Ode to October
It's time to cozy up with a cup of tea and walk on the crunchy pathways!
Alright, if you know me at all, you know October is my favorite time of year for many reasons. I love the changing of leaves and cool crisp air. It's a perfect time for camping in near empty forests that feel like your own personal refuge. Halloween, in my opinion, is the most badass holiday. I mean, really, you get to dress up as anything you want and get chocolate for it. Apple cider and pumpkin farms with bright red maples changing leaves...how could you not by psyched for life?!?! Plus, I get a little added attention for my birthday =) Yup, I love you October.
This October, I carved a pretty awesome pumpkin and turned 30. I took a couple of weekends to thoroughly celebrate the beginning of a new decade.
The weekend of my birthday, I went with some good friends to Farmtober Fest, a German Oktoberfest on an organic farm. We bobbed for apples (whoa, that is difficult), played German games and ate amazing organic food around a bonfire. Although I didn't know everyone there, they sang happy birthday to me in German, and Emileah got me an amazing chocolate cake.
I received phone calls and messages from friends across the country, and my friend Erin planted signs in my front yard to honk for my birthday. I am so blessed in the love I have through my friends and family. I know so many amazing people who live far away, and I wish that wasn't so, but we keep our relationships alive, and no matter what, I always feel your support and love through memories and catching up. You are what gives meaning to my life.
The next weekend, my old college/Tahoe friend Heather flew in from Salt Lake City with her little dog, Daisy. Another friend, Sam, and I all hit the road to Asheville, North Carolina. The amazing artsy town is surrounded by national forests, and that's what I wanted to explore for my birthday!
We camped at a site and enjoyed some conversation around the fire Friday night. After trying to sleep with acorns pelting our tents and a tiny little dog nuzzling into my sleeping bag, we woke up and made pancakes.
We embarked on a lovely long hike that followed a creek most of the way. Running water is my favorite part of nature. No one was on the trail and the leaves were falling like snow. I was so happy to just walk and keep on walking in the woods. It was inspiring.
So of course, we deserved a good meal after that. We went into the quaint town of Asheville and found a hula hoop dance party! Apparently, there was an electronica festival in town, so of course there were glowsticks and hula hoops. Turns out Sam is a pretty damn good hula hooper, so Heather and I had to catch up and learn! I think I burned 500 calories in 20 minutes.
We hopped around and admired people's costumes, especially a bright pink gorilla who was socializing his way through town. Then we happened upon a mecca: a chocolate shop with a line out the door. We had the most amazing hot chocolate there and listened to a little jazz band. This town is awesome.
We were pretty tired around 10pm and decided to head back to the campsite, when Heather spotted a sign that said Scarioke. U-TURN!!!!!!!!!!! My 30th birthday would not be complete without some karaoke. We walked in and it was pretty empty, which is great: no line for singing. Heather and I sang "Monster Mash" and then the pink gorilla showed up. We continued to get down and had growing suspicions that we were in a gay bar. The gorilla was dancing like a ballerina and the cowboy bartender sang "Stand by Your Man." As the night progressed, our suspicions were confirmed. Awesome. Karaoke in a gay bar to end the night!
I slept like a rock that night, falling acorns and all.
We explored a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway, ate breakfast in the art district where they turned abandoned warehouses into art galleries. I bought a mug that says, "Trust Yourself." Build your life around who you are, and go with your instincts.
Life is pretty good. There's always something to celebrate. I think I'm finally starting to feel back to myself as my friend base here in Cincinnati is growing and becoming more intimate. Circles are becoming smaller and I'm starting to bridge communities. I'm creating a life that I know I don't have to leave...what a new and wonderful feeling =)