Another September has come and gone, and I am another year older. I love birthday's, but I often feel like mine is forgotten or overlooked. I usually have expectations, where they stem from I'm not quite sure, but it reminds me of the episode of New Girl where Jess's enthusiasm isn't always reciprocated, specifically on her birthday, and she's left disappointed. So, this year I planned ahead. My brother, his girlfriend, and my sister and I ended up spending the day enjoying each other's company. It was a relaxed day where we didn't necessarily have to be anywhere at a certain time so we kind of let the day lead us.
Our first stop was the cider house in Riverhead. I had heard about it the week before from a friend, and since they didn't require you to make a reservation (but were first come first serve) we headed out in the morning. We had breakfast at home, waffles and strawberries per my request, and then left the house around 10:45am. It was a smooth ride, thankfully there was no traffic on the way there. The cider house is about 50 mins from where I live, but the drive didn't feel long at all. When we got there the parking lot was packed, but there wasn't a line of people waiting outside so I was grateful for that.
They had restrictions: masks were to be worn unless you were sitting and you had to purchase food before you got your drinks. I had already checked the website and their instagram and was planning on getting both a pretzel and some cider donuts. It's a part of the experience after all. We stood in line for food, and although there was no seating left outside we found a booth along the wall. We took turns purchasing our drinks and then took in the atmosphere while enjoying our goodies. The interior of the cider house was very Pinterest: it had string lights hanging along the ceiling, a one man band playing live music and some apple orchard designs along the front wall. If it was less crowded I would have been inclined to take more pictures, but that just means we'll have to visit again soon.
My brothers girlfriend, Rikki, and I both got flights. It was four for twelve and being that it was our first time I figured I'd try a few. My favorites were the ones on the sweeter side, which wasn't much of surprise. They had fun names too, I'm a sucker for names. I got Cinnamon Toast, Pot O' Gold, Apple Annie and Honey Crisp. Cinnamon Toast (pictured above) and Apple Annie were the best, in my opinion. The food was tasty too! We got a pretzel and chips and guac, and let me tell you the guac was incredible. They had a separate line for the guac where it was prepared right in front of you. Definitely worth waiting for.
On our drive over we passed by a sunflower maze. The flowers looked beautiful, so we made sure to stop on the way home. My sister and I had gone to one closer to home, which was cute and convenient for us at the time, but I'm so glad we saw this one. It was a different kind of sunflower, bigger and more in bloom. There was a $5 entrance fee and you were free to wander the maze for as long or as little as needed. There were few people there when we arrived, so we were able to explore, take pictures with ease, and keep a safe distance.
On Sunday, after work, I headed to brunch with two of my close friends. We had been trying to get together before the pandemic and then the world shut down. But, thankfully it worked out that we were all able to make time that weekend. We decided to try a new place called The Shed. It was packed when we arrived so we had to wait a good half hour. Though I had heard good things, I was slightly disappointed. The service was slow, it was a busy Sunday, but I've been to crowded places on a weekend and not had to wait as long. The food was also not as great as I expected. I enjoyed it but I left unsatisfied, as did my friends. I do plan on trying it again for dinner, maybe it was just a bad day. Other than that, the company was good, it was nice to see them both and spend some time together. Being with friends in person after months of being stuck at home was refreshing. Plus, I always liked being able to celebrate a new year with friends. The both brought me a little gift, which was unexpected but appreciated. From Gabbi I got a new notebook (yes!!), and a wine glass, and Angela got me a coffee mug and a fall themed blanket. Both very thoughtful, and very me. Overall, I enjoyed the weekend. It was fun to have activities to do to commemorate another year older.
I do however, want to take the time to thank 26. Thank you for giving me the courage to write. The courage to have just a little bit of faith in myself and my words. Thank you for reminding me to stop apologizing (even if sometimes I forget) for things that aren’t my fault. Thank you for giving me the time and space I need to truly understand things about myself that don’t always make sense. Thank you for helping me uncover the parts of me that are difficult to share, even with those closest to me. Thank you for allowing me to continue to devour stories of love and hope through movies and books and music and television. Thank you for not letting me stop being aggressively passionate about the things I love and admire.
For 27, I hope I continue to break down my own walls of insecurity and doubt. I hope that I can rise above the feelings of anxiety, and false sense of inadequacies when it comes to relationships and my talents. I hope I’m able to fulfill the goals I’ve set for myself, even on the worst of days. I have a lot of hope for 27.
2020 has done an incredible job testing our limits, but I truly believe we will come out on the other side with scars that will remind us that we’ve fought for important things. We will never forget this year, or the times to follow, because in a few short months we have experienced lifetimes of grief, pain and injustice. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that time is of the essence. No more waiting for tomorrow, now is here and it is ready. Are you?