Sometimes You Need a Whole Birthday Week

Birthdays are truly my favorite. My family always made a big deal out of our birthdays. Every year I had a gaggle of giggling girls over for some sort of themed party: Age 5- Dress as your Favorite Disney Character, Age 8- Wild and Crazy Kids, Age 9- 1950s Dance Party. Every year in Austin I would throw a party. The minimum requirements included homemade salsa, guacamole, jalapeno poppers and… jello shots. What can I say, that’s just how I like it! This year I didn’t feel like I knew enough people for a party which could have been a bummer, but instead there was birthday week.

Birthday week started with book club! I’m a big fan of book club as you know and really didn’t want to leave my Austin group. Luckily everyone I have met in Wilmington so far is a book enthusiast (to say the least). I hosted the first meeting and fixed crock pot roast chicken, cucumber salad and beet arugula quinoa salad. We discussed The Paying Guests which I chose almost solely because I heard it receive positive feedback on NPR (clearly I wanted to appear book savvy to my new friends). It received mixed reviews. Overall we were impressed by Sarah Waters’ ability to immerse us in a time period but felt the ending was overly long and unnecessary. Main thing I took from the book: Sarah Waters writes some very sultry scenes..

bookclub

Tuesday was another great day- I got a drastic hair cut! My last cut was in December (I’m a three haircuts a year kind of girl) as I had been growing my hair out pretty much since we got engaged last year. Since Castle Street is my new favorite area in town I wanted to check out Elsewhere Salon (“For Maidens and Misfits”). I’m a fan. For one there was wine, two the place has crazy artwork everywhere and most importantly, I like my haircut. I think this is the shortest I’ve had it since the first grade.

Please ignore the sunburn.

Please ignore the sunburn.

I had really been looking forward to Wednesday for several weeks. The husband and I went to Ziggy’s for Lake Street Dive. I first heard about Lake Street Dive when my friends, Loves It, talked about opening for them. After getting to see a free show during SXSW last year, I was hooked! It was an incredible treat to get to see a full show in such a small venue.

I have a very big crush on all of these people.

I have a very big crush on all of these people.

Thursday was yet another adventure! We hoofed it a whole five blocks to the Cape Fear Museum to check out the History and Science of Alcohol 2.0. The museum was covered with booths where we tried to answer questions about prohibition, matched beers to their primary ingredients and tried George Washington’s recipe for beer! Best of all was the raffle where Tyler won the grand prize: two tickets to a concert at Greenfield Lake Ampitheater.

Winning!

Winning!

On my actual birthday I didn’t get to see my fella much. He had to work. After work and a couple hours in the garden, I met pretty much everyone I know in Wilmington (please keep in mind I’m very new) at Husk for drinks (and maybe shots…), dinner at Yosake and dancing at Lula’s. Lula’s is actually a dive bar and not a dance bar, but we didn’t let that stop us.

Photocred: Christine Hennessy

Photocred: Christine Hennessy

Saturday started a little slow, as all post-birthday mornings should, but the afternoon involved picking strawberries at Lewis Farms. I’m in love with berry picking now. I brought home a bucket of the juiciest, most flavorful strawberries I have ever tasted. Apparently blackberries will be ready soon so I expect to return there shortly!

berries

I forgot to take pictures on Sunday but I visited the Raleigh Flea Market with my fabulous mama. The best part was when we discovered that Tupelo Honey had opened up a restaurant there. Be still my heart!

I can’t say I remember ever having my birthday on Memorial Day weekend but if the powers that be want that to happen again I would really embrace it. Three day weekends are the best kind of birthday present, especially when they involve breakfast taco parties. Have you ever been to one? I’m talking migas, bacon, veggie chorizo, salsas and guacamole galore, and cinnamon rolls (gotta have the sweet stuff too!). The highlight of breakfast taco party was surprisingly not the tacos though. It was a paint can filled with bourbon, mint, lime, orange and lemon juice! It was enthusiastically shared with all party goers.

tacoparty

Babies love taco party.

Also you receive fortunes at taco party..

Also you receive fortunes at taco party..

After all of this excitement, you would think it would time to calm down but instead we headed to Austin! I have so much more to say but this post is getting a little long…

Everyone Needs a Dive Bar When They’re Young

A couple weeks ago I promised you a post on Ziggy’s. You might not have any idea what Ziggy’s is but you may have had a similar place in your life when you were young. There are two sides of Ziggy’s. On the one hand it was the only venue in Winston-Salem that brought in big name bands (not huge, but very recognizable bands) that wasn’t at the Coliseum. The Coliseum got huge bands periodically but for the most part you had to travel to Charlotte or Raleigh to get your music fix. You could get in if you were under 18 as well. On the other hand, it was a dirty, dirty dive bar. This was not a nice venue with security and rules. This was a place (indoor) where you could always smell weed, the beer was cheap, the fights were frequent and old fogey local folk often complained about it.

When I was fourteen my best friend and I won tickets to a show at Ziggy’s. I want to say it was to some band like Jimmy Eat World but when I asked my friend she was convinced it was Sixpence None the Richer. Clearly we don’t have a clue. This event had the potential to be the best thing that had ever happened to us. We’d won the tickets on the radio which is the ultimate of cool during that time period, but we still needed permission to go. Our parents tentatively said yes. They wanted the advice of my older sister who had been to Ziggy’s. The great sister betrayal of 1999 (?- maybe it was 2000) occurred when my sister denied us. She shut down our hopes and dreams and free tickets when she said we were too young to go.  I didn’t make my first trip to Ziggy’s until my junior year.

Can you believe we weren't allowed to go to a bar?!

Can you believe we weren’t allowed to go to a bar?!

Ziggy’s was the place where we felt older, where ever truly epic night began.  I saw many Jump Little Children shows there and the best show was Sleater Kinney in 2009. When my friends had shows there it was like we’d really reached the pinnacle of high school life. Luckily the pinnacle of high school life is not the actual pinnacle of life.

An example of me at my dancing peak

An example of me at my dancing peak

A few years ago Wake Forest University bought Ziggy’s and Brew Ha Ha’s next door (don’t even get me started!) and the whole road is used for the school’s purposes. Ziggy’s eventually opened up a new location in downtown Winston-Salem that I am told is slick and not in any way sketchy. The Ziggy’s by the sea in Wilmington is similar. Still being there made me feel very nostalgic. I should have smoked cigarettes, flirted with boys and danced my heart out just for old time’s sake.