This blog post is in no way affiliated with Airbnb or any individual rental owner.
As some of you may already know, I turned the big 3-0 this past Sunday. Yes, yes. I’m thi…thir…*gags*…thi…thiiiirrtyy. Just kidding, I’m totally fine being 30. I kept telling everyone this weekend that the twenties is the coveted decade. But everyone kept disagreeing with me and offering other insights: the 30’s is when you ground and establish yourself, the 30’s is when you know yourself more, the 30’s is the golden age, etc. It just felt so invincible to be able to say, “I’m in my 20’s.” Losing that ability was a little bit of a sting, but thanks to everyone’s perspective on the 30’s…I’m now super amped for what this decade will hold for me. Golden age sounds pretty good to me.
Because of this worldwide pandemic and quarantine we’re all collectively experiencing, I’ve been shut in my home for quite a while (as we all have). My husband and I had originally planned a trip to Hilton Head Island for my birthday. He had a work conference scheduled there and we were going to turn it into a birthday trip, but because of Covid-19 it was understandably cancelled. So we were left with no plans to celebrate my 30th birthday and if there’s anything you should know about me, it is that I do birthdays up big. Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family and I’ve kept that mentality in my adult life. There’s nothing better than making someone feel so special and loved on the day of their birth. I love when my birthday is made special, I love making others’ birthdays special. So we knew we needed to come up with another idea to make my 30th birthday celebration one to remember.
If you follow along with my Instagram, you know that we kicked off my birthway with a garden party badminton match on Saturday with just a few friends. Badminton, great drinks, my favorite local pizza and an assortment of macarons. It was the perfect day. Here’s a sneak peek!
The next morning, on my actual birthday, we picked up my best friend and her husband and hit the road for the real birthday party…a few days in the “mountains” at a cabin in Clayton, Oklahoma on Lake Sardis. During quarantine, I had been exploring different properties on Airbnb just dreaming of getting away to somewhere, anywhere (I know you feel me on that). And I had come across this insanely gorgeous cabin, right in my own backyard nonetheless. The listing made very clear that the owner’s were taking extra cleaning precautions because of the pandemic and it was also located in a part of the state that wasn’t totally overrun with the virus. So we talked to our friends, got the green light from them and booked it. We had a three hour road trip ahead of us and then a few days in a beautiful cabin with no cell service, no WiFi and all the makings for a good time. But first, let’s tour the cabin shall we?
I know what you’re thinking. “That’s Oklahoma?” Trust me, I was just as surprised as you. I’m very thankful to the people who designed, built and decorated this cabin. There’s cabins all over the state of Oklahoma and none even come near this one. It was just the change of scenery that I needed. In fact, I think we all really needed this refresh and recharge.
After stopping on our roadtrip to risk a Walmart run for groceries (thank you small town America for low covid numbers), we got to the cabin at around 4 pm on Sunday. We unpacked and I got started on dinner: Russian borscht, pastrami sandwiches and dirty martinis with garlic olives.
While the borscht was on to simmer, we headed outside with our martinis to explore the property and play bocce ball…which we played probably 7 or 8 times that weekend, smack talk encouraged.
Later that night, we had a little cake, Veuve and presents (a gardening set and gardening book from my friends who know how much I’ve gotten into gardening!) celebration before playing board games until bedtime. Honestly, I cannot underscore how simple and fun and refreshing time at this cabin was.
The next day, my friend made a delicious breakfast hash and bacon while I had my coffee on the deck…
Then we gathered up our hiking and fishing supplies and set off on an adventure.
The intent was to go find some local hiking trails in Clayton State Park. Which, after driving around for 45 minutes and following signs for things like “The Narrows” and “The Cove” we came up empty. But we did spot a lot of wildlife. Roadrunners, deer, hawks, scissortails, turtles, chipmunks, etc. So we found a nice little fishing spot and got out to see what we could catch & release. Only Adam wound up catching a decent-sized bass, but we had a good time casting our lines out, drinking our White Claws and enjoying the beautiful serenity and scenery. It felt like the craziness of the global pandemic happening around the world didn’t exist where we were.
After our not-so-successful fishing adventure, we had worked up an appetite so we drove to a local campground to borrow a picnic table. For my birthday, Adam got me the MOST thoughtful gift. I’ve always talked to him about my memories of trekking around Europe with my family and grabbing some meats, cheese, fruits and wines and setting up a picnic wherever the scenery looked the best. And a nice, well thought out picnic is just so quintessentially me. So he got me a backpack that unzips into a whole picnic kit, complete with insulated wine bottle holder, gingham blanket and napkins, wine glasses and corkscrew, cutting board and every other utensil you’d need. It’s perfect. And it was even more perfect to take on our trip. That morning we had packed up some chicken salad with flatbreads, kettle chips, granola bars and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that I’d been holding on to from my last trip to California when I’d visited Lava Cap.
After we enjoyed our picnic and talked about our favorite conspiracy theories (LOL), we packed up and headed back to the cabin, but stopped for some sights along the way.
Some, um, quite worrisome… (even more so that this was just down the road from our cabin)
Once we were back, we did what we only thought proper to send off my twenties in style. We reverted back to our old selves.
We played beer pong.
And that’s when I realized my husband is a beer pong CHAMP. We didn’t know each other in college, so I never got to experience those frat house memories with him, but playing beer pong with him, my best friend (who I definitely have a loooot of beer pong memories with) and her husband was just such a solid way of saying goodbye to my twenties.
That night we had a bonfire, ate steak and potatoes and played more board games while a storm rolled in.
And the next day it was time to head back home.
If you were to ask me what’s on my travel list, I’d tell you the entire globe. If I haven’t been, it’s on my list. But sometimes you’d be surprised what you can find just down the road from where you live. I’d really encourage you to get on your Airbnb apps and explore your own home state. Or come to Lake Sardis, Oklahoma and enjoy this cabin because it is WORTH IT.
Hilton Head would have been fun for my birthday. But I’m so glad I wound up at the cabin in Clayton, Oklahoma.