Tag Archives: celebration

The Best Year Ever



Ah, twenty-five. It stands alone, that number, unsure of whether to take a step forward or back. It shivers in the cold while everyone else has it figured out already; twenty-five is just now finding solid ground, settling in for the night, closing its eyes and dreaming about the future. My twenty-five’s pavement may be a little rocky, but both feet are planted as firmly as they can be. This next year is all about change, and it’s all good.

Somewhere during twenty-four I lost it – motivation, I mean. I started with it packed tightly away in my chest but somehow it managed to escape and the end of twenty-four faded into a blur of day-to-day dullness and routine. The color has drained from my kaleidoscope eyes and suddenly I’m seeing the world in honeycomb shades of black and gray. But I have big plans for twenty-five; twenty-five is going to be splashes of color and light and inspiration in gusts of wind and night air. What does all of this translate to? Writing, people. Lots of it. I temporarily lost the spark, the energy, the emotion…and this has to end now These past few weeks I became best friends with my couch and my wine glass (nothing new there), and abandoned something very, very dear to me. 

So twenty-five – ahem, tomorrow – marks more than one special occasion. One year older, (hopefully) one year wiser, one more year of love and family, of life, of breath, of the chance to become who I want to be while enjoying every step.

Oh yeah, it marks one more thing too. 

My Bachelorette Party.

Guess who has two thumbs and eleven tattoos and a blog and is getting married this June 22nd to an amazing man? THIS girl. I was waiting for the perfect time to tell you guys. And now that my head has momentarily stopped spinning, here I am. I can’t wait to post pictures, and share more details with you guys. And my epic ’80’s inspired outfit for my party tomorrow night is the kewlest. Photos to come, duh.

I love you guys. Thanks for stickin’ around.




Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

In Retrospect – Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Work. Sunny Florida. Mountains. Work again. Mountains again. More work. June who?

I can’t believe a month has passed since my 24th birthday. As June hit, so did all of the planning for our trip to Florida to spend a week with Joe’s parents; we had a wonderful time, complete with great company, fishing/boating in the Gulf, homemade cheesecake, and a few beers in between. (Needless to say my gut couldn’t wait for me to hit the gym again.)

Then we all hit the road for the drive back up to New Jersey, of course making one typical travelers stop to Cracker Barrel. Another few days in the mountains, back to work for the weekend, then one more week in the mountains before we said our goodbyes and Joe’s parents fled for Florida once again.

And here we are. I’ve missed you all!

Now on to those birthday festivities, so long ago.

I woke to that beautiful red rose and all of those balloons on the wall. Joe is so good to me.

It’s my birthday, I don’t have to make the bed! Hmph! (Check out my birthday sign.)

And – because it was my birthday, of course – I was having a fabulous hair day.

So off we went to pick up mother to experience the Poe House with us.

I snapped a few pictures on the train, including one of the handsomest man in the whole world.

I completely underestimated the walk to the Poe house, and I was wearing sandals, so my toes were aching by the time we winded through the streets and under the overpass and across the highway to the site.

But there we were! Finally!

He hates this picture, yet I have no idea why. Look at those baby blues!

As soon as I spotted the first landmark I had my mom snap a picture of my pasty self, smiling from ear to ear in excitement!

I was sure to put on my SPF 110 that day!

We made our way around to the side, closest to the entrance, and read a small sign with information about the house and, of course, Poe himself.

The heavy old door read “Knock ONLY once”, so I knocked three times. My mother laughed and Joe “yelled” at me. What was awaiting us on the other side?!?!?!?!

Only the nicest tour guide EVER. He opened the door and where I was expecting dust, darkness and an angry keeper, instead there was light, other people, and a warm greeting from a small man in a tan uniform.

“Welcome to the Poe House!”

The front room was riddled with posters, books, postcards, stuffed ravens (ha), and other Poe merchandise. There was also a giant Poe head, with all kinds of gadgets and things coming out of it where you could listen to other authors recite his poetry, or solve a puzzle to piece together The Gold-Bug

The Raven, guarding his creator’s home.

And so, after a friendly warning to please watch our step, we made our way into the first room: the place where Poe would greet his guests. Huge etchings of how the room may have looked so many years ago were hung in every room, to give guests a better idea.

The living room.

The walls and ceilings were worn, and I could just barely make out what looked like the word “death” someone had etched into the stone near the kitchen. Creepy…

The kitchen came next.

Inside the mind of a genius.

“Peaches in the melting mood.” I like the sound of that.


In the pantry was an old sketch of the kitchen; Joe held it up at the same angle as the drawing showed, for a pretty cool perspective.

Then it was on our way to the second floor (there are three total, plus the basement).

The stairway was extremely narrow, and very steep. Lucky for those who lived in the house, they were not large people!

The ascent.

See how narrow?








On the second floor there were two small rooms, one with a large etching of Poe sitting at a desk, writing. The other was a bedroom, probably used for writing judging by the windows that face east and south, catching the light.

On the third floor was a bedroom where Poe’s wife, Virginia, may have slept as she suffered from Tuberculosis. I have to admit, I felt a little funky being in that room….

A smaller room across from Virginia’s bedroom. Love these walls.



We exited from the top floor and took the stairs down and out to the grounds, where a man was tending to the Poe lawn.

Back inside again, we’d finally made it to the grand finale, the moment I’d been waiting for: The basement that inspired The Black Cat.

It’s a shame my camera’s flash ruined the moodiness of it, but it was dark, damp, and smelled of must. Typical basement….yet it was so much more than that!

I also got a shot looking up the stairs that led into the kitchen, as well as from the kitchen down into the basement. Pretty cool.

I don’t think Poe put that sign there.

A short film was shown after we had finished our tour, about Poe’s life and career and the mystery surrounding his death. I think the unknowingness of it all fits perfectly with the stories he told.

And my mom picked me up a sweet poster (and a copy of The Raven in Poe’s handwriting!)

And there it is. I had a fantastic birthday with the people I love. That night Joe lit the candles on the peanut butter brownies he made and sung me happy birthday between embarrassed laughs. (Oh…and he got me tickets to see Sarah McLachlan this Sunday. BEST FIANCE EVER? YES.)

A copy of the poster we bought. Can’t wait to frame this baby and hang him up!

Next post: Florida.

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s good to be back.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

The Song of Myself Talks of Cocktails & Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday to the great American poet, essayist, journalist, the father of free verse, the man with the coolest beard ever, Mr. Walter “Walt” Whitman!

It just so happens that I share the man’s birthday, so in honor of us both I will drink a Philadelphia-brewed Walt Whit today (if you can get your hands on a six pack…you really should). It’s almost as delicious as Leaves of Grass.

I woke at 8:30 to a red rose on the nightstand, a card with “Love” scrawled across the envelope, and a pirate-themed sign reading “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” hung from two windows, surrounded by balloons. My wonderful Joe hung all of this up while I was asleep, and I didn’t even stir. It amazes me I wake up when my alarm goes off. (Pictures to come!)

Today will be filled with both literary and historical goodness, right after the bacon and egg whites.

First, Joe, my mom and I will make our way over the Walt Whitman bridge (duh!) and into Philadelphia, to visit the Edgar Allan Poe house. So excited for this. After, we will cross the street and visit the Liberty Bell, give Benjamin Franklin a little hello, and do all of those touristy things in our wonderful city. The last time I visited the Liberty Bell was probably high school, on some school trip, when we were happy just to be outside for a day and barely paid attention. I have a greater, grownup appreciation for these things now!

The afternoon will end with 18th century fare (and libations, of course) at The City Tavern.

And before a night out with the girls, Joe and I are visiting Mr. Whitman’s grave in Camden. Stay tuned for pictures.

Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m 24 years young!

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing