I recently just turned 26 and was finally able to enjoy my birthday with the people I love the most!

Last year, I unfortunately got sick with what, I think, could have been Covid-19 and had to cancel all my birthday plans. At the same time it was when everything began to close due to the virus and quarantine began. It was definitely a rough year for all of us and now that there is a little more “normalcy”, I was able to enjoy a nice week off from work and got to spend my birthday with my boyfriend and immediate family members. 

We haven’t been out to lunch since the pandemic started, so we decided to rent out a private outdoor Igloo at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Calandra’s Mediterranean Grill, in Fairfield, NJ.

While we are still not comfortable with indoor dining, we thought this was the perfect place to enjoy some food and time together. When we do eat out, we usually order and eat home. We were glad we were able to have a nice indoor/outdoor experience, while still being careful and conscious that the virus is still a risk. The igloo was nicely decorated for Easter and surprisingly, it was very hot in there. I was afraid we were going to be cold, but they had a couple of space heaters, so we were able to accommodate the temperature to our liking. These igloos usually sit up to 8 people.

I ordered from the Lunch Special Menu and had a crab and avocado salad. It was absolutely delicious and the perfect amount to start off my meal. For my main meal, I ordered a Chicken with sausage, red chilli peppers, and olives in a white wine sauce. It came accompanied by some roasted potatoes and broccoli on the side. I loved it and would definitely recommend this place for lunch or dinner! 

After lunch, we headed to the new mall that recently opened, the American Dream, located just a few doors away from the Metlife Stadium. There we walked around and waited for our turn to ski at “Big Snow”. My boyfriend gifted me tickets to go snow bike skiing there for the day. I have never heard of this sport, or even know it existed, so I was super excited to try it out! We headed to “BIG SNOW”, one of the few attractions, at the American Dream. It is basically a big indoor snow park. People can go skiing, snowboarding, and snow biking! We enjoyed the one-day pass that included a 2 hour entry, personal instruction, and the rental of all gear and equipment (Outerwear-Jacket and Pants, Helmet, Snow Boots, and Bike). I thought it was a great deal for the price we paid!

Check out their website for all the packages and entry information:

Once we were in the snow park, ready to enjoy the bike rides, we noticed everyone was either skiing or snowboarding only. We were the only ones using the bikes! Online, however, the snow go bikes were completely sold out. I believe they sell out at capacity, but you can go in and rent out other things like skis and snowboards. (Don’t quote me on this, we just didn’t see anyone else riding the bikes, when oline it said all bikes were sold out.)

The instructor gave us a very detailed explanation on how to stop while going down the hill, how to speed up, etc…Then, they take you to different levels of small to medium hills, until you feel comfortable enough to go down the big hill. The whole experience was really cool and different! It was something I have always wanted to do, being that I have never done anything in the snow like that. I would love to come back this winter to try out the snowboards; it is definitely next on my to do list! 

I would rate the overall experience an 8/10. It was affordable, compared to going skiing at a resort and renting out the equipment, and it was indoors so the wind factor was non-existent. 

Overall, I had a great time celebrating another year of life. It was very rewarding to leave the house for a few hours, to share some great food, and make unforgettable memories! I am very blessed and thankful for the people I have in my life. I would have loved to have had a group of my closest friends accompany me for my birthday, but since we are still in a pandemic, it only felt right to keep it small until things get better. Cheers to another year of life!