Last Wednesday was my boyfriend’s birthday. Various celebrations filled up the week, all for him. I want to document them on here. I know it’s my recovery blog and whatnot, but I think it’s fun to sprinkle in some of the personal life I have. Plus, he’s a vital aspect of my life, so it’d feel weird not to talk about him. I love him a lot, if you couldn’t tell. 😉
Occasionally he reads the blog, so we’ll see if he catches this post.
For starters, maybe a brief introduction might be helpful. I can’t recall for the life of me if I’ve ever formally introduced him to the blog but here’s the brief rundown: his name is Ian. He’s actually my coworker… I know. Not only that, but he’s the other RA on my floor… I know I know. Trust me, I was hesitant about that. But he was persistent, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the guy. Ian’s pretty dang incredible.
This is his first year as an RA and his second year at SDSU, making him one year younger than me. March 8th marked his 20th birthday, thus beginning the week of celebratory events.
On his actual birthday itself, I hardly saw him until the evening. We briefly spoke midmorning before he set off for a solid 6 hours of class, straight through. Wednesdays are, unfortunately, his worst days, so we planned to celebrate in the evening.
Ian is a pasta aficionado, so I knew I had my sights set on a nice Italian restaurant that a) wasn’t going to break the bank b) relatively near campus and c) delicious. Both of us have early Thursday mornings, so I tried to be mindful of that when the perfect place fell into my lap: Antica Trattoria. Ten minutes away from campus, relatively inexpensive for what I was looking for, and 4.5 stars on yelp. Bonus: they were running a Groupon. Sold.
Our reservations were for 7:30 and they sat us immediately. We doused our complimentary bread with thick gobs of olive oil. I opted for the ravioli in a mushroom and brandy wine sauce, while Ian (of course) chose the lasagna. We wiped our plates clean and ended up sitting around, chatting, and just enjoying each other’s companies. Before we knew, we were the last ones in the restaurant!
Over the weekend, we travelled home to see his family in Palm Springs. He is devoted to keeping good relations with his family, something I admire about him very much. He and they always make an effort to see each other when they can.
Originally we planned to drive over there on Thursday night, but I had a meeting for the NEDA walk that look place over the weekend on Friday morning. After that meeting and a slower morning, we drove out, arriving a little after 1pm. The drive was peaceful, and we made our way through lush green mountains. It made me even more thankful for all of the recent rain we had. I’ve never seen the SoCal area look so hydrated and healthy. Gorgeous scenery and a super interesting conversation made the two-hour drive seem like a breeze. Another thing I’m grateful for about Ian: we don’t shy away from the difficult topics of conversation: politics, the environment, etc., it all happens and we don’t always agree, but we do agree that we are thankful to have those topics so respectfully.
Once we arrived in Palm Springs, we were delighted to see that Ian’s best friend from his childhood was sitting on his couch. I was in on the surprise, but Ian hadn’t the slightest idea. They live over 7 hours apart now that they are both in university, so spending time together has become a rarity to cherish. We picked him up and all grabbed some lunch before we finished up any lingering homework we all had.
Once Ian’s mom came home from work and the whole group was together, we decided on an easy night: pizza + movie. Sounds like the perfect Friday night to me.
We drove into the city and placed an order at Bill’s Pizza. We ordered a large with two different styles on each half: the Northern Italian and Carol’s White. I had three slices of Carol’s White which had garlic infused olive oil sauce, roasted garlic, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, mozzarella & fresh basil. Garlic. Garlic. Garlic. Yessss. It was so good. The ricotta cheese crumbled with every bite.
For our movie selection, we went with a movie that Ian and I had already seen: Coherence. Have any of you heard of it? Ian and I came across it by googling, literally, “mind-fuck films.” After watching it, we wholeheartedly agree that that is the best way to describe it. The first time Ian and I watched it, we were like, “huh? what? wait, no, oh my gosh, whaaaaaat?” It starts out slow but then it pretty much punches you in the face. When we watched it this past weekend, it was hilarious to watch everyone else produce those exact same reactions, all the while Ian and I are sitting next to each other, with our minds equally blown, but in an entirely different way. We saw all the clues this time. It’s a film made my a creative genius. If you at all like trippy, insane films, this one is for you. It’ll make you think.
We all clocked out at around midnight, ready for Saturday, the day of the real festivities.
The next morning, I awoke at 7 am. Knowing that my boyfriend loves to sleep in, I set up a little working station for me outside on the back patio. Their backyard leads onto a golf course, so I spent the morning watching the carts pass by and occasionally I’d get to see a swing or two. It was 80 degrees (at 7 am!!), but I had a cushioned chair in the shade. It was bliss. I caught myself thinking, all this needs is a cup of coffee! But I’ll be happy to report that I am still going strong on my lent challenge.
When everyone awoke, we sat down to a huge breakfast. Birthday boy got a little spoiled. 😉 Pancakes, bacon, eggs galore. This is also me realizing that I snap chatted a bunch of my food photos… but didn’t save them. Sorry about that! I guess now is a good time to say follow me on snapchat! I always follow back because I love chatting with you all through snapchat. [username: julesgrigorian]
Right after this, Ian’s sister and her husband arrived, which is when the real party started. They are hoots, and I love their personalities. They brighten up a room immediately upon entrance.
Toward the end of the morning, we set out in cars over to an art exhibit.
It was an entire house made up of mirrors. The whole thing. Mirrors. It was trippy, just like the movie, leading to far too many jokes.
Ian’s brother-in-law took some quality photos on his nice camera, so I’ll be sure to share them here once I get them!
That afternoon was spent lounging around the backyard of house, sipping drinks, and eating some snacks while the boys played corn hole. I had the opportunity to really connect with Ian’s sister (I think! hopefully!), and the intimate afternoon helped us rest for the night ahead.
Dinner reservations were scheduled for 8:30 at a place called Pappy & Harriet’s. It was up in the Palm Springs mountains, so high up there was no cell reception. It was worth the trek though. They had live music, which we all immediately fell in love with.
The band on stage that night was Black Crystal Wolf Kids, which they have self-dubbed themselves to be the first indie-rock cover band. That is precisely what they are. Throughout the night, they went back and forth, from the classics such as “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” to recent hits like, “Hey Ho,” all the while throwing some middle school jams like “We Are Young.”
We could not get enough.
They played three sets. We ate during the first one. I ordered an Angus beef burger and ohhhh man. This barbecue joint did it right. Ian ordered a steak that I stole a few bites from. Butter. It was so smooth. Pappy & Harriet’s advertises themselves as a place that you go to for the ambiance and not necessarily the food, but I disagree. You come for both. The food was stellar.
In the final two sets, we found ourself at the front of the crowd in this tiny little barbecue joint, singing and dancing the night away. I loved that they were a cover band because I knew 85% of the songs. Instead of standing there, bobbing my head, trying to hear the words, it was an automatic reaction to dance and sing along.
I really felt alive.
We didn’t leave the restaurant till almost midnight, which is unheard of for me, but I honestly could not believe that over three hours had passed. It was a blast. The entire night. We came home, and I was ready for bed though. I’m certain I fell asleep within 30 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.
So so so worth it though.
It made waking up at 9:45 this morning, still exhausted, incredibly worth it though. After another slow morning, we packed up our things and set off onto the road for our home back in San Diego. Ian’s sister and I also convinced Ian to give the Serial podcast (season 1!) a shot on the drive back. It’s probably my fourth or fifth time listening to the first episode (I love podcasts and discussing them), so it was a real treat to share that with Ian. I’m already curious to hear what his thoughts will be as we progress through more episodes. We only made it through 2.5, so we have a while to go!
I loved every moment of the weekend. Here I am at 4:45 on Sunday afternoon, back in my room, and not wanting to move an inch. I have some homework I should be doing, but honestly, I just wanted to come on here and journal about it all. Ian will be the first one to tell you: I let stress get in the way of everything. I let it cloud my mind. I need weekends like this where I remove all aspects of stress, even physically, and just enjoy the presence of those around me. That’s how I stay mentally sane and health. This weekend served as a perfect reminder of that.
Even better? I got to do it with Ian and his family. I love spending time with Ian, and I love getting the opportunity to know his family on a more personal level.
Happy happy happy birthday, Ian. I love you. I adore you. I wish you all the best in this new year of live. You are meant to thrive.
To my readers who always read my words, know how much I love your kindness toward me. To take time out of your day and read my weekend recaps, blog reviews, unqualified recovery insight, that all means more to me than I could ever articulate. <3