I turned 33 on Sunday on a very different weekend than the one I celebrated the year before. Last year, we went up to Bellingham and rented a big house and packed it full of friends, where we spent the weekend eating and drinking and celebrating together.
This year was a much smaller, quieter weekend, but still a good one. I am sure glad I did the big weekend last year, for in hindsight it would be the last big gathering of friends we would have before COVID hit in a big way. Even so, I am grateful for the lovely birthday weekend I had this year, for it was the best weekend I’ve had in quite some time.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. I had a big work project turn in on the Friday before my birthday, and as a thank you, we each were told to go celebrate with a fancy dinner and a nice bottle of wine. Instead of picking one restaurant, I decided I wanted to share the love by picking up courses from different spots on Saturday night.
We ordered (non alcoholic) drinks from Cactus, appetizers from Feast, the main course from Lynn’s Bistro, and desserts from Lady Yum and Sirena Gelato. I of course shared this in my Eastside Restaurant Support group, and it was so fun to support so many different local restaurants with one meal. It might seem overly sappy, but I felt loved in a big way by getting to enjoy lovingly created dishes from so many different spots.
2. On Sunday, my official birthday, we decided to take a day trip out to the peninsula. These days, any time we leave our county feels like a “big” adventure, and it felt good to get on the ferry and head across the water (even if we had to stay in our car during the crossing). We met up with a couple of friends for a hike around Gibbs Lake in Chimacum, which was a new spot for us.
Simply by hiking a trail we’d never done before felt special and new, which is a feeling that is few and far between this year. With that trip, we’re now talking about making a weekly effort to find new trails, because it’s a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and be safely with friends.
3. After our hike, we headed to Finn River for a late lunch. They are one of our very favorite spots on the peninsula, with awesome local food and drink. While the kid’s play area was closed and we had strict requirements of where we could sit and eat, it was nice to just be there and support them.
I chatted a while with the server while we waited for our table, talking to her about the restaurant support group and the fact that we’d come out for my birthday, and she ended up bringing me a cider hot toddy as a birthday drink (and the only alcoholic drink I’ve had since a week before Halloween). Of course, I paid for the drink right back in form of a tip, because as much as I love a free drink, the goal right now is to support my favorite places. Alas, they are all out of the salal cider, my very favorite, so I wasn’t able to take some home for later.
4. Speaking of the Eastside Restaurant Support group, I decided that I wanted to celebrate my birthday by doing the second round of the gift card giveaway. We raised $4,000 in the first round, and the second round completely blew that out of the water, raising $7,800 in $50 gift card increments for folks to support local restaurants.
This giveaway touched my heart in a big way, because it was one where everyone won. The people who won the gift cards got to have a special take out meal they wouldn’t otherwise get to enjoy, the restaurants got more business, and selfishly, I got to feel good about giving to what feels like a very important cause right now.
5. When our roommate asked both my husband and me what we wanted for our birthdays/Christmas (since they fall within 3 weeks of each other), we both independently told him that we wanted a COVID vaccine. Clearly, nothing could be better or more important right now.
Washington state approved the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday, December 13th. My birthday. Talk about a present to cap off my day. While we are still in the long dark part of this pandemic, light is coming, and there is real hope now, even if it’s still far off from normal.
Saturday I went for a long walk by myself down the hill to grab a coffee for myself and get some time outside in the quiet. Sunday was the hike on the peninsula.
This past week was particularly busy, so I only managed to run on Monday and Thursday, but at least I got those in. Otherwise, I spent quite a bit of time outside and in the woods on the trails whenever I had a moment.