1.5 Year Anniversary

This January has a couple of important celebrations for me: Josh moving into my condo, the anniversary of me living here for a year and a half, and our year and a half relationship anniversary.

Similar to our one year anniversary, we planned an afternoon trip for last Thursday; our actual anniversary is the 20th, but we thought places would be a bit less crowded on Thursday than Friday. Our plan was to go to Yankee Candle Village and Tree House Brewing, both in Deerfield, MA which we did, but we also called an audible in the middle. You’ll see.

So our first stop was Yankee Candle Village, a place I hadn’t been to in years. Like well over 10 years. Josh hadn’t been in a while, too, so we were both surprised when we got there and the parking lot was far from full. I’m not sure if it’s because in the past we had gone on the weekends or times closer to Christmas, but on a rainy Thursday in January, I think there were more employees there than customers.

As we started walking through the part of the building that’s Christmas 24/7, I didn’t see this deer in the trees, let alone realize that it moved and made noises. Boy, did that scare me.

Josh had to slowly lead me into the room past it since it freaked me out.

The area on the left had little rooms off the main room that had a bunch of Christmas decorations and figurines, and the area on the right was built like a castle and had a moat with running water.

We had originally allotted about two hours to walk through but we were almost done a half hour in. For most of the Christmas part we walked through as well as the kids toy area, we didn’t really see any other customers.

When I was younger, I thought that this room was huge. It’s the candle emporium that has a ton of candles to choose from. You can also make your own candle or dip your own candle in different colors. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get a candle while we were there; I usually buy smaller candles so it’s less of a commitment—and cheaper—than the large jar candles Yankee Candle usually has.

Josh suggested getting some of the votive candles so that I could get a variety instead. I found a cute votive holder that matches my living room decor, and we went around smelling all of the votives to see which ones we liked. You could get 12 for $18, so we did that:

  • 2 Midsummer’s Night
  • 2 Lilac Blossoms
  • 1 Lemon Lavender
  • 1 Home Sweet Home
  • 1 Dried Lavender & Oak
  • 1 Clean Cotton
  • 1 Beach Walk
  • 1 Balsam & Clove
  • 1 White Strawberry Bellini
  • 1 Warm Luxe Cashmere

After we walked through the home section, we decided we needed to do something else to kill time before we went to Tree House. We sat down and started searching on the map to see what was around, and we were only 15 minutes away from The Book Mill in Montague, MA. For our six month anniversary last January, we wanted to go out there but decided not to because of an increase in COVID cases around that time. But we knew we had to go this time since we were so close.

Once I saw the outside, I got super excited because it looked so cute and I hadn’t been in a used bookstore in a while. And it was still rainy, perfect weather for looking at books.

There were a lot of couches and chairs in little nooks, and I told Josh he could just leave me there and come get me later. All of the sections were organized and easily identifiable. We walked through each section until we got to the fiction room, where you can see me looking on the floor at books in the picture on the right. (Hey, I found a Stephen King book—11/22/63—for a $1 on the floor at Raven Used Books, so never pass over the floor books.)

I ended up getting three books for less than $25: Britt-Marie Was Here and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I’ve read A Man Called Ove (which was in a pile on the floor) before but I’m on a quest to get all of Backman’s books because I’ll read anything that man writes. And I had read good things about Project Hail Mary online.

By that time, it was close to 4:30 p.m., so we headed to our last stop of the night: Tree House Brewing. We’ve been to the Tree House location in Charlton a few times (our fourth date before we made our relationship official, as part of our Winter Activities in December 2021, and then last summer as part of our one year anniversary plans), but this was our first time at the Deerfield location. I had heard good things about it from a few of my co-workers, so Josh and I knew we needed to go.

We bought our first round of drink tickets online, so we checked in at one of the stands in the gift shop area to get wrist-banded before we headed to the taproom. (They mark off your beers on the band as there’s usually a two or three beer limit.)

This was the hallway we walked down to get there, and the entire walls are covered in Tree House cans, which was pretty cool. It looked like a lot of the OG cans: Sap, Haze, Green, Julius, Eureka, Old Man, etc.

We’re so used to the Charlton location being busy no matter what time you go, so it was a change of pace to see that not all of the tables were taken. It was maybe about a third full, if that. We sat over at a high top table by ourselves and people watched while having our first beers and then pizza.

My first beer was Tiny Treat and Josh got Warm Your Bones (we ended up switching for our second beers after trying each other’s the first time) and split a pepperoni pizza. The pizzas are made in-house and after placing our order, it came out about 15-20 minutes later. It was thin crust and just burnt enough on the bottom that it was crispy.

On the way out, we ordered cans to go—I got Warm Your Bones and Josh got Tiny Treat and Julius—and we also each got a free glass with the logo on it, so that was nice.

We want to go back to The Book Mill and Tree House when it’s nicer out. Most of Thursday was cold and rainy, and both of those places would be great to explore in warmer weather. That Tree House Location, like in Charlton, had a big outside area to sit, in addition to where we sat inside.

This month has been a big adjustment for the both of us since Josh moved in, but we’re taking it day by day. It was nice to get out and celebrate our anniversary, though, since we both enjoy our little adventures.

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