Best day ever? Maybe?

August 13, 2011


It would be hard for me to choose the best ever day of my life. Not because there have been so many, but because I’d probably end up not remembering the one that would qualify as best ever. I can pick out good days here and there, but by and large, none strikes me as the winner. But if I had to say, I’d go with the day last summer when I traveled to and arrived in my beloved London for the first time in six years. I met two friends for the first time and had a week of fun to look forward.

As I was pondering that day in general, I remembered that it was also my birthday. I don’t make a big fuss about birthdays. Maybe that’s because my birthday is smack in the middle of summer and I never had a party in my class at school, so it never got cemented it in my brain as a big deal. 

The celebrations at home were usually pretty low-key. I vaguely remember a couple of little parties. There was the one when Mike C came over and my mom made eierkuchen because that’s what I wanted (recipe, recipe). Then there was the one, um, er … I guess the eierkuchen one is the only one coming back to me at this moment. I’m sure there were other dandy get-togethers with my other friends in other years. Please don’t feel slighted because I don’t remember what happened in the 1970s.

The birthday for which I have the strongest memory for as an “adult” was my twenty-fifth. I was in college and had a part-time job at a service station. One of my part-time coworkers was in a “band.” After work, the lot of us would often go over to his house and drink beer (regular beer, not the fancy kind I like now). One such hanging-out was on my birthday and though I’m sure I didn’t make any prominent references to it, the word got out. I had gone to sit by myself on the front steps for a few minutes and one of the roommate/bandmates came out with his guitar and sang Happy Birthday to me. He didn’t really know me from Adam, but it was very sweet and to this day remains one of my favorite birthday memories. And apparently, also, one of my few concrete birthday memories.

Fast forward to last summer. 

It was intentional on my part that I booked my flight so that I’d arrived on my birthday, once I learned that the discount airfare departed on Thursdays. My birthday seemed like as good a Friday as any to arrive. I knew I’d be wiped out from traveling on the one hand, but that the adrenaline from excitement would keep me going on the other. Dan and Spiros picked me up at Liverpool Street Station and we wandered around on foot from there. I only had a carry-on and my backpack, so I was pretty portable.

I think we ended up in Hodge the cat’s courtyard because Dan’s office is nearby. I was tickled because on my previous trip, I had sought out the statue and now there we were, fairly randomly, at it again. I considered that to be a good omen for a successful upcoming week. We eventually went to Dan’s, where I was staying. I had a shower and we had a snack. Then the three of us went to the Honor Oak to watch the USA World Cup match. 

I fell into bed completely satisfied with the day.

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