Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Twenty-Five, in the Trees (Santa Cruz, California)

Alright - it's official - I suck at keeping up my blog. I think about it all the time, day dream about my next update, ponder what life would be life if I took it more seriously - yet here I am looking at the poor thing with no post since February! For shame. March was the first month in over a year where I haven't posted an update, and that is just totally unacceptable. Consider this post a resurrection!

And what better way to bring the blog back then with a post about my 25th (holy shit) birthday!?! 

The big 2-5. Quarter of a century old.  True adulthood. So, naturally, I spent my birthday in a TREEHOUSE!  

Yes, you read that correctly! TREEEHOUSEEEE!!




A little backstory for you: my lovely cousin Shereen posted an article about this bad boy on my Facebook wall back in December. It's an AirBnB rental in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 2 hours south of where I live in the Bay Area. The second I saw it I knew I wanted to stay there, but when I went to check its availability I noticed it was entirely booked up - for almost a year. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was scrounging the internet for the perfect birthday plans and finding nothing.  I was really starting to feel discouraged when suddenly I got the weirdest intuition to check the treehouse. At first I ignored it completely, rationalizing that there was nooooo way it had an opening. But alas, I couldn't shake the intuition, and MAN am I happy I ended up listening to myself! There it was - ONE single opening in April, and it just so happened to be April 16th. My birthday.

Now if that's not a sign from the universe I don't know what is!

I immediately booked the treehouse and invited Julie and Angelina (who is FINALLY back in America after being in Korea for over a year!) to come stay in it with me!

We all hopped in my car and made our way into the mountains, up what seemed like endless narrow, winding roads, and finally found ourselves in front of this incredible view:




The people who own the treehouse get to wake up to this stunner every day from their cottage. They own some seriously gorgeous grounds with tons of fluffy creatures prancing around -  cats, dogs, and the friendliest chickens I've ever met: 


 (SO FAT. I love them.) 


In order to get to the treehouse, you embark on a quarter-mile hike from their cottage into the woods. Though it wasn't fun to lug all of our stuff that far, the view along the way more than made up for it: 




Seeing the treehouse for the first time is like watching clouds part, revealing angels coming down from heaven singing hallelujah. Seriously. It was THAT magical: 


We really wanted to explore the minute we got there, but we had a very important chore to do first: go to the grocery store. The treehouse has a BBQ that I knew I wanted to take advantage of!

Our loot: 


My epic (homemade) birthday meal included: 

Appetizers:
Italian bread + brie 
Bruschetta 
Cheesy pesto stuffed mushrooms 


(Chef Julie with her stuffed 'shroom masterpiece)


Main: 
Garlic mac & cheese 
Grilled zucchini, pepper, squash and onion
4 (yes, 4) different types of filthy dirty RIBS in different marinades from a local butcher


(Angelina Canepa: BBQ Queen) 


(The end result)

Dessert: 
Cookies from my favorite bakery
Kara's Cupcakes
Champagne 


(Blowing out my firework candles on my cupcakes, yeeee!) 


It was honestly one of the best meals I've ever had. What made it EVEN better was that I didn't lift a finger in the process! My friends are absolute babes and cooked the whole thing for us. They know the way to my heart! Dear Angelina & Julie, please turn into men so I can marry you both. I'll bring you to treehouses around the world and you can repay me by cooking bomb ass meals like this. Sound good? 



When you think of treehouse, I think most people would imagine a little flimsy hut - but this is a legitimate HOUSE, complete with a fully equipped bathroom & kitchen, fireplace, & a TV: 


(View of the interior from the entrance)


(View of the main living area. Plates on the floor are from our appetizer picnic that we had while waiting for the ribs to cook!) 


(The kitchen. Unseen to the right behind Angelina is the bathroom)

After dinner we grabbed some drinks, headed into the hot tub and chatted away until we had all become prunes. The hot tub is built into the hill in front of the treehouse, so you get a magical view of the forest and the lights on the house. There's a hammock too! As if this place needed to be any more magical. 

Super full and relaxed, we headed to bed fairly early. In the morning, I opened my eyes to this:  


The morning light was insannnnnellyyy beautiful: 


We started our day out with cuddles (obviously):




(Yes, Julie is holding a bottle of champagne at 10am #YOLO)

We drank tea and enjoyed our surroundings before getting ready to head out. Truth be told we were about an hour late checking out because we were far too busy having a photo shoot:











(Literally just putting this up because this skirt makes my ass look incredible. Stripes for the win, ladies!)

After out photo shoot, we said our final goodbyes to the treehouse and headed to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a day of greasy food, roller-coasters, sun bathing & ice cream:





It was the most magical day ever, spent with two of my favorite people in the whole world. I got home that night feeling happy, refreshed, and totally ready to be 25. I think birthdays are really important - it's like your own personal new year! Taking time to celebrate yourself and enjoy your life is essential to starting a new age off right. 

If you're interested in renting the treehouse, you can go ahead and click HERE - it will take you directly to the AirBnB page! And if you want take a trip down memory lane with me you can read about my (equally as amazing) 24th birthday adventures in Edinburgh, Scotland by clicking HERE.




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