wiser, and my hangover is almost gone. Happy birthday, indeed.