Last weekend, though recovering from the flu (thanks, Valley Visitor Center), I insisted my fever had fallen enough to go through with our semi-planned Eastside adventure. And so Saturday morning found Craig driving us from El Portal to Mammoth Lakes. It was a fun experience and I continued my fast recovery (most likely thanks to my 18 hours of sleep before heading out and my continuous consumption of water to the tune of 100+ ounces a day). Among the highlights were Ben & Jerry’s free birthday cones, colder-than-forecasted camping in the high desert (25*? brrr!), Looney Bean’s pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bagels, and weird & vintage cards at the Castoff. And then I got my much-desired hummingbird feeder and Mono Lake Committee insulated coffee canteen. No hiking really since I was still in recovery mode, but we did get in some fall photography – aspens are in the height of fall color – and some birding – on our drive back over Tioga Road, we spotted a bald eagle and a great gray owl (so exciting – a first-time sighting of this state-endangered bird and largest owl in North America)!!!
The day before my birthday (Mom’s birthday!), I got packages from both Mom and Julie. Happy morning! Then Craig came up for lunch and on our way back home that evening he surprised me with a stop-off for a birthday massage at Eve’s. And then made delicious dinner while I tried my hand at a vegan cookie cake recipe I’d found online (which turned out to be mostly a bust – edible but not what I was going for at all really). I also got to have an extended chat with my brother, which doesn’t happen nearly often enough. He’s got some really exciting things going on in his world and it was great to catch up a bit.
And then there was my birthday. I didn’t advertise it, but somehow word still got out (small world and all that). For a work day, it was an awesome day. Made some birthday calls first thing. It’s a definite oddity to call people on your birthday so they can wish you a happy birthday, but I guess that’s just par for the course when you don’t own a phone. I did get one very special call to my work phone though – UJ called from London! And my co-workers made the workday special in their own unique ways… Elvira gave me a candle, Kirsten and I went to lunch, Ben sang to me over the loudspeaker, Erik shared some sage wisdom, and there was a general flow of good wishes all-round. I started a new audiobook on the bus ride home (since I can’t read on the bus without getting carsick, I now listen to books and so started The Scarlet Pimpernel) and came home to tempeh BLTs and champagne and then to Sal’s night to celebrate with half of El Portal and to spend a few minutes watching a bear climb a tree to get to the delicious acorns at the top. I can very honestly say I’ve never had a birthday bear before!
30 today doesn’t feel much different from 29 yesterday. But it’s a number I’ll gladly embrace without really feeling old or regretting the passage of time. I wouldn’t want to be in any time but today.