Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Something New

Five years ago, my friend Drew and I discovered that we were both to turn 30 that same month of August (he's older). We had some down-time at work to plan the possibilities for a birthmonth celebration that would be suitable for such a landmark birthday, and we decided we should do something new every day before our respective special days that we hadn't done before. We started brainstorming, and it opened our minds to the possibilities if one only chooses to actively pursue new experiences. I cannot tell you the whole list, but I will say that we had a crab feast that was quite memorable. Even a little accomplishment felt like a step forward in life... and it was an exercise I highly recommend.

Fast-forward five years (Drew is 35 already) and I am 34. As my fellow Californian friend has since gone his own way, every year I've chosen in some small way to carry on the tradition - the August Birthmonth Challenge! Yes, it has seen many an endeavor, both large and small, and taken me to New York, California, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Maine, and to a Sammy Hagar/Chickenfoot show at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. Yes, the 29 days of August (Drew only has 13) require thought, dedication, creativity... and are not for the weak nor the timid. So we press on!

I thought I would share a sampling of this year's list as I take on the final week. So far, I have: held an art exhibit showcasing more than thirty of my favorite photographs; gone water-skiing for the first time in two decades; returned to San Francisco and found a wonderful cajun breakfast and an ice cream shop that delighted me with "Secret Breakfast" and Smoked Sea Salt Chocolate; explored two new wineries in Napa Valley; unknowingly got "shopped" by secret shoppers (not my decision, of course); given a eulogy; created a strawberry-peach breakfast bruschetta; dined at Vinoteca and Poste; visited old friends for the first time in Lodi and enjoyed a perfect evening barbecue; prepared white sangria for a memorial service; prepared a Spanish meal for my Uncle's favorite people; tried (key word) to learn some latin dances; danced with a crackhead and a pregnant woman in the same night; tried several new Spanish wines and one Spanish beer... It's been a busy month. Friday, I fly to Miami. Saturday, I will enter country #20 - Colombia.

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