Don’t worry, I’m still alive. You guys were probably worried. My 30th birthday came in like a lamb, threw a crazy good party, and went out like a lion. I spent several days afterwards recovering from some kind of poisoning which left me unable to eat or drink anything for about 48 hours. It wasn’t how I envisioned starting 30. But, I lost like 4 lbs. and got to celebrate with the people who make life worth living so, #worthit.
A week into XXX, things have started to look up considerably. I plan to shower you with more than just one post this week, so stay tuned for more on my updated Buffalo Bucket List, my new yoga journey, and my entrepreneurial adventures!
Today, it’s all about another sexy Buffalo weekend. When I set out to “do something fun,” I usually manage to shove about 3 to 4 must-do items into a day, and go to bed feeling happily exhausted and satisfied. This weekend was no different.
Let’s start with the Buffalo Garden Walk. Never in my life have I thought about the National Garden Festival, nor considered participating in it. My track record with keeping plants alive is about 60/40, and not in my favor. Yet, when I heard it was this weekend, AND that it was free, there was nothing else I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon than walk the elusive gardens of some of Buffalo’s most beautiful properties. I am so, so glad that I did.
We began our walk at the Buffalo Seminary, one of three headquarters where you could pick up a complete map, with each participating home marked for exploration. We wandered the Elmwood Village and saw some of the most exquisite gardens I’ve laid eyes on. Now, being a suburbanite, I’ve always been lucky to have enjoyed the beautiful landscaping and flowers that my Mom and Dad work so hard on every spring. The flowers flourish and our backyard ends up looking like a lush paradise of sorts. But, in my mind, “city houses don’t have backyards.” I know that’s not necessarily true, but it’s common knowledge that space is generally more limited. I was proven (mostly) wrong. Walking into many of these spaces was like happening upon a secret garden, complete with trellises draped in concord grapes, apple trees, intricate patios and koi ponds. Every participating yard we visited was beyond gorgeous, but there were a few favorites.
One home on West Delevan clearly had been preparing for this weekend since winter broke. The “controlled chaos” of wild natural vegetation on their front lawn almost kept me from entering the back, but I’m so glad I did. We were greeted by a table inviting us to sample some cold pink lemonade, and strolled through a narrow walkway surrounding by greenery. The backyard was like something out of a dream. It was encased in a canopy of lush flowers, and a winding walkway lead visitors around a beautiful koi pond with GIANT neon goldfish, one of which was 22 years old. Every square inch was expertly planned, yet not overly cluttered. It was my favorite Garden Walk property!
Other perks of Garden Walk Buffalo included walking around the quaint homes in the cottage district of the West Side, most of which were built in the mid to late 1800’s, the food trucks scattered about, and even free samples of Greek yogurt ice cream (Greek yogurt skippy cups, friends. SKIPPY CUPS.)
All in all, my end thoughts on Garden Walk Buffalo were that I’m SO glad I went, that I wish my Mom had joined us, that it was fun to see so many people of all ages out and about, and that the homes and properties of Buffalo are an exquisite garden of secret fantastical beauty. Cue the Bruce Springsteen.
We finished up our afternoon with a stroll around Hoyt Lake, always a lovely scene. Hubs, trying to remember how far the path measured from his days of running around it, and me, gushing over/critiquing bridal party colors ands styles. For the first time ever, we hiked up to see the Statue of David, which sadly, is the only David I’ve seen in person. Remember, I opted for Venice over Florence last year! I will say, I can’t believe there are not more accidents on the 198 because of this stunner.
Later that evening, we started our date night, FINALLY, at Resurgence Brewing. If you’re like me, you’ve been reading about what an amazing destination this place is for months, but gluten and prior engagements have kept you away. It was worth the wait. We made our way through the considerable crowd to the bar, where we perched and ordered a flight, and an order of hot pretzels. Did I tell you we haven’t had carbs in weeks? Well, with the exception of some birthday cake, of course. Anyways, the four beers that made up my flight were the Summer Saison, the Strawberry IPA, the Smokey the Beer, and the infamous Sponge Candy Stout. My favorites were the Summer and the Sponge. Hubs was surprised to also enjoy the Sponge, and he loved the Smokey. For an IPA, Strawberry was interesting, but a little on the fruity side for my liking. Because of the crowds, we waited a while for our pretzel sticks. Again, worth the wait. I’ll go out on a limb and say these things were homemade, perfectly soft, with a cheddar and spicy honey mustard dipping accompaniment. Maybe it’s because we haven’t had anything related to bread in SO long, but ohmygawd. Perfect snack with our delicious flight.
Maybe it was the great ambience and fun people, maybe it was the life-sized floor games like Jenga or the real dart boards. It could have been the beer garden with laughing friends and a well-lit fire pit. Resurgence is our new favorite spot, for sure.
The rest of the night went like this: light dinner at Cecelia’s (stuffed banana peppers for me, my favorite in town, and the meatball insalata for hubs.) We ventured over to see our old friend Lance Diamond at Milkie’s, but were disappointed to see he wasn’t playing. In the mood for Buffalo nostalgia, we closed the night Founding Fathers, and boy, it was good to be home.
We love Mike from Founding Fathers because after nearly a decade of not living here, he still remembers hubs, his profession, and basically everything they ever talked about. We love the historical trivia (which I fail miserably at every time,) and we love the bar itself. Also, free popcorn and nachos. It goes to show that no matter what exciting, new places come to Buffalo, sometimes, you just gotta go back to the places that started the Buffalove, way back in the day.