When it comes to making plans, I’ve never really been one to painstakingly organize every single detail down to a T. Sure, my work schedule, my fitness regimen, my travel arrangements- all are carefully coordinated and carried out because I do need SOME structure and control in my routine- but hanging out with friends? Going for a mini road trip? Grabbing dinner? Seeing a movie or just walking around town? I like to keep those ends loose and the planning as lax as possible because I’ve come to find that by not micro-managing my free time down to the last second has left room for the unexpected and the exciting to happen.
I’ve had so many adventures by simply taking a different corner while out for a walk or visiting an attraction/restaurant/neighborhood I’ve passed by or through a hundred times but never actually stopped to take a really good look before.
Such was the case with this past weekend- which was also my birthday weekend and one I extended into Monday with a planned day off from work. While there was an outline of potential plans- dinner with friends, time with my family, and a day trip to NYC- nothing was set in stone because I didn’t want to stress about anything and risk dampening my celebratory mood and I certainly didn’t want the people in my life stressing about making my days enjoyable, either.
But they went above and beyond, anyway!
Saturday night, after treating myself during the day to some hair color refreshment with my stylist and a jaunt to downtown Boston to show my support for the Women’s March (and by now I’m sure most of you saw how HUGE that crowd was! Whoa!) I met up with my friends in Melrose for a lovely evening stroll downtown and a pre-birthday meal at Giacomo’s. It was my first time there but certainly won’t be my last. I love a good plate of Italian food- and not only did I practically lick my plate clean- but I picked at my friends’ plates, too. So, so delicious.
After dinner, I thought we’d order dessert and be on our way- but my friends split the check among themselves and were quick to usher me back to their apartment around the corner- where they had the above-pictured red velvet cake waiting for me. I won’t say what I wished for when I blew out the candles- but I have a pretty good feeling it’s coming true. I was so touched and had such a lovely night. It didn’t hurt that the weather was gorgeous, too! I was outside with just a sweater and was perfectly cozy!
Sunday, my actual birthday- was spent getting plenty of birthday calls, texts and social media alerts while kicking back throughout the afternoon and evening with my family where we had a home cooked meal courtesy of my mother (lobster and scallops- which is our special occasion food!) and watching The Patriots beat the Steelers to become the AFC Champions and head to the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. It was such a relaxing and laid-back day and was just what I needed to get me amped up for my post-birthday visit to NYC this past Monday!
Bright eyed (after some much needed coffee)– Sean and I headed out Monday morning to catch a train into Grand Central. We got into the city early in the afternoon where it was rainy/sleeting and a bit colder than we would have liked. We didn’t waste any time ducking into a couple of shops to look around and grabbed a quick lunch at Eat Here Now– a hole in the wall brunch/lunch spot in the Upper East Side that made just about everything you could ever want to order. I grabbed a tuna melt to warm my bones and it didn’t leave me disappointed.
Not far from our lunch spot was Sprinkles Cupcakes, where I insisted Sean try out their cupcake ATM since he had never seen it before. We picked out a German Chocolate Cupcake (with whipped vanilla and pecan frosting) to share with the coffee we planned to have later on that afternoon before we headed back towards our train.
With the winds picking up and the rain coming down a little harder- Sean and I found ourselves at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’d never been, and always wanted to go- but there was one problem- we got there an hour before the place closed. Now, an hour is not nearly enough time to see everything this museum has to offer- and it’s certainly not worth the full $25 admission price to see one wing before having to leave- but here’s a fun surprise: if you show up to the museum before they close- you can name your own price of admission. I’m serious. Sean and I got to explore the Egyptian and Contemporary wings for $5.
I’m already planning a trip back to NYC in the coming weeks specifically to go to The MET just so I can see the rest of the museum. The place is gigantic and quite beautiful- and I know there’s a lot I missed out on during my quick walk-through!
Before racing back to Grand Central to beat an impending ice storm that was set to hit Massachusetts on Monday night, Sean and I stopped at Joe’s Coffee to grab a couple of cappuccinos and enjoy our cupcake while we charged our phones and dried our coats as best as we could. The place was small, warm, smelled like freshly ground coffee beans and was playing some drum-heavy music (which was a nice change of pace from the usual smooth jazz I hear in most coffee shops) so I enjoyed our brief stay immensely- and the caffeine gave me just enough of a kick to not only RUN to the subway back to the station- but practically hurdle myself onto our train just as it was pulling away from the platform.
Overall, my birthday weekend was pretty great. It was spent with people near and dear to me and was about as spontaneous and roll-with-the-punches as you can imagine. I had an incredible time and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the town this coming Saturday and Sunday.
And thank you again to everyone who reached out to me to send birthday wishes and good vibes. It meant the world to me and I truly and honestly appreciate it so much! You all helped make my special day even better!