Today is my mom’s birthday. It’s a milestone birthday so I wanted to do something special over the weekend to celebrate it. Every year, I ask what my mom wants for her birthday or what she wants to do. Every year, she always says nothing or anything or whatever everyone else wants to do. Every year, I’m staring up at my ceiling, wondering what I should get her as a gift and where I should take her for dinner. While scouring the internet for birthday gifts and laying awake a night trying to figure out where to go, I decided to make a guide for celebrating birthdays this summer, if not to help someone else, then to help myself next year. Read on to see my choices of gifts, cakes, and adventures that would make any birthday a day to be remembered.
Summer might be my favorite time for adventuring. There’s always something going on, always something to discover. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city that thrives off activity; in Pittsburgh, there’s something’s always happening. And many cities are just as restless when it comes to summer events. I love art festivals and concerts just as much as I love trying a new restaurant and walking around the city. Check out what events are going on near you for a fun weekend of adventure.
For one-day weekend adventures, try a wine tasting. I’ve gone twice at two different wineries and they’ve been some of my best memories from college. Food festivals and restaurant parties are also good options for one-day weekend adventures. With both, you get to sample different foods and wines, listen to live music, and may win a prize or two. For extended weekend adventures, try a stay in a new or different city and see what they have to offer. New restaurants, shopping, and activities are a great way to celebrate. There’s always something fun about being away from home, about being a visitor.
Urban exploring is one of my favorite past times. Sometimes going out without a plan is better. Sometimes having your plans change leads to amazing things. This weekend, for instance, my mom and I were out, we were trying to go to the annual arts festival downtown but we got there later in the day and the parking was horrendous. We decided to try another day and ended up leaving. Somehow, we ended up at a bonsai festival. We went in and admired these trees that people had been growing for five-plus years. We laughed and took pictures and my mom decided that she was going to take up bonsai as well. She said she needs a new hobby. My point is, even though we hadn’t set out to go to a bonsai festival, it turned out to be a great time, and I’m sure a great memory and eternal inside joke (hey, remember that time we stumbled upon the bonsai festival?). So while planning something out might seem like the best option, the spontaneity of discovering something is often—in my opinion—better. Like they say, adventure is out there. It’s always out there.