Being around for three decades is kind of a big deal. I will firmly maintain this, probably till I hit 40.
I have said that I’m a fan of birthdays in general, but the big ones deserve particular attention. As such, I believe that 30th birthdays should be spent doing ONLY things you absolutely love.
A planner by birthright, I had my sights set on a trip to Denverfor months before my actual birthday. I got clearance for two days off from work to accommodate a four-day weekend. I made a hotel reservation for a place perched squarely on the city’s always-happening 16th Street Mall, reserved a non-economy rental car [ok, so it was a compact, one step up, but hey, it’s a step up!], and upon discovering that my adopted baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, had a home game on my birthday, arranged for myself to have a seat almost within hysterical shrieking distance of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (I said I was turning 30; I didn’t say I was turning mature).
When the weekend arrived, I was ready. I motored north in a lovely Chevy Malibu, complete with still-exotic-to-me XM radio – hellooo, all-‘90s and all-‘80s hair band stations! – and walked through those Courtyard Marriott doors ready to kick back. Several things I learned along the way: 1) Rush hour traffic inDenvergoes into AND out of the city, 2) Drivers inDenverturn left on red and honk at confused law-abiding citizens, and 3) Just pay the hotel’s valet parking price. Just pay it.
Shortly after I checked in, I met up with a friend who works in downtownDenver[she works for Native eyewear; go buy their sunglasses!]. We went to a fabulous place called The Yardhouse, where we feasted on delicious burgers and half-yards of beer. That apparently amounts to just over two pints and was topped by a surprise birthday cupcake. Friends are wonderful.
As for the next day, the official big 3-0? Well, I did spend it doing things I love. I slept in, got coffee and a pastry from a local shop, and proceeded to explore the heck out of that town. I browsed around a used & new bookstore called the Tattered Cover that reminded me of why I love bookstores. I walked along a paved riverside path that – joyful gasp!—had sides designated for pedestrians and cyclists. I scarfed down a tasty lunch at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. I should probably mention I did most, if not all, of my eating inDenveroutside. Heavenly.
The day went on. I visited theDenverArt Museum, which admittedly didn’t do a whole lot for me, but to paraphrase the maxim, A Bad Day at a Museum Beats a Good Day at Work. I visited a brewpub during the magical time between lunch and Happy Hour, and chatted with the bartenders, who attempted to waive my tab because of the birthday thing. I dropped by the Cheesecake Factory – I told you my hotel was well-situated! – for a slice of white chocolate blueberry cheesecake. I’d describe that experience, but it wouldn’t be ladylike.
On the walk to Coors Field, as I got closer and closer to the stadium, more and more people appeared, all moving in the same direction. I haven’t had that feeling of ‘Being A Part of A Big Crowd Moving Towards Something Big’ since I walked towards the starting line of the Chicago Marathon. And the evening did not disappoint. The weather was perfect, I had a great seat, I bought refreshments from roaming bleacher vendors (don’t the peanuts and beer just taste better that way?), and theRockieswon!
I had considered giving my 30th birthday blog a more philosophical tone, but the truth? I didn’t spend my 30th birthday philosophizing. If I had thought that much about it, I would have missed something.