Today was my husband's birthday. Every year, I try to do something really special for him. He deserves it. Sometimes it is a surprise, most often not. He's a great wish-list kind of guy. But he also loves "shared experiences" as gifts, which is usually the route I try to go with. We've been to a couple of concerts in honor of his birthday and last year I planned a huge brunch with 15 friends at a very trendy-hipster restaurant in the mission (that laughed - and then freaked out - when I told them how many people were coming).
This year, I had adventure in mind. We used to go biking together on the weekends but hadn't gotten to do that since last year (when I quit biking to protect my baby-bump). I asked some friends to watch our growing baby boy for the entire afternoon. I have wonderful friends who gladly agreed.
My original plan was a little ambitious and once we saw how windy it was, we changed our course. Rather than exhaust ourselves and face the wind on the Golden Gate Bridge by biking to Sausalito for lunch we decided to bike the city instead. In the end, the weather cleared up and it was the most perfect day for a bike ride. We still put in more than 12 miles and got to visit some of our favorite places. But most importantly, we had a great time together!
Our first stop: Dandelion Chocolate. They make the chocolate right in their shop, its single source, small batch chocolate. It's delicious. We enjoyed cups of hot chocolate and got a few bars to go. Oh, and we had shared a chocolate cookie, too.
Next up, was a ride through downtown to the Ferry Building for lunch. On Saturdays they have a farmer's market and quite a few food stands to choose from. We hadn't been there in years. It's such a great atmosphere and it's always fun to sample the produce.
After lunch we couldn't really decide where to go next. We started up the Embarcadero headed for Fisherman's Wharf because its such a great bike ride but decided to stop short and head to Coit Tower which I had never been to.
It's on a hill, so getting there involved climbing a bunch of stairs. Close to 300 I think. I love the hidden staircases in this city. This trail led us through really beautiful gardens and had great views.
The tower was actually under construction so once we got to the top, we snapped a few photos and started our trek down. And then we headed for home.
Getting outside and getting a little exercise while spending the day with my husband was probably a bigger gift to me than it was to him (since I rarely get out of the house these days). But I know that he loves biking - and he's commented more than once on how much he likes biking with me!
We live in such a beautiful city and rarely get to experience more than our own neighborhood anymore. We've lived here for nearly 4 years and have loved it from the start. Days like this, where we can get out of our routines, remind me of why we love it and why we want to stay.
So, to my husband, who adds adventure to my life, who enables me to be the woman and wife I want to be, who loves me even on my worst-didn't-even-get-to-shower kind of days, who is a better man than I could have prayed for -- Happy Birthday. May this year be another year of adventures together.