The Boise Birthday Weekend
After finishing up the Bucket List in the final hours before my birthday, I clocked out and spent the entire weekend celebrating. I tried some new places in downtown Boise and some old favorites as well, so I’ll put together this little recap for anyone looking for Boise staycation ideas!
My birthday was on Sunday, February 12th which was also Super Bowl Sunday this year. My husband was working out of town Thursday-Sunday and wouldn’t be home until close to midnight on my birthday evening. Most of the large popular restaurants in the area were actually closed on Sunday anyways because of the big game. Initially I was a little bummed because I did want to celebrate my birthday with my family by going out somewhere and not just staying at home. But in the end I got the best of both worlds!
Saturday afternoon, I dropped Brynnley off for a little sleepover with her grandparents. I checked into the Inn at 500 in downtown Boise, a hotel I have never been to before. My room was a corner unit with two balconies and a fireplace in between. It was so spacious and beautiful! The hotel lobby also had a “butler’s pantry” with complementary snacks and soft drinks for any time of day. When I settled into my room, a hotel employee knocked on my door and let me know that Zeb had sent up a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a sweet card. I immediately texted my two girlfriends that I was meeting for dinner and told them to hurry up and come over so we could share a glass in my room before dinner.
After deciding which outfit to wear, I walked a few blocks over to Tupelo Honey. It’s a fun southern restaurant that was very popular that night because it was the Saturday before Valentine’s Day and it was also the high school winter formal night. Hayley, Kat and I each ordered a cocktail off the menu and had such a fun girls dinner. I initially ordered the grilled salmon and creamy quinoa, but the waiter informed me that it was “the worst thing on the menu, and they do every well except fish”……….thanks for the honesty? Haha! I quickly skimmed for a new option and settled on the bistro filet with potato cracklins and veggies and it was a delicious choice. :)
Kat and I hung out at the hotel for a little while and she taught me how to use the BeReal app. I love the concept! I like how unfiltered of a social media platform it is, and I wish more people I know use it. The only downside right now is that I only have two friends who also use their accounts so we’ll see if I can sway any of my other girlfriends over in the coming months.
I finished the evening with a fire in the fireplace, my current book (Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris) and a facemask that Kat gifted me. When I woke up in the morning, I took my time getting ready with a cup of coffee and a hotel robe because it is a very rare occasion that I’m not also juggling a baby in the mornings!
There is a local coffee shop that I first visited when I moved to the area in 2016. It’s called Alia’s Coffee House, and when I went on my 23rd birthday I ordered an Ooh La La Latte that I still remember to this day. I ordered it again on Sunday to start off my birthday morning along with a lox & cream cheese bagel. Both were amazing – however…..doesn’t it seem like “a given” that if you order a bagel with cream cheese that it would be toasted? I didn’t specify that I wanted a toasted bagel because I thought ordering one sliced with cream cheese automatically included that. I took my bagel to go and was a little disappointed when I had a cold soft bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
I walked back to the hotel, packed up my room and checked out. Time to pick up the little one! Brynnley and I headed back to our home for the afternoon so that she could get in a good nap, then we made a little trip to Starbucks to cash in my birthday freebie. Since I’d already enjoyed a fancy coffee, I ordered an iced venti passion tango tea with a splash of lemonade. Delicious! We went back to my parents house because they were making me a yummy and healthy birthday dinner while the Super Bowl played. We had cajun salmon and a sheet pan of roasted veggies – my favorites!
Brynnley thought we were all looking at HER during the halftime performance, which is fair because she is always the center of attention!
My mom gave me a super thoughtful and fun present – she bought the game Guess Who and replaced all of the cards and characters with faces of the cast of Gilmore Girls! How fun and creative! We played a couple of games and it was so clever.
The next day, I got to continue celebrating my birthday because Zeb was finally home. Rather than a gift, he scheduled a manicure, pedicure and massage for me. It was at a Boise day spa that I had not tried before called Perpetuity. I enjoyed a relaxing spa day and loved the new colors I picked out for my nails and toes, and especially the massage. I think this is only the third massage I’ve ever had and it was heavenly! I got home just in time though because while I was driving in full sunshine, all of a sudden snow was just dumping down for the next couple of hours! We couldn’t believe how much snow came down in such a short time, but none of it stuck to play with. It looked beautiful in the backyard though!
We met my parents at a new-to-me restaurant in downtown Boise called Coa de Jima. The interior is so unique and interesting, I’m really glad we tried it! The bar has a giant floor-to-ceiling metal tree sculpture right in it, and there’s one booth that looks like you’re in an enormous wall-papered egg. The door to the bathroom is hidden within a 9-foot picture frame.
Zeb and I shared a dinner platter for two with all of their different meats and fajita toppings – steak, chicken, prawns, lobster, and charred poblanos. I also got a spicy jalapeno pineapple margarita. Everything was so delicious! They brought a complimentary scoop of mocha almond fudge ice cream that we all shared but saved room for some pretty birthday cake my parents had picked up.
Brynnley showed off her brand new dance moves to cap off a great night. The milestone birthday I dreaded is come and gone, and we are onto another exciting birthday this week…….Brynnley’s FIRST! Tomorrow! 💗
The Bucket List is complete!
This list that began 365 days ago has added to a year full of memories and gotten me outside of my comfort zone. 🤍
Tonight I’m celebrating a new decade, and I don’t feel like I need a list to commit to plenty of content worth sharing for the coming years. ☺️ Looking back, I know that I wanted to “make the most” of my twenties as I closed out this chapter of my youth. Moving forward, my thirties are all about becoming a parent and raising babies with their own special memories!
I tried to pick a favorite list item but I can’t, there are so many good ones! It’s been so fun to look back on all of them today and appreciate where this past year has taken us. The days are long but the year is short :)
Bucket List Item #29: Run 13.1 Miles (Half-Marathon)
Who would have thought, one month ago today when I still had TEN items on my list, that we would be here at the penultimate post on my birthday eve-eve?!? I didn’t know how much of a procrastinator I was until I gave myself 365 days to complete 30 things…..and I saved 33% of them for the last 30 days. It has been a VERY busy month. The cleanliness of my house has taken the toll. I have a deep-cleaning day scheduled for myself next week 😅
Running the distance of a half-marathon (13.1 miles) would have been just a normal Sunday for me, back in the day. I spent the better part of a decade in running shoes. I truly LOVE running (long distance. No sprinting here haha). After all, this blog began when I was a NCAA Division 1 athlete for Northern Arizona University’s Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track team. (Anyone been here since race recaps…? ☺️) That was the time in my life that I look back and am most proud of. I’m so thankful to have had that experience!
Though I never saw myself continuing to run competitively after college, I do see myself as a lifelong recreational runner. And I know that it’s totally natural to have peaks and valleys in everything so I will openly admit that I’ve been in quite the valley when it comes to running lately. Particularly since becoming pregnant and now having a baby for the past 11 months. I run here and there but not as consistently or structured as my past, which is a goal of mine going into spring.
This was another item I prolonged til the deadline, and Idaho isn’t particularly known for its “ideal outdoor running weather” in February. Looking at the forecast, I decided this afternoon was my best shot this week. It would be sunny and upper 40’s, though windy. At this point, I have to take what I can get!
I was able to start my run around 2:30pm. Zeb was home until 4:00pm and could watch Brynnley while I ran outside for the first chunk. At 4:00pm, he had to get to work and I would have to come inside and use the treadmill while Brynnley snoozed for her afternoon nap. There was a good chance she would wake up during this portion and we could log the remainder of my miles outside again with her in the stroller. I had a plan!
After attending my MOPs meeting in the morning, I came home and meal-prepped for Zeb to take something healthy on his work trip. I made a Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, green onion, feta, a creamy dressing and delicious pan-fried pork patties on top with a little cup of hummus for each container. I fed Brynnley her lunch, wrote a blog post for my regular job and then changed into a weather-appropriate running outfit.
The key to getting into the long-distance zone for me is MUSIC! I could not imagine running to a podcast or an audiobook. I HAVE to be listening to really good music with a beat that fires me up. I have my go-to playlists on Spotify, which include 1990s punk, 2000s hip-hop, current country, lots of Daughtry, some Avril Lavigne, a random Linkin Park song. 😅
I ran 5.5 miles straight without stopping at an 8-minute mile average. To be perfectly honest, that’s the longest I’ve run since fourth of July! I took a short walking break to blow my nose because the wind was really getting to me. I took this picture of a random house just to show the wind in the flag:
When I started again at the 6-mile mark, I thought “uh oh. I should not have stopped.” My legs immediately felt SO HEAVY after stopping. From mile 6-12, I ran as much as I could but stopped to walk when I needed to. I never went more than a mile without running. My butt, thighs, shins and calves let me know that I would regret not training more for this haha. Here is another random snap from my run of a dead frog that really freaked me out…
At the 9-mile mark, Zeb needed to leave for work. So I returned home. Brynnley was still asleep, so I grabbed the baby monitor and hopped on the treadmill. It is so much better to run outside than on a treadmill!
She woke up 20 minutes later. I’d gotten in 2 miles, so my grand total was 11 miles.
I needed 2 more, so I got her cozy in her stroller and went back out into the neighborhood.
We made it through the remaining distance, but I did end up walking the last mile because my legs were practically THROBBING. I just know that I will not be able to walk tomorrow. I’m really surprised that my lungs weren’t more of an issue though because I expected my breathing to be more out of shape than my leg muscles. I also didn’t sweat very much at all even though I hydrated quite a bit for this, and I’m assuming the wind just helped to dry it all off pretty efficiently.
The main takeaway from this task is: I don’t know why I don’t run more. I truly enjoy it. I have proved to myself that I can fit it in with Brynnley. Especially now that the weather will start getting nicer soon, I no longer have any excuse to stay in this “valley” of my running performance. I am here to publicly commit to making long-distance running a more regular part of my lifestyle again. It makes me happy :)