A few years ago I decided that that best way for me to celebrate my birthday was to take matters into my own hands. I embarked on a plan to take a day off from work each year to do… well… whatever I wanted. It sounds easy, but there’s actually a lot of pressure to fill one special day with something meaningful and memorable. It’s not a day that I can waste sitting in front of the TV or (gasp!) cleaning the house. The weather plays a crucial role. Rain means fewer photos but more bookstore browsing. Sunshine can mean a day where I feel guilty for catching a movie. It’s a delicate balance.
Through trial and error over the years, I’ve created an unofficial Nicole Day checklist in my head and decided that the perfect Nicole Day has to include at least some, if not all, of the following:
- Lingering over coffee and breakfast at a favorite cafe while reading a newspaper or book.
- A pedicure
- Browsing through the Powells photobook section
- Taking photos in a previously unexplored part of the city
- A visit to Blue Sky gallery (conveniently close to Powells)
- Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt
- A perfect place for lunch, with a cocktail or glass of wine
- Window shopping at a favorite non-kid-friendly store
You can see how I’ve developed my approach to Nicole day over the years by reading my posts from birthdays 36, 37 and 38. This year I added a few more activities to my agenda and decided to officially expand Nicole Day to two days – since one day REALLY isn’t enough. And since my birthday was on Saturday this year, it conveniently pushed on into the weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of all that I accomplished.
Coffee and breakfast Koalches at my favorite SE cafe. Massage. Pedicure. Window shopping at Anthropologie (ok, I tried a couple of things on). A browse through the Powell’s photography section. Lunch Bento from the downtown foodcarts – eaten in the sunshine on the park blocks. Photo art at Blue Sky Gallery. Read a book while sipping iced hibiscus tea at a pearl district cafe. Finished the day at home with glass of wine in my backyard while I enjoyed the 90 degree weather.
Mexican Mocha at Blend cafe in North Portland. Yoga. Lunch on NW 21st street (with cocktail). Window shopping on NW 23rd. Salt and Straw salted caramel ice cream. Photos of the NW 23rd neighborhoods. Movie at Century 21 Theatre – Finding Vivian Maier. Home briefly before joining my family for dinner at Bollywood Theater.
So, you can see why one day was just not enough. On Saturday (my birthday) we headed out for an early soccer game (Thomas played against my Boss’ son) and then to Tasty and Sons for brunch (after a 2 hour wait).
It was perfect and relaxing and wonderful. The cherry on top was an amazing gift that my husband ordered for me which will arrive on Friday. More on that soon.
Here are a few photos I took of my adventures. I took a lot more photos on my phone than with my big camera because it’s a little less awkward when you’re on your own and taking multiple pictures of what you’re eating. I’ve also been feeling a little uninspired with my photography lately but I’m hoping my birthday gift will help pull me out of the rut.
Until next year – the BIG birthday. Best start planning now…