Another year, another Memorial Day weekend (U.S.) = another birthday for me : )
Since at least the age of sixteen, I have established a pattern of traveling on my birthday. My first memory of being away during my birthday, although the edges of the memory are becoming a little hazy with time... was for my 16th. Our family was on a summer road trip. Pretty typical during my teenage years. We would pile into our van and drive - yes, drive - across country to explore new states unknown. My mom hoped that we might be able to see all 48 contiguous states before I graduated from high school. We never quite reached the goal, but we sure gave it a solid effort!
Maybe it stands out to me because it was my "sweet sixteen" and I found myself miles away from home, no chance of a big birthday bash. It was a long ways from Oklahoma to Plymouth, Massachusetts. The night of my birthday, I was obviously not wanting the occasion to go unnoticed, and my Dad offered to take me out for dessert. There were limited choices in the tiny town, but we stumbled upon the 'Run of the Mill Tavern' where he and I shared a delicious chocolate something. We left Mom & my sis behind, which - in retrospect - I think, is why the memory is so clear. How many times in my life have I had the opportunity to sit down with just my Dad and no one else present? After we finished our celebration, we returned to the hotel where we found Mom & sis swimming. We brought them candy bars, I guess to make up for the fact that they missed out on our awesome dessert!
That was the beginning. Since then I have spent birthdays in Paris (I remember lunch in the Eiffel Tower!, and being offered champagne repeatedly since the drinking age in Europe is 18)... St. Lucia (where we got to horseback ride on the beach!), Oklahoma (more horseback riding!), Taiwan, Venice, and more... it's an interesting variety of places, and the list keeps growing with time :)
Now, I find myself again in Taiwan for a birthday. My husband and I considered traveling, but this year it just didn't work out. Too many road blocks to our plans. So... without leaving Taipei (but I guess in truth, we are already here in Asia - that has to count for something!) we are enjoying a fabulous birthday weekend. For part I (Saturday), we enjoyed tea time at Smith & Hsu, bowling, and a visit to Shilin night market. Pictures and posts to follow :D