This is my blog, so I’m going to post something sappy if I want to.
Yesterday, I celebrated my 23rd birthday with a trip to Avalon, Catalina, thanks to my beautiful girlfriend. I wanted to take a trip to the island to create long-lasting memories, and we achieved that goal. It was her first time to Catalina, and on a boat, so I was excited to show her a completely new place she has never experienced before.
We departed from San Pedro at 8 in the morning for Avalon, and the excitement was unmatched. I don’t usually do much on my birthdays, so this was a welcomed treat. The boat ride was smooth and serene, and thankfully neither of us got seasick on the way to the island. Once we arrived, we got some delicious food at a pancake house. She ordered an egg white omelet while I went with the classic eggs benedict and some grilled Portuguese sausage on the side. Although crowded and a bit loud, the restaurant was pleasant and delivered some terrific food.
Once we finished our hearty breakfast, off we went to acquire our hiking permits to wander around the city as we pleased. We chose a trail and began our trek to the trailhead. To nobody’s surprise, the walk there took about an hour, as we opted not to rent a golf cart and instead travel on foot. It turns out we were a bit unprepared and didn’t stock up on water or sunscreen before the journey, leading to me constantly in search of a water fountain or vending machine.
Although the hike to the hike took a bit longer than anticipated, we had a wonderful time shooting photos on the way, even stopping at the nature center midway to see close-ups of insects and various rocks and gems found around the island.
Once arriving at the beginning of the actual trail, we hiked back down instead and got some much-needed food and water. We had a DIY photoshoot with my tripod on the way back, taking some wildly cute couples photos together, something we’ve meant to do for some time now. The walk was a bit quicker as it was now on a downward slope but still took some time. We managed to see roughly fifteen ground squirrels on the route, so that was nice, though one of them was being aggressively attacked by a woodpecker as it attempted to run from one burrow to the next.
Upon reaching civilization once more, we got some fantastic lunch at a bistro above the conservancy center. At this point, we realized it might be a bit drawn out to stay for another four or five hours before departing back to the mainland, so we changed our itinerary to leave a bit earlier than planned. Even with this altered schedule, we managed to fit in a relaxing kayak voyage around the bay and some sublime ice cream and gelato before heading off to leave.
Honestly, this was easily the best birthday I’ve had in my 23 years on this planet. Usually, my birthday celebrations are a tad bit boring and uneventful aside from gifts from my parents and an excellent dinner at night; but this time was a refreshing experience. I got to spend the day with the woman I love, and for that, I will never forget it. To top everything off, we enjoyed some poke bowls back at home, and I was able to blow out the candles on a decadent chocolate cake full of berries that I love.
I don’t often have plans for my birthday, but this time was different. I felt joyous and free the entire trip and couldn’t have been a happier man if I tried. I wasn’t even planning on writing about this here, but it was such a great day that I had to. I want this ingrained in my memory for years to come.
You get one day a year to celebrate your birth; it’d be a shame to waste it sitting on your friend’s couch talking about nonsense for hours like I usually did in the past. As cliche as it is, experience life to the fullest, travel as much as you can, and do what you love, especially on a day when you can do whatever you please. I couldn’t be more thankful for the loving relationships I have in my life.
Five out of five stars.