Archive | beach RSS feed for this section

My 30th Birthday Celebrations

29 Aug

During the past few weeks, I entered my fourth decade in my life as I turned 30 on the 18th. As soon as I turned 29 last year, I felt like I had a good sense of what would life could be like in my 30s. I celebrated this milestone year first with a surprise party organized by family and friends on the 12th, then on the 18th with a night out at the upscale Mexican restaurant, and finally on the 19th, a family run party for me in Marshfield. The days were filled with many excitable moments and was a great introduction for life in this new decade.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 12th, I attended my second cousin Tim Murphy’s annual summer cookout with my family at his house in Cohasset. Not only did my immediate family attend, but also my Aunt Lorraine and many relatives from Dad’s mother’s side. It was also joyful to see Tim and wife Courtney’s two young daughters, Vivianna and Francesca, at the party. After the cookout ended, I headed into Boston to stay at my older brother Brian and his wife Amanda’s apartment in the North End. I initially thought Amanda was going to go out to dinner with her friends at a work a nice restaurant, but I would be in for a surprise later on that night.

The night began with discussion that Brian and I would meet his friend Rich Kei at the local restaurant/bar The Living Room for drinks. When Brian and I walked into into The Living Room, we were approached by friends and family members who carefully hid in the main room at the restaurant. It was at this moment that the guests yelled “Surprise!” to me. The guests consisted of Mom, Dad, my younger brother Keith, Amanda’s father Jim Smith, Brian and Rich’s friend Anthony Leone and his wife Sarah, and Amanda’s friends Liv Fahey and Marisha Gadowski with her fiance Spencer.

Me with the gang on my surprise party

At the surprise party, I received many great gifts from friends and family. They included a framed picture of me with Amanda’s golden retriever Summer, a dog themed calendar, and several cases of beer. There were also delicious foods, such as buffalo chicken apps and birthday cinnamon French toast sticks, and a mostly 80s music playlist supplied by the DJ. The guests and I were dancing to the music that blared from the background and we talked about what 30 years of life has meant to me. The surprise party was a truly great event and easily one of my favorite birthday parties of all time.

On my actual birthday, Friday the 18th, I went to out to eat at Besito, an upscale Mexican restaurant located inside the Burlington Mall. I went with Mom, Dad, Keith, and Keith’s girlfriend Malorie. Brian and Amanda were unable to attend since they were at a friend of Amanda’s wedding in the Cape for that weekend. I chose this restaurant since it fell on the annual Restaurant Week of August in Massachusetts. For the meals, I got quesadillas and several small tacos. I enjoy Mexican cuisine and choosing this place was ideal for my big 30th birthday.

Me with Dublin and Eddie on my 30th birthday Last but not least, yet another birthday party took place, the following day, Saturday the 19th. Mom and I set up my grandmother’s beach house in Marshfield to include special 30th birthday materials. Many of my relatives showed up including my cousins Siobhan, Ryan, Henry, Luke, Connor and Dylan, as well as Keith and Malorie, Aunt Lorraine, Aunt Sheila and her husband Bob, Uncle Sean and his wife Lynne, Aunt Kathy, and Uncles Larry and Kevin. There were even canine visitors in the form of Dublin, Siobhan’s chocolate lab mix and Eddie, a Brittany Spaniel mix. The party was held at Nana’s house since my beach house is still in the process of being revitalized. The beach that day was warm and foggy, but pleasant weather for the day.

This year, my birthday cake was a chocolate mint chip cake from Sweetcakes in Marshfield. I am a huge fan of chocolate mint cakes and this cake was no exception. The earlier dinner had consisted of chicken parm and other Italian dishes catered from Mamma Mia’s in Marshfield. I received even more gifts that day, including an Alexa speaker from my parents, several checks, a golden retriever logo themed koozie and golden retriever themed pillow from Siobhan and several Amazon gift cards. It was a fabulous birthday celebration filled with many great people and a few dogs as well and a true day to remember.

 

Advertisements

My 29th Birthday Celebrations

1 Sep

My Lakota Chocolate Mint Cake

Two weeks ago, I approached my 29th year of life.  For the big birthday, I went out to eat at Bamboo, a hybrid Chinese/Japanese in Burlington with my younger brother Keith and his girlfriend Malorie.  My meal consisted of chicken wings, veggie egg rolls, and sushi.  The two types that I had for my supper were the California Roll and The Red Sox Maki, which consists of spicy king crab and mango, which is topped with tuna.  I have been to Bamboo in the past and have enjoyed their food very much.  To top off the night, I had my favorite kind of cake, a chocolate mint cake from Lakota Bakery in Arlington. I had a piece of the cake, along with Lakota cookies and a few pints of Ben and Jerry’s Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core and Empower Mint ice creams.

The next day, Friday, I headed down to Marshfield for my vacation week. During the vacation week, I spent most of the days at the beach with my parents.  On Monday, the 22nd, we did a day trip to the beautiful Cape Cod town of Chatham.  In Chatham, I got to see the beaches and dunes, the local Lighthouse, and the exteriors of the exclusive Chatham Bars Inn Hotel.  The dunes and beaches were very majestic with beachgoers on the premises and additional tourists hoping to get a nice view of the ocean.  Later on that morning, I purchased a Chatham T-shirt with a whale on the back side and a Martha’s Vineyard Black Dog at a store in Chatham Center.  Chatham was lovely, and I hope to visit more Cape towns like Wellfleet, Dennis, Orleans and Truro in the near future.

Chatham Lighthouse

On Friday, the 26th, I headed over Amanda Smith’s, my brother Brian’s fiance, family’s house in Hingham to have dinner with them before Brian, Amanda, and I headed to the Bruce Hornsby concert at the nearby South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset.  Our supper was made up of steak tips, corn, vegetables, and salad.  As always, Amanda’s parents, Lisa and Jim, were happy to see me, as well as the family dog, a golden retriever named Summer.  After dinner, Brian, Amanda, and I headed over to the Music Circus to see Bruce Hornsby perform.  Originally, my cousin Kaylene and her boyfriend Kent were going to attend the concert with me, but Kent had to serve at a friend’s wedding down The Cape, so he and Kaylene couldn’t make the show.  The three of us got to see Bruce Hornsby himself make his entrance into the venue.  It was an exhilarating experience getting to witness Hornsby enter the arena.  During the show, Hornsby played a mix of his classics and newer songs, including “The Way It Is”, “Every Little Kiss”, “Look Out Any Window”, and even a song that he co-wrote with Don Henley and played piano on called “The End of the Innocence.”  We also got to see Amanda’s Uncle Billy and Aunt Amy outside the concert and socialized with them for a little bit.

Me at the Bruce Hornsby concert in Cohasset

Finally, on Saturday, the 27th, I had my 29th Birthday Party at the beach with friends and family.  Brian and Amanda visited me, as well as Brian’s friends Rich Kei and Mark Aldo, and relatives including Aunts Noreen and Karen, cousins Luke, Henry, Sean and Matt, and my friends Nate Baynes and Keith Anderson with his girlfriend Meghan Levy and their cute white golden retriever puppy, Bradley.  The beach was really nice that day and I dove in the ocean quite a few times with Brian, Amanda, Rich, Mark, and Sean.  The ocean floor was filled with large rocks and decent waves.  It felt refreshing to go in the water on such a warm day in the late summer.  Keith and Meghan’s puppy, Bradley, was very playful and enjoyed hanging out with me and my friends and family.  It was such a glorious day at the beach and I look forward to more birthdays look this one.

Me with friends and family on my 29th birthday

I received a good amount of gifts for my last year in my twenties.  Perhaps, the most interesting that I received was an inflatable dog named Reggie from Rich and Mark.  With Reggie, I have found a new companion to have in my life. I have also received gifts including a Shipyard Pumpkinhead plaque and Amazon gift card from Matt, a Vineyard Vines outfit and gift card from Brian and Amanda, pumpkin beer from Uncles Larry and Kevin, and a Newbury Comics gift card from Sean and his wife Debbie.  To top off the day, I had a delicious vanilla almond cake from a local bakery in Marshfield called Sweet Cakes, which has always been a favorite of my family.  My 29th birthday was such a wonderful time and I hope to have many more exciting birthday celebrations in the future.

Me blowing out the candles of almond vanilla cake

 

 

My 4th of July Festivities and the Bob Dylan concert

19 Jul

image

In the past few weeks, I had at least a few momentous events going on in my life. Summer is my favorite season and there is no shortage of activities to celebrate during this warm time of the year. I celebrated the 3rd and 4th of July in Marshfield at my beach house as a part of my annual tradition. I like to watch the fireworks go off near the beach on the night of the 3rd with many family and friends. I also got my chance to see the legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in concert at the Bank of Pavilion in Boston on July 14th. It was my first time witnessing Dylan in a concert venue and I felt very honored to go the show.

During the weekend of July 1st-4th, I headed down to my summer house in Marshfield to get ready for the big 4th of July festivities. On the morning of the 3rd, my older brother Brian and his fiance Amanda came down to Marshfield for the weekend, as well as my cousin Chris and several other relatives and friends. During that warm afternoon, we went down to the beach to socialize and go in the ocean and take long walks. On our walk, I encountered three beautiful mini labradoodles and their owner. The dogs are named Cocoa, Zoey, and Sailor. I learned from the owner that he has a son with autism and that the dogs are good for people for allergies. The owner has his breeding organization based in Plymouth. I have always wanted a dog, but have not able to get dogs of various breeds due to allergies to thick fur, saliva, and dander. I may look into getting a mini-labradoodle.

The evening of the 3rd began with catered Italian food from Mamma Mia’s in Marshfield. The cuisine featured such delicacies such as chicken parmesan, lasagna, and a broccoli-pasta combination. The desserts consisted of treats like a patriotic themed chocolate chip pie and cake. Then came the celebration of the fireworks. I watched the fireworks from the porch of my grandmother’s cottage just two blocks up from my house. I observed the fireworks with Brian, Amanda, Chris, Keith, my cousin Tim and his girlfriend Emily, and several other family members. The fireworks were very exciting and came in an assortment of various beautiful colors. I managed to some great photos of the fireworks in the distance. I concluded the evening by heading to a friend’s house to watch a house concert that was being performed by the Red Evans Band. They played many different covers of popular songs of the past few decades.

The next day, the 4th, started with really great and warm weather. At the beach, I got to see additional family members such as Aunt Karen and Uncle Dan, along with Cousin Sean and his wife Debbie, his brother Matt, and his sister Kaylene with her boyfriend Kent. It was fun to dive into the water on this warm summer day, as talking with friends and family about things going on in our lives. I stayed at the beach until a little bit after 6 and enjoyed some drinks with Brian, Amanda, Chris, Karen, and Dan. The food for the 4th consisted of traditional summer dishes, including clam chowder, burgers, and lobster rolls. After the supper ended in Marshfield, I then headed back to Billerica, and on my way home, I saw some even more great fireworks bursting driving through Boston.

image

On the evening of July 14th, I headed into Boston to go see Bob Dylan at the Bank of Pavilion near Boston Harbor. I first went out to eat at Babbo Pizzeria with Brian, Amanda, Amanda’s parents Lisa and Jim, Amanda’s aunt Laura, and Laura’s son Willie. It was Willie’s 24th birthday and we had pizza and pasta for his birthday. I tried a delicious meatball pizza for supper, along with the pasta. After dinner, I headed over to the Bob Dylan concert with Lisa, while Laura, Willie, Jim, Amanda, and Brian went back to Brian and Amanda’s apartment for the time being.

The Bob Dylan concert opened with Mavis Staples. Mavis performed some of her hit songs for the warm-up. She got the crowd dancing and singing along to The Staples Singers’ signature song “I’ll Take You There.” After Mavis left the stage, the legend himself, Bob Dylan, showed up to the stage to perform his music. He wore a cowboy hat and played guitar, piano, and harmonica that night. Dylan played a mix of old and new songs, including “Things Have Changed”, which won him an Oscar for Best Song for the movie “Wonder Boys”, as well as “Tangled Up In Blue”, “Beyond Here Lies Nothing”, and towards the end, one of his best songs, “Blowin’ In The Wind.” For a life-long Dylan like me, it was great to hear him sing a wide variety of songs that he wrote during his long and industrious career. I hope to see more Dylan shows in the future, as well as checking out concerts from other music greats.

 

 

 

 

 

My July 4th Weekend in Marshfield

7 Jul

image

This past weekend, I headed down to my beach house to Marshfield for the 4th of July weekend. I got to see many of my cousins and aunts and uncles, as well some friends of mine. The fireworks were very spectacular and a joy to see on this eventful weekend. I also had the opportunity to try new activities during the weekend.

I headed down to Marshfield on the morning of Friday, July 3rd with my parents. At a little after 10 AM, I arrived at my cottage and was greeted by Brian and his girlfriend Amanda. My cousin Chris, who is a Marine at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, happened to be around for the weekend. An hour or two later, Keith entered the house with his girlfriend Malorie. The guests at the cottage was then completed when Brian brought down his two rooomates Rich Kei and Mark Aldo for the weekend.

The weather was nice that morning and we all headed to Fieldston Beach just up the street from my house. During the day, I got to meet my cousin Liz’s boyfriend from Yale Medical School, Nate. I discovered that Nate enjoys hobbies like lumberjacking and hiking and was pleased to know that he also enjoys the same type of music and artists that I listen to, such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan. I even got to play the frisbee esque game of Kanjam, which Keith had purchased online and wanted to use as a fun game to play on the beach and in the backyard of Nana’s cottage. For supper, I had nice meals of foods like chicken parm, eggplant parm, salad, and lasagna.

A few hours later, the big moment would happen on the beach. Many fireworks were bursting from left to right all over the beach and let off some incredibly loud sounds and majestic colors. I first observed the fireworks with Brian, Amanda, Rich, and Mark from the backyard of Nana’s house before heading to the sea wall to catch an even better glimpse of the fireworks. Watching the fireworks on the sea wall is always a truly breathtaking experience and this year was certainly no exception. I always hoping that the fireworks celebrations would never end and hoped that the night lasted longer. I concluded the night by stopping by my friend Nate Baynes’ house in the same neighborhood for some post fireworks  festivities.

The next day was another incredible day of the weekend. Even more relatives of mine would stop by at Nana’s cottage for the day. My aunt, Sheila Carney, brought down her chocolate lab mix dog Dublin to Nana’s house. Amanda’s parents, Lisa and Jim Smith, also came down to Marshfield for the day with their three year old female golden retriever, Summer. Summer and Dublin got to visit both my house and Nana’s house on Saturday. Summer was very playful and always enjoys the company of me, my brothers, and my relatives. Dublin is a shyer dog in temperant, but I was also very delighted to see her and even got to play with her a few times during the day. I had a very nice supper of steak with salad with a dessert meal of vanilla cake from the nearby Sweetcakes shop in Marshfield. After the guests had left for the evening, I concluded my weekend by listening to Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” and Hall and Oates’ cover of “Hot Fun in the Summmetime” on YouTube. July 4th is one of my favorite weekends of the year and is a wonderful time to get together with friends and extended family members.