Steph Lloyd

Wondering + Wandering


Birthday Fun

Like I mentioned in my last post, both Matt and I were both born in August, he on the 17th and me on the 21st. In the past we’ve had joint birthday parties or just had one nice dinner and celebrated together but this year we decided to do something different. Last week I had this idea that we should do something fun on each day, starting with his birthday and ending on mine. Five days of fun… why haven’t we thought of this before?!

On Matt’s birthday we drove up to Santa Monica and spent some time walking around downtown. We love how multi-cultural it is there and it’s fun seeing the ocean from such a high vantage point. We see the ocean in Seal Beach on the same level as the water but in Santa Monica you are up on a cliff. It’s so stinkin’ expansive!

After that we drove up to Ojai to see Lissie in concert. She is my favorite musician and has a killer band. The concert was a benefit concert for Changing Tides Orphanage and was held at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai. It’s this great little outdoor venue in the middle of town. There weren’t a lot of people seated when we got there, everyone was eating and chatting on the grassy area, so we went and sat down. Front and center, baby! Haha. I was stoked not only to see her live but to be sitting so close to the stage. What the what?!

There were two other bands that played first: Todd Hannigan and George Stanford. They were both great. I’ve had George’s music stuck in my head for days. Near the end of his set, this dude came up looking for a seat. When I looked over I immediately recognized him as an actor from LOST. OMG! I loved his character in LOST and he’s really great in Justified right now too. Matt and I chatted with him some before Lissie came on and then between songs. He is a super nice guy. Lissie was amazing. Matt and I sang and danced to all the music we knew and enjoyed a bunch of new stuff she’s written. It was such a sweet night!

We drove down to Petco Park in San Diego to run an errand for work (it’s a tough job, I know, but someone’s got to do it!). We drove over to Phil’s to get some BBQ and completely balked at the line wrapped around the building. I haven’t waited in line for food since living in Tulsa! Matt was like, “Hey, Sea World has pretty decent BBQ”, so we made a beeline for Sea World. It was our second time there this year and we had a great time. We watched the Shamu show again, ate a ton, walked pretty much everywhere, petted a dolphin (!) and took the Bayside Skyride.

It was warm on Sunday so we put on our bathing suits and headed to the beach. I read on the beach all the time but I’ve never actually taken a swim. It’s horrible, I know, but I have this ridiculous fear of drowning. Matt just took off and hit the water as I sat there trying to decide if I wanted to get in or not. I decided to go get my legs wet and succumbed to peer pressure and just jumped in. Dude. It was so much fun. Haha. The waves were kinda crazy at times and I totally got thrown back on the beach over and over again. I managed to get a sand burn (?) on my back on one of those exciting rides. Haha. We were out there alternating between swimming and drying off in the sun until we went back for dinner. Matt had roasted a pork shoulder overnight and so we had that and corn-on-the-cob out on the patio. I

We goofed on this day. We didn’t do anything new or fun. Boo! I worked the whole day and Matt studied. Luckily for him it was stuff he wanted to be studying since school doesn’t start until next week. We did take a walk on the beach… which, I guess, should qualify as fun.

We took advantage of a free birthday ferry ride and headed to Catalina Island on my birthday. Ah yeah! I signed us up for parasailing in the afternoon. In addition to a fear of drowning, I also have a fear of heights. So take those two, put them together, and you can see why I’ve never even considered going before. Haha! But this year has been a year of me trying new things so I decided to go for it. We were out, sailing around on this boat, listening to Bob Marley, watching all the other folks parasail, when I realized that I wasn’t really all that nervous. I was uncertain of what to expect, and I was hoping I wouldn’t freak out, but there was no knot in my stomach. That was probably the weirdest thing, knowing that I wasn’t afraid. When it was our turn, the music suddenly changed to Elton John. They strapped us in and the last thing I remember hearing, as we floated upward, was “Ooohhhhh, change is gonna do me good!”. Um, yes, I do believe it is. Matt and I had a blast! It was peaceful and quiet 800 feet up. We just sat there talking and looking around. You could see the entire town of Avalon and the water was such a deep blue. When we felt the rope tighten to bring is back down, we were both bummed. We would have loved to stay up for longer! The captain dipped our feet in the water and then reeled us in. It’s one of my favorite memories of all time!

That night we watched The Bourne Legacy in the old Avalon Theater (it’s in the round, white building above). The acoustics in the theater were out of control! And it was really pretty rad sitting on super old theater chairs, in a theater with funky paintings on the walls, smelling the old building, and just knowing the history of the place. I’m such a sucker for history. The movie was great too. We both love the Bourne movies and were really happy with what they did with this one.

We walked all over the town, twice over, just checking out the shops and looking for fun alleys to explore. We recommend everyone check out Catalina for a day or two. I don’t think I’d stay any longer than that unless you were taking advantage of every activity offered and needed the time though. We stayed in the Avalon Hotel, which was nice enough, but if we do go back we may stay at the Pavilion Hotel because they have a large outdoor patio for guests that would have been sweet to chill on.

And that is it! Today was the end of our birthday celebration. We came home this afternoon, I got some Korean food, Matt made himself a burrito, and we’ve been vegging ever since. I’m loving the concept of five days of fun and can’t wait to do it every year. I’m also loving that I keep doing things that used to scare the crap out of me. I just kinda told my self to knock it off earlier this year… right before I got on a roller coaster! It’s getting easier and easier to do, thankfully. It doesn’t hurt that there are kids doing most of these things so I’m able to reassure myself with that. Haha! Bottom line, I’ve gotten tired of being a weenie. So here I am, happy and content that I’m learning, growing, and enjoying life. I’m challenging myself and facing some of my fears. I look forward to the day that I am free of them all. It’s no fun living life on the sidelines.

  1. mary

    August 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I am envious. It sounds like so much fun. And such a great idea! What a great Birthday’s.

  2. sarahgrace

    September 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    What a fabulous idea- five days of birthday fun! I think I will have to adopt that one for Kevin and Selah and myself too! Looks like a total blast. I think the next time we come to California, we’ll have to check out Catalina Island too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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