Time is flying. Flying! Somehow it’s been over a week since I last posted anything on my little Happelsauce. I think I’ve been in a semi-paralyzed state as of late, with a big birthday looming. Saturday, September 5th. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I contemplated spending the long weekend in New York or Seattle. For a few hours, I convinced myself that I should splurge on a workshop at Esalen because it would be the perfect way to ease into a new decade of life. I was a little fearful to face the long weekend in the Bay, with my best friends and family far away. My life here is so very new and the last thing I wanted to feel was lonely. But ultimately, I decided to stay put and make the most of it. And I’m so happy I did.
I emailed friends and invited them to join me on a birthday hike to the Tourist Club in Marin. It’s a big Swiss Alps inspired house that’s nestled in the woods, owned by Nature Friends, a non-profit confederation founded in Austria in 1895 that is now composed of over 500,000 hikers, climbers, skiers and others who love the outdoors. Non-members can enjoy the club on most weekend days. Oh, and did I mention that the Tourist Club serves beer? And pickles? Danke to the genius who installed the beer tap.
I had asked friends to bring picnic goodies and their friends. The more the merrier. There turned out to be almost 20 of us perched on a shady deck, nibbling on farmers market fruit, heirloom tomato and basil salad, roasted garlic bread, olives, goat cheese and spicy nuts.
Whit surprised me with an assortment of heavenly cupcakes from Kara’s – chocolate with coconut cream cheese frosting was my favorite, with carrot cake a close runner-up.
We ate and drank and talked all afternoon. Then, just as the fog rolled in and blanketed the valley below, we headed back down.
Feeling the effects of my ripe old age, I was showered and ready for bed by 8pm. I had opened the most thoughtful presents and cards from family and friends and was sitting on my bed when my roommates burst in with a cake, singing “Happy Birthday!” I blew out the candle with tears streaming down my face. I felt so lucky and so loved. As it turned out, Ellie had ordered me a red velvet cake from a bakery in Berkeley and enlisted Dan to pick it up and surprise me with it. I cut a huge slice, ate the entire thing and promptly went to sleep. Somehow I had managed to turn 30 years old. And honestly, I had never felt better.