i baked a cake

Sandy River, taken last weekend… near the old Marmot dam location

We’re heading back into the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Oh, well actually, yes…

we’ve gone to the woods a few times already this year. Like I said in a previous post – I refuse to take our proximity to one of the most beautiful places on Earth for granted.

So we’re heading back into the woods for a birthday celebration (and also, we found an AirBnB with a hot tub RIGHT on the river so it only made sense to find some excuse to go there, a birthday was a fitting reason to pack up the car once again). Birthdays in 2020 were celebrated just on the edge of a breakdown. We started with the very socially distanced acts of dropping a basket of baked goods and spring flowers onto a porch, knocking and running off…

like kids playing pranks on their neighbors…

only to find out a couple of hours later that the recipient wasn’t home and we hoped our goodies were still there when they returned (spoiler alert… they were).

Birthdays transformed as the pandemic drug on. If you’ve been following along, you might remember us celebrating a friend’s birthday when he had to evacuate his home to stay with us when wild fires played that same prank on him that I mentioned before.

Thankfully that was only a prank and his birthday present was take out pizza, a safe place to sleep for a few nights, late night Yahtzee tournaments and the ability to return to a fully intact property. It was more than some people went home to that week. Dark clouds like that quickly dampen any celebration.

We later had a proper celebration for that friend with an amazing dinner cooked in our kitchen with some equally amazing bottles of wine. But it didn’t feel the same.

My birthday came just after the presidential election, the world was still watching to see what would happen in the states and honestly, I was ready for a job and a new year. We celebrated at home with a delicious home cooked meal, like we all did in 2020.

Celebrations on the edge of a breakdown. Sounds like the title of an indie band’s sophomore album.

An album that would surely be followed up with something brighter, lighter, and full of chart topping hits. And so 2021 is shaping up that way. Celebrations in cabins deep in the woods, or along coastlines not far from home or perhaps on a weekend getaway for my favorite Tex-Mex or BBQ (if my sweet husband is peeking in on this, he could consider this one a bit of a hint drop).

So yeah, we’re heading back into the woods this weekend to celebrate a friend.

And I baked a cake.

disclaimer: any mention of hanging out with friends in this last year are of us hanging out with our 2 pandemic bubble friends following CDC recommended proximity guidelines. I just feel like we have to make sure this is out there.

8 thoughts on “i baked a cake

  1. Well don’t leave us hanging!… What kind of cake?! What flavor? Are there pics?! These are important questions.

  2. Isn’t the suspense part of the fun? But I’ll oblige. Pound cake… so cake flavored 🙂 No pictures of this one, it looks kind of sad and isn’t deserving of a full of photo session. However, it smells amazing. We’re going to throw strawberries and fresh whipped cream on it so I’m sure pictures will happen in the end.

  3. That sounds delicious! If I give you my address can you ship one to me?! Jk 😁

  4. I’m jealous of your trips to the woods. It looks so peaceful!

    P.S. what are your favorite tex-mex and BBQ places? I’m very intrigued.

  5. Aimee – Pound cake by mail! There’s a somewhat lucrative side business in there somewhere.

  6. Melanie – I’m jealous of my trips to the woods! Call me basic, but the chicken fajitas from Pappasito’s are always my go to… and Black’s BBQ for brisket… I could go on but if I have to pick one of each, I’ll go with these. There were so many places I loved when I lived in Texas but that was so long ago… a lifetime it seems. I can’t remember most of them and even if I did, are they still around?

  7. They’re definitely still around! Black’s, unfortunately, isn’t as good as it used to be. Terry Black’s on Barton Springs Rd is really good, and Valentinas in South Austin, and of course Franklin is the best but hard to justify waiting on that long line. Although, I haven’t been there in a long time and I’m not sure what their line situation is like with COVID stuff. There’s so many really good BBQ places around here these days, it’s hard to keep up!

  8. Melanie – I had Franklin’s once at a reception when I was in Austin for a convention… Willie Nelson was on the stage… it was the most Texan thing I’ve ever done and I grew up in the state. Go figure 🙂 It was amazing but I’m not sure I could ever wait in a line like they get for smoked meat. I’ve heard about Valentina’s and Terry Black’s but haven’t tried them on my visits south. I’ll have to add them to my list.

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