Friday, July 22, 2011

Into the Woods

Next week is an exciting week for me. It's my birthday and Brian is taking me to the beach because it's one of my most favorite things to do. So I'll get to lounge in the sun and float in the salty waves with my cute boy all day. And then when we get home we're going to dinner with a few of my friends. Hopefully we'll have some dinner and drinks and hop on over to another place for some live music.

Last year this idea fell flat because everyone wanted to or needed to go home after dinner. LAME! So I'm hoping that at least a couple of people want to go out, even if it's for an hour. There's a really cool place in the same neighborhood we'll be in, so maybe I'll have better luck convincing them to come play. We'll see...

The next day Brian and I are going away! We'll be spending the weekend camping in New Hampshire. I'm so excited. We're going to bring the canoe and maybe some fishing poles and we'll have our new grill and I'll hopefully have a new sleeping bag (I asked for my family to get me one for my birthday!)'s going to rock. We'll go for hikes, explore the area and swim. We'll sit by the fire and make s'mores and we'll fall asleep while listening to the sounds of nature.

I hope. Last year we were placed next to the most annoying family ever. EVER.

But even if we are next to an annoyingly loud family, I know we'll have fun. Because we have fun doing almost anything.

Last night we took a trip to LL Bean so that I could get a new backpack. LL Bean has the most amazing policy which allows you to return anything at any time if you are not happy with it. The backpack I had was from 1995. It was in mostly good condition however the inside lining had started flaking and it was pretty much disgusting. Also, it was huge. I used it in college for overnight trips or for extra large bundles of books. I no longer needed that size so I thought that I could use the old backpack toward a newer, smaller one.

Initially I was told I would only receive an $18 credit. I was shocked-the bag cost about $40 when I purchased it and while the stock number has changed, they do still make this backpack. I couldn't help throwing up a "really!?" when he told me that number-and then I asked if I could do an even exchange. That's when he told me that it was discontinued (well, not really, but kind of...). I think he saw my disappointment because he told me to go look for the new backpack and to come back to him. And that's what I did...

This is the backpack I picked out:

Cute, right? It's a day hiker backpack with enough room for the things I'd need on our little day trips, but not too big where it's heavy. And also, it's my favorite color. It retails for $59. Unfortunately the didn't have the green in stock so I took another color up to the register and asked if the green could be ordered.

That's when he told me he was giving me $41 toward the new backpack! I can't tell you how excited I am, and how grateful I am that he did this. To be honest, I probably would have just kept the old backpack instead of getting a new one because $18 wasn't enough money to put toward a new bag. Yes, it's a very old backpack and I'm lucky they even gave me anything but if they hadn't changed the model number, I could have just done an even exchange (worth $41) and been done. I thanked him several times-he was very nice and helpful and exceeded my expectations in every way.

I should be getting the new on in the mail by Tuesday. :)

The other exciting LL Bean purchase was actually my birthday gift from Brian. My hiking sneakers are very old and the last time I wore them I noticed that the sole was coming off. I don't use them enough to justify buying a new pair for myself but as a gift...

So I tried on 4 different boots/shoes. I opted to not get waterproof boots because they are too heavy and honestly, we don't really hike in extreme elements so I think it will be fine. And if I do ever step in water, we'll be close enough to home/camp where I can change my shoes and get comfy while they dry.

This is the pair I ended up with (but in a cool purple/putty color!)

Of course, I haven't actually gotten them yet. :) I'll have to work on my fake surprised look!

All of this new camping gear is exciting to me. Long ago, I used to have all of this myself. I had a tent, sleeping bag, hiking boots, even a canteen and mess kit. But it was stolen from me and I haven't had the need to replace any of it...until now.

And here's the part you all have come to expect-the part where I gush about my Brian and how lucky we are to have found each other...and how enriched my life has become because he is alive and because he loves me.

It's ridiculous how much I love that man. And I can't wait to play in the woods with him next week!

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