Birthday Month Too

There is nothing in the world that I love to be as much as I love being a wife. Just so we have an understanding from the get go, I am comfortably aware that somewhere someone is gagging in preparation for how mushy this could become. Sometimes, I look at my relationship with my husband and want to gag myself. We are my favorite couple, as it should be. We naturally, without effort, have one of the healthiest relationships I know.  We have an instinctual reaction to give and take as much as needed to keep ourselves balanced, to be equals. I love him and I want his life to be as easy and enjoyable as possible no matter what obstacles I need to help him move or sacrifices I need to make and he 100% dittos. In respect to that maintained equality, it is only right that, just like his wife, Ryan gets a birthday month too. August happens to be said month and I relish at the opportunity to play pay back. Kicking off with a plaid themed, family game night, complete with prizes and a martini bar, birthday month went into full effect August 1st and has yet to slow down. To celebrate the actual day of, we took an extended weekend away to the coast house.

We headed out Friday the 15th, ocean bound, with a stop in Boonville for a late lunch at The Boonville General Store. We were starving and the food was amazing, therefor, there are no pictures to reflect the goodness that was organic chicken salad sandwiches and BBQ kettle chips. Unexpected bonus, Babe had his first Izze. It was peach. He liked it.
For the entire four day affair the weather was classic grey, too foggy for any chance of sunsets worth watching. An early Friday arrival on top of staying through until Monday left plenty of time to hit every check mark on Mr. Birthday Month’s list. Champagne, new socks, waterfalls, pizza, beer, hiking, tacos, check check checkity check check. The biggest check mark off his list also doubled as our greatest achievement. From the moment we arrived to the minute we left, we were completely relaxed. Implementing a “no work talk” rule and sticking to an “eat, drink and be merry” attitude really helped.

Two major highlights occurred back to back on Saturday. After spending a solid 4 hours hiking around Russian Gulch State Park we hit up one of our top 3 favorite pizza joints ever. Being out in the open on foreign trails, taking a break by a waterfall and feeling the upper thighs burn while hauling camera gear at an incline gave us miles of photo ops and huge appetites. As for the photography, it was a little weak that day. Neither of us were finding much inspiration and most of the shots we did get felt sort of “eh”. I actually caught more artistic moments on my camera phone than I did on either one of our Canons. Go figure.


After the trail we took our new angry appetites to Piaci Pub & Pizzeria. Right off of Main St., Fort Bragg, in a spot small enough to fit in a single frame, Piaci’s is always packed. Dependably delicious, they serve pizza so good it should be it’s own food group and offer a micro brew beer selection like nowhere else we have yet to find. To get us through a foreseeable long night ahead, we order with the pure intention of having left overs. For our in house meal, we shared the Mac and Cheese served in the dish they bake it in. The Gustovo pizza with pesto, prosciutto and pear and The Farmer’s with homemade sausage and classic tomato sauce were to go. The Mac and Cheese never saw the light of day, it was devoured before it was sat down. The pizza saved our lives around 1:00am. Ryan chased his late lunch down with an Arogaunt Bastard and I took a chance on Trumer Pils.  Delightful.

Sunday, after a 49er preseason loss, despite our inspirational red and gold themed outfits, we rang out the weekend with carne asada tacos, more beer and carrot cake (nut less eclairs for me). Grilling on the old Weber, while I prepared all the fixin’s, Babe air guitared his way into the meat hall of fame, producing some of the best tacos I have ever co-hosted. Okay, not hall of fame worthy but close.


Thanks to my mother for being who she is, we had a “Party in a Bag” with us full of all the essentials required to properly celebrate an adult birthday weekend. Among quite the healthy list of party favorites she included champagne, chips and salsa, Reese’s peanut butter cups, festive table decor, stunner shades and bubbles. The consumables were delicious, the paper products fashionably served their purpose, as did the shades, but the best item turned out to be the bubbles. Playing with long exposure and continuous shooting created my favorite photos from the whole weekend. Who knew bubbles could be so photogenic?


When every single moment of the weekend is practically flawless, you set yourself up for a bitter sweet trip home. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for our nontravel-friendly feline and our closets we would still be there. As the month comes to a close, Ryan is left with almost all his birthday hopes and wishes fulfilled while I am left with brand new ones. I hope that he has had one of the best months ever. I hope he has one of the most significant years of his life ahead. I hope he continues to grow and develop because I have front row seats for that and it’s my favorite thing to watch.  Most of all, and this goes for every year, I hope he knows how deeply I love him.

Happy birthday my beloved, I absolutely adore you.


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  2 comments for “Birthday Month Too

  1. Mary O'Meara
    November 19, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Leigh-Anne your mom just told me about your blog and it was just so lovely to read. The subject, the Russian Gulch – Fort Bragg area, is so much a favorite spot to our family that it really was totally entertaining. Alexander proposed to Erica at the waterfall and we took all of our boys to that very hike every single summer of their lives until they were late in high school years. I can just see them all playing in the mist and trying to get us to stay around that spot for hours. It is probably my most pleasant memory of all the trips we ever took. Your photos are just beautiful. You write really well. It is funny because some of the things you say I can hear your mom saying often over the years I have known her – some 40 years now. I am definitely getting old!

  2. Mary O'Meara
    November 21, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Leigh-Anne I have just read all of your blog posts and have to say it is just like reading a great travel book. I absolutely love all you photos and the food descriptions and photos are a real highlight. I tried to leave a comment on the Russian Gulch hike section but it did not get to you it seems so will try again. Russian Gulch is a really special place for our family. All four boys have hiked that trail or been carried in baby back packs (my neck still hurts from that – Mel was more brave than I was and sometimes carried one in back and one in front) nearly every summer of their lives growing up. We camped there nearly every summer. Alexander proposed to Erica at the waterfall after waiting hours for all the hikers to clear out. When the twins were little we remember one time after they were just starting to walk that Ryan actually pushed Tim in a little umbrella stroller for nearly the entire hike, using the stroller as sort of a walker because he was just so little. So funny!

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