May 14, 2020. My birthday.
What a weird, sad and uneasy time in history. The world has been hit hard by Coronavirus and the worst seems to be finally behind us here in the United States after NYC peaked with hospitalizations and deaths in late April. It has been such a horrific hit on people across America – emotionally, mentally, socially and economically.
Yet despite handling the initial shock of the virus’ power and speed, we are all a bit paralyzed on how to best move forward with this “new normal” as things slowly open back up across the country. There are now 48 states that have opened back up and the State of New York says public beaches will be open by Memorial Day weekend. You can sense the strangeness of it all through the energy of complete strangers masked and gloved standing at a six feet distance — the air is thick with this odd angst of limbo and fear. We all feel it.
The biggest change for me personally on this particular birthday, aside from the world being completely flipped upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, is that this is my first birthday as a Mom.
I am newly a mother to a beautiful 8-week old baby named Maverick. He is the light of my life and came into the world blazing during the chaos of the corona crisis. I will be sharing a full birth story of all the drama that surrounded his arrival through an e-book and IGTV episode to be published later this summer – stay tuned for a riveting read, ladies.
For now, I am sharing a morning to evening recap of my birthday in the year of the pandemic – 2020. This birthday was spent at home during the quarantine mandate here on Nantucket Island. All stores and restaurants are completely closed with the exception of “curbside pickup” at a few select spots. It is certainly a weird time to celebrate in light of the social distancing restrictions and government mandated closures. But regardless, I am just happy to be alive, healthy and on the island of Nantucket with my newborn baby.
Although we couldn’t be with friends or family, and there was definitely no Ladyhattan-style party, we managed to have a simple yet perfect day indulging in a few of our favorite local delights.
The day started off bright and early with coffee on the back deck featuring a special surprise.
My husband picked up hot Downeyflake doughnuts at the crack of dawn, heated them a bit more in the over and then stacked them in a pyramid to create the ultimate birthday cake. The candles were lit and I made several wishes to start the day.
Shortly after our sugary breakfast treats, I heard a knock on the door. I ran to the front of the house, and to my surprise there were several deliveries placed beautifully on the porch steps.
Flowers on Chestnut honked the horn to wish me a happy birthday after leaving behind several gorgeous bouquets of blooms from loving family members. One large arrangement from my Mom, another from my baby sister Dillon, and a sunflower and roses combo from my Fairy God Mother, Jane.
The flowers were absolutely stunning and made the entire house smell incredible. I could not get over the size of the luscious blooming peonies – they looked like giant cotton candy puffs.
Also on the front stoop, my good friend Susan left a present for me from her downtown boutique – ACK 4170. What an adorable monogramed wine gift bag, nautical cocktail napkins and a Sconset scented candle — the perfect essentials for our nightly ACK happy hours. Susan curates the most wonderful Nantucket gifts and household treasures in her boutique down on Easy Street.
Although her store is sadly closed at the moment due to the Governor’s closure mandates, you can shop online now with free local island delivery. I also hope that her shop, along with many other adorable storefronts downtown, will be open later this summer season once it is safe to do so.
After my baby Maverick’s nap, he was dressed up in my favorite color pink and a pair of newborn sized jeans. I cried at the sight of how adorable he looked for my first birthday as his Mommy.
Maverick wore an outfit to match his Daddy just to make me belly laugh. I could not ask for a more wonderful view – my husband and son in matching pink polos ready to seize the day with me.
We hopped in the car and took a drive out to Cisco beach. The beach was chilly and windy, with the ocean a vibrant blue. The playful heads of numerous seals popped up along the seashore as we took in the springtime beach views.
On our drive home from the beach, we called our favorite watering hole on the island, Cisco Brewery and placed a curbside pick-up order. Given the current predicament of the pandemic lockdown, the Brewery is not open to visitors but facilitating pick-up orders. You can even get speciality draft beers packaged in these cool tall-boy cans. We picked the gluten free hazy IPA and the Belgium draft. Both are delicious.
The process for pick-up was super safe, professional and enjoyable. Although we are temporarily enjoying our brews at home in the backyard, we can’t wait to get back to the brewery once it is open again with live music, games and the company of friends.
We poured our beers in ‘roadie cups’ for a relaxing afternoon walk with the stroller. Along our walk through the downtown Historic District, I was amazed by the full bloom of the Cherry Blossom trees scattered throughout town.
My little guy gazed up at the sky quietly from his bassinet stroller and smiled the entire walk. Across Centre Street, up Quince, past the green church and back around up Main to Orange, we walked for over an hour just taking in the pristine springtime weather and empty streets.
For dinner my husband picked up our favorite on-island pizza — Pi Pizzeria. I love the rustica and gambella flavors.
Just like other eateries on island that have been temporarily shutdown to guests, Pi Pizza did a great job of offering a smooth and safe curbside pickup service. We paid over the phone and our pizza was left on a picnic table outside the restaurant for a completely “contactless pick-up” option.
And after our pizza dinner, I engaged in my new favorite evening ritual with a newborn baby. I gave Maverick his warm bath and dressed him in a fresh set of jammies for our early bedtime of 8pm. After such a pleasant day enjoying a few of my favorite things on Nantucket, despite the current lockdown situation, I felt grateful for another year to be alive and celebrate a birthday with loved ones.
I hope my wishes come true and until the next birthday, I remain focused on making this the best year yet. Thanks to all the friends, family and Ladyhattan readers near and far for making my birthday in quarantine as special as possible. I love you all and wish everyone safety, health and happiness during what has been a troubling time for us all. This too shall pass, friends.